Press release

Singer-songwriter and actor Joss Stone, war photographer Paul Conroy and musician and producer Dave Stewart are calling on world leaders gathering at the United Nations to deliver an effective Arms Trade Treaty as they launch a new version of the song 'Take Good Care'.'Take Good Care' was co-written by Paul Conroy - who was seriously injured earlier this year in Homs, Syria - and Joss Stone, and produced by Dave Stewart. The song is being released in support of Amnesty International's call upon world leaders to deliver an effective and robust international Arms Trade Treaty.

Conroy wrote the song in response to the devastating impact upon people's lives of armed violence and conflict in Misrata, Libya. He said:

"Having covered armed conflicts up close I have seen the sickening human toll of a world awash in weapons and military hardware that are too easily obtained. The brutality is the same no matter where it occurs.

The only sane response is to control this unregulated flow of weapons once and for all by adopting an effective global Arms Trade Treaty now."

Currently there are no legally-binding global regulations controlling the international arms trade. The current patchwork system of ineffective controls creates large loopholes and makes embargoes impossible to enforce. The consequences of this are dire: irresponsible transfer of weapons and ammunition continue to flood into places where they are used to commit serious human rights violations.

"The Arms Trade Treaty could be one of the most important laws ever to be secured," said Joss Stone.

"A successful Treaty could quite literally save lives, stop bloody conflicts and prevent millions of women, men and children from being terrorised from their homes.

"We've seen how weapons in the wrong hands can have utterly devastating consequences. Not just for the victims themselves, but also for their community. That's why I fully support Amnesty International's call upon world leaders to deliver a robust and effective Arms Trade Treaty, with human rights at its core."


Dave Stewart said: "When you think about the fact that every year two bullets for every person on the planet are produced, it is quite clear that the arms trade is out of control. There has never been a greater need to tighten regulations on the arms trade than now.

"Millions of people are dying unnecessarily because weapons are ending up in regions where they are being used to fuel conflict and commit the worst kind of atrocities. These deaths can be prevented if we have a strong human-rights-centred Arms Trade Treaty."

However, Amnesty International warns that the Treaty will only be effective if it is based on binding human rights protections that ensure that all states must prevent transfers of conventional arms where is a substantial risk that those arms will be used to commit serious human rights violations. These essential human rights safeguards are likely to come under serious threat during negotiations, as a small number if sceptical states will seek to weaken or remove them altogether.

Details of this historic Treaty are currently being discussed at the United Nations in New York this July. Talks began on Monday (2 July) and are due to last until 27 July. Delegates from all UN member states are attending the month-long talks where they will agree upon a Treaty by which they want the trade in weapons to be governed.

"To have these talented artists add their support to the millions of voices across the world calling for a strong Arms Trade Treaty underlines the clear message to world leaders: seize this historic opportunity to deliver a robust arms trade treaty that can stamp out irresponsible arms trading, stop shattering the lives of millions and help protect everyone's human rights," said Brian Wood, Amnesty International's Arms Control and Human Rights Manager.


Source: Amnesty International

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