2 Mar 2012

UN treaty may hamper gun exports to human rights violators

5:08 pm on 2 March 2012

The onus could be placed on gun exporting countries to consider whether human rights are being violated by the nations importing their weapons before a trade can go ahead.

This is one of the protocols under the planned United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.

Negotiations are due to start in July and a Pacific delegation has this week been developing a common regional position on a document that aims to limit the misuse of guns in the community.

One delegate at the Brisbane meeting is Ema Tagicakibau of the Pacific Small Arms Action Group.

She says under the Treaty exporters will be required to assess whether there is instability or human rights violations in the gun-importing countries.

"They have a greater responsibility in the Treaty not to transfer arms. So they will be held liable if international humanitarian law and human rights law continue to be violated. It puts responsibility on exporters, export countries."

Ema Tagicakibau