Statement from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on the International Arms Trade Treaty – 3 June 2013.

CAPE TOWN: – The opening for signature today of the Arms Trade Treaty, adopted by the United Nations, is a critical moment in the development of human beings.

It is one of those rare occasions when all members of the human family, regardless of how they look or where they live, have the opportunity to unite behind a common, righteous cause.

For thousands of years people have invented and developed an extraordinary array of tools to settle arguments (and seize each other’s belongings) by causing each other physical harm. The unregulated sale and barter of these deadly weapons has resulted in untold suffering. The only people who have ever benefited from this travesty are the manufacturers of the weapons and the corrupt facilitators of and participants in their transactions.

Now, for the first time, the international community is taking tangible steps to stop the blight.

The Arms Trade Treaty carries the hope of a more peaceful era on earth. We can end the suffering caused by the unregulated sale of deadly weapons. The moment is at hand.

I urge all nations to sign the treaty and implement its provisions in their legal frameworks without delay.


This statement was issued for the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation by Oryx Media.