06/15/2012, 00.00
ASIA

Asian bishops tell world leaders to stop arms trade

Santosh Digal
The Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conference (FABC) calls on heads of state and government to sign the UN arms trade treaty. Global military expenditure and arms trade is worth US$ 1 trillion annually.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "Arms trade is a major cause of human rights abuses," said Archbishop Charles Bo of Yangon. In an appeal to Asia's bishops, the president of the Office of Human Development of the Federation of the Asian Bishops' Conference (FABC) calls on world leaders to sign the Arms Trade Treaty. Between 2 and 27 July, world powers are set to meet in New York to negotiate the UN-sponsored treaty that would regulate conventional weapons trade.

The FABC's campaign in its favour is based on a number of points: no arms for atrocities, genocide, or violence against humanity; no arms for violation of human rights or humanitarian law; responsible transfers of weapons with transparency; and accountability and respect for sustainable development and peaceful coexistence.

"Some governments spend more on military expenditure than on social development, communications infrastructure and health combined," Mgr Bo noted. "Global military expenditure and arms trade is $ 1,000 billion dollars, annually."

The possession, production and trade of weapons have deep ethical and social implications, the FABC press release said. For this reason, "They must be regulated by paying due attention to specific principles of the moral and legal order. Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

 

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