When is an Arms Fair not an Arms Fair?

When it is a “procurement event for security related technology”. Cardiff Amnesty International lent its support to the campaign opposing the arms trade on Tuesday 27 March. Group members joined a large and lively crowd of fellow activists outside the Motorpoint Arena in opposition to the “Defence Procurement, Research, Technology and Exportability Exhibition” being held in the city.

Like many others, Amnesty members have long been campaigning on the issue of the arms trade and arms control. Since 2003 we have sent letters, signed petitions and proudly worn Rheolwch Arfau T-shirts (Control Arms in Welsh!) as part of the joint campaign by Amnesty, Oxfam and the other members of the Control Arms coalition.

After more than 20 years of campaigning by Amnesty International and partner NGOs the Arms Trade Treaty entered into force in December 2014. This global treaty sets out, for the first time, prohibitions to stop the international transfer between states of weapons, munitions and related items when it is known they would be used to commit or facilitate genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes. However, despite their commitment to regulating the arms trade, many states continue to sell arms to governments that commit serious human rights abuses.

As a group Cardiff Amnesty International call for greater control of the arms trade and oppose the Cardiff Arms Fair. Please write to your PM, AM and Cardiff county councillors objecting to this event taking place in our city in the future.

To learn more about the scale of the global arms trade and Amnesty International’s position by clicking here.

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