In Jack Straw's first full day at the Foreign Office, Campaign Against Arms Trade are calling for him to consider several core measures to be included in the draft Export Control and Non-proliferation Bill. CAAT are also urging him - now the election is safely over - to release the delayed foreign office report on mercenaries, initially due out last winter.
Core measures needed for the draft export bill include:
- More detailed information to be contained in the Strategic Exports Controls annual reports. A minimum requirement would be details of the quantity of equipment exported and of the end-user in the recipient country. Moreover, details of training and technical assistance should be included in the report. The government should also be publishing details of overseas licensed production within the annual report.
- The UK to use its sovereign powers to impose unilateral arms embargoes (such as the US does) to express its disapproval of overseas government's human rights violations or territorial aggressions.
- Giving the government powers necessary to operate systematic and effective controls on the 'end use' of the equipment it has licensed for export.
CAAT cautiously welcomes the government's Export Control Bill. However, with arms sales to areas of conflict (Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, Israel, Zimbabwe, and Morocco - to cite a few) Robin Cook's past four years marked a serious deficit between policy as rhetoric and policy as delivery. We wish Jack Straw and his new team well in addressing this difference.
For more information please contact Richard Bingley on +44-(0)-20 7 281 0297 or 07947 230426