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J.Straw on Arms Trade Treaty.

pirate | 16.04.2005 16:39 | Anti-militarism | Social Struggles | Technology | South Coast | World

Jack Straw's reply via Tory leader Micheal Howard on the Arms Trade Treaty proposal- in response to a letter from one of the latters constituents. (It includes a para on the DSEI situ)
Orginal letter was part of Amnesty Intl 'Control Arms Campaign' see their website for full info....

Following received from Jack Straw (via Howard) on the Arms Trade Treaty. Apologies for any typo's.

7 April 05. Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London.

Dear Michael.

Thank you for your letter of 16 March,enclosing one from your constituent, Mr........ ,about the United Kingdom's support for a legally binding international Arms Trade Treaty.

I gave a speech on 30 Setember 2004 which outlined the UK's commitment to press for an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). At a conference organised by Saferworld on 15 March, I expanded on this commitment, outlining six points which will guide the Government's work towards an Arms Trade Treaty (a full copy of the speech is enclosed for your information). Following this speech, I have written to my G8 collegues about my intention to put this issue on the agenda at the G8 Foreign Ministers' meeting in June.

The UK has one of the strictest and most transparent arms export licensing systems of any country. All export licence applications are rigorously assessed on a case by case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licencing criteria (also enclosed for your information), taking account of the circumstances prevailing at the time and other announced Government policies. Our criteria clearly set out our commitment to take account of the risk that exports might be used for either internal repression or external aggression.

The UK Government has been at the forefront of international efforts to strengthen the regulation of the arms trade and proliferation. We were instrumental in getting agreement for an EUCode of Conduct on Arms Exports, and we regularly encourage other countries to adopt stricter and more transparent arms export policies. We are also active members of the key regimes that work to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, such as the Missile technology Control Regime, the Nuclear Suppliers Group, and the Australia Group (which deals with chemical and biological weapons). And we are also signatories to key arms control traties. such as the Ottawa Convention on Anti- Personnel Landmines, the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

Mr ... calls for the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition and Conference in September to be cancelled. The UK has a significant defence manufacturing industry. The Government supports British industry as a whole, and this includes the defence industry. Every country has an inherent right to defend themselves against aggressors, and British equipment can help them do so. THis does not mean that we do not have strict controls about how our defence manufacturers operate and what we allow them to export.

Further information on our work in this area can be found at (the fco website)

Yours ever Jack. (JACK STRAW).


Encl 10 page copy of Straw's speech at Institute of Civil Engineers. 15 March 05

Copy : Consolidated EU & National Arms Export Licencing Criteria. following question from Laura Moffat MP to Peter Hain. (Dated 26 Oct 2000: Column: 200W) 2 sides A4


***Michael Howard comments in a covering letter dated 12 April -05 after the usual 'Further to previous corre'. " It is very ironic, in view of Mr Straw's comments, that the Government is proposing to lift the arms ban on China - a step to which we (the Tories) are wholly opposed."****


Straw's letter is so full of holes(,bullshit & empty rhetoric) you could drive a er tank through it several times.