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Tutu urges small arms treaty proposals from developing nations

[JURIST] Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu [Nobel profile] and international NGO Oxfam [advocacy website] Thursday called on developing nations to submit proposals for a conventional weapons convention to the United Nations [official website]. Tutu urged developing nations especially to submit proposals for the convention, saying that trade in conventional weapons, especially small arms, "is the modern slave trade" and that developing nations need to add their voices to the UN's open hearing on the issue. Oxfam released a report [PDF text] in 2006 noting that the small arms trade severely threatened business and commerce in a growing number of developing nations and urged the UN to adopt a Conventional Arms Convention.

Over 150 countries voted [press release] last year in favor of a UN resolution [PDF text] to begin work on a conventional arms treaty [JURIST report]. UN member nations have until the end of June to submit proposals [government submissions, via Control Arms]. Oxfam and Tutu have expressed concern that so far there has been little response from developing nations. Reuters has more.

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