The arms trade can fuel ongoing conflicts and lead to serious human rights violations by repressive regimes and armed groups. Peace organisation PAX works towards stricter and more effective Dutch and international arms transfer controls. Since 2003 it has been an active member of the Control Arms Coalition committed to work towards a strong UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT).
The Netherlands is one of the world’s top 10 arms suppliers, dominated by sales of naval vessels and related electronic equipment, as well as aerospace components and surplus Defence equipment. Despite export control systems at national and international (EU + UN) levels, implementation of control policies leave room for interpretation. Security and human rights concerns risk being dominated by economic and foreign policy interests.
PAX critically monitors Dutch arms exports. Through public campaigning and political advocacy we work towards stricter (implementation of) export controls, including for emerging technologies.
Control Arms is the international coalition of civil society organisations that has worked towards the Arms Trade Treaty, which was agreed in April 2013. More than one hundred civil society organisations throughout the world, including PAX, are part of Control Arms. This coalition continues to strive for a world where deadly weapons are kept out of the wrong hands.
In the run-up to the treaty in 2013, PAX, Amnesty International and Oxfam Novib campaigned to get the Dutch government to vote in favor of the ATT, including a petition with 90,000 signatures.
In December 2014 the ATT entered into force and as of March 2017, 91 countries are States Parties and another 41 are signatories.
PAX continues to work towards the treaty’s universalisation and strong implementation.