Sadly this issue covers most industrialised nations. British arms deals 'disgraceful'
Wednesday, 08 Oct 2008 http://www.politics.co.uk/news/opinion-former-index/foreign-policy/british-arms-deals-disgraceful--
The British government's record on arms deals is "disgraceful", the Liberal Democrat development spokesman has said.
"The British government's disgraceful record on arms sales has shown how political expediency, economic self-interest and corruption outweigh the development concerns, and the human rights records, of the countries the UK sells arms to," Michael Moore said.
His comments come as development charity Oxfam publishes a report highlighting the effects of arms deals on the societies which western powers sell weapons to. The report says the deals not only stoke conflict, but leave deprive funds from schools and hospitals.
"As well as prolonging and intensifying conflicts, the poorly regulated arms trade causes huge levels of waste, corruption and debt," said Jeremy Hobbs, head of Oxfam International.
"This is money that is unlikely to be providing security and could be used instead for hospitals, schools and infrastructure."
Oxfam and the Liberal Democrats are calling on the government to drive forward progress at this month's UN-based Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) negotiations.
"If we are serious about our responsibilities to the developing world, the international community must tackle every issue hindering development," Mr Moore continued.
"Countries like the US, China and Russia must get on board the ATT process."
Oxfam is calling for the treaty to include clear criteria on arms transfers which include the effects on sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals.