On Monday, negotiations for the first international treaty governing arms trade will begin in New York, with a goal of obtaining an agreement by mid-2012. The NAE invites members to join evangelicals around the world in praying for God’s guidance on international negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty.

“Psalm 29:11 tells us that ‘The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace,’” said Galen Carey, NAE Director of Government Affairs. “We pray that God will guide negotiators to develop wise agreements that meet the legitimate security needs of the participating states, while choking off the supply of weapons to groups that abuse and terrorize people.”

The United States already imposes strict controls on international weapons sales, but many other countries do not. The vast majority of weapons and ammunition in use in the world’s trouble spots, such as Sudan, Somalia and Congo, is produced abroad and sold to governments, rebel groups and terrorists.

Evangelical missionaries and aid workers in conflict torn countries witness devastation and havoc caused by imported arms and ammunition that fall into the wrong hands. A well-crafted international agreement could close current arms trade loopholes, save lives, and lead to more peaceful development in some of the world’s most troubled lands.

Last month, Bishop Elias Taban, head of the Sudan Evangelical Alliance, wrote an open letter to Christians in the West.

“It is time for guns to be buried and churches, schools, and medic clinics to be built on the graves of guns,” Taban said. “We need your continued prayers for the peace of Sudan and our region, so we ask you to pray that this treaty will … provide protection for countries like ours as we face the many challenges ahead of us and our children.”

This potential multilateral treaty would govern the international trade of conventional weapons, but would not in any way regulate domestic gun sales.