Thousands of civilians around the globe are killed each year by weapons that are sold, transferred by governments or diverted to unscrupulous regimes, criminals, illegal militias and terrorist groups. A lack of high common international standards in the global arms trade aids the problem. A meeting to finalize the Arms Trade Treaty is set for March 18-28, 2013. Galen Carey, NAE Vice President for Government Relations, joined with many other stakeholders in encouraging the President to lead the world in supporting a strong international Arms Trade Treaty.

Dear Mr. President,

We live in a world where daily reports of violence on nearly every continent fill our newspapers and television screens. There is no single cause or simple solution for this evil. But the absence in many countries of laws governing the international sale of weapons fuels international black and grey markets that put weapons in the hands of warlords, drug dealers, terrorists, and thugs. The U.S. has the opportunity to lead the world in addressing this epidemic by supporting a strong international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which would make it much harder for terrorists and warlords to get their hands on weapons and ammunition.

The ATT would not affect domestic U.S. gun laws or limit trade between legitimate international actors. As the largest arms exporter in the world, with strict regulation and oversight of international weapons transfers, the U.S. is well positioned to take a lead in advocating for an effective ATT that includes ammunition and strong humanitarian protections.

One treaty alone cannot end war and violence. But the ATT can help keep weapons out of the hands of those threatening U.S. troops, missionaries, humanitarian workers and innocent civilians around the globe. A safer and more stable world benefits all of us. The U.S. should demonstrate its global moral leadership by working to finalize the ATT by the end of March.


Winnie Bartel
President, Women in Touch Ministries

Stephan Bauman
President & CEO, World Relief

Galen Carey
Vice President for Government Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals

Noel Castellanos
CEO, Christian Community Development Association

Patricia Chappell, SNDdeN
Executive Director, Pax Christi USA

Marie Dennis
Co-President, Pax Christi International

Paul de Vries
President, New York Divinity School

Rev. Mitch Hescox
President, Evangelical Environmental Network

Dr. Joel C. Hunter
Senior Pastor, Northland- A Church Distributed

Sr. Sheila Kinsey
Franciscan Sisters Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Sr. Marie Lucey, OSF
Franciscan Action Network

David Neff
Executive Vice President, Christianity Today

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/ Hispanic Evangelical Association

Rev. Gabriel Salguero
President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC)

Peter Vander Meulen
Coordinator, Office of Social Justice, Christian Reformed Church in North America

Jim Winkler
General Secretary, United Methodist Church

Church of the Brethren
Conference of Major Superiors of Men
Disciples Justice Action Network
Presbyterian Church (USA)
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries