Subscription 790/year or 190/quarter

Think Norway was too passive

Norway receives criticism from Amnesty for not raising arms issues with China.


[small arms] China may block the International Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Norway supports the agreement, but did not raise the issue during last week's meeting with China.

- The agenda for the meeting was long, but ATT was not part of the talks, says State Secretary Raymond Johansen (Labor).

He emphasizes that arms trade has been the subject of meetings between Norway and China in the past.

This coming Monday, the UN will hold a conference on small arms in New York. Kaja Glomm, project manager for the "Control Arms" campaign in Amnesty International Norway, says the conference will be extremely important, also for Norway.

- Here, Norway can show that they are serious about the Soria Moria declaration and the promises to work for a legally binding agreement on arms trade, says Glomm.

Secretary of State Johansen confirms that he has requested a meeting of the Chinese ambassador to the conference.

The initiators behind "Control Arms" believe the large availability of small arms, and a lack of international regulations, have enormous consequences for most people. Handguns take more lives each year than the nuclear bombs

Hiroshima and Nagasaki worked together.

The "Control Arms" campaign has soon collected images of one million people supporting the work on an international handgun agreement. The photos will be handed over to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at Monday's conference in New York. The international project has been named "Million Faces" and Amnesty in Norway has collected about 12.000 faces. They can be seen in the face of Jonas Gahr Støre. A large mosaic of the Foreign Minister was unveiled in front of the Storting last week.

Kalashnikov supports ATT

[support] In front of the big New York Weapons Conference, the man who created the famous Russian rifle AK-47, Mikhail Kalashnikov, is working on an international agreement restricting the use of small arms.

"I do not worry that my weapons are used in resistance and in self-defense, but when I see peaceful people being wounded and killed by these weapons, I am very upset," the 86-year-old former Soviet general told The Times this week.

"Avtomat Kalashnikova 47" is named after its founder and the year it was introduced in the Soviet army. Rifla quickly became a popular weapon because of its reliability. Today, there are ten times more AK47s than any other similar weapon.


  • 1000 people are killed each day with small arms.
  • Oxfam, Ansa and Amnesty International are collaborating on the "Control Arms" campaign.
  • Norway is the world's 14th largest arms exporter, and the largest in terms of population.
  • Ten times more handguns are produced than what is destroyed.
  • 90 percent of all killings in conflict areas are committed with small arms.

You may also like