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September 14, 2021

YES to a credible peace policy

Bruno-Itan_cutout_Brazil
Bruno-Itan_cutout_Brazil

Today, September 15, the National Council debated the corrective initiative. To the great delight of the Alliance against Arms Exports to Civil War Countries, the National Council and the Council of States have taken up and implemented all their core concerns. The initiative, for which terre des hommes switzerland is campaigning, will therefore be withdrawn. A great day for a credible peace policy. Now it is a matter of keeping a close eye on the implementation of the proposed legislation.

The corrections initiative calls for a matter of course, writes the Alliance against arms exports to civil war countries in its media release of September 15, 2021: From now on, arms exports should no longer be regulated by the Federal Council itself, but democratically at the legislative level.

Instead of arbitrary decisions, clear red lines and moral standards are needed that must not be transgressed. Specifically, deliveries to civil war countries and to states that seriously or systematically violate human rights should be banned.

A good compromise

In its counter-proposal, which the Federal Council presented at the beginning of March, the majority of the concerns of the initiative were met. In order to keep a loophole open, it wanted to introduce an exception clause, which the Council of States deleted and thus corrected, to the happy surprise of the initiative committee.

Today the National Council followed the proposal of the Council of States. As the counter-proposal is a good compromise, the Alliance against Arms Exports to Civil War Countries refrains from a referendum and withdraws the corrective initiative.

Great success for the alliance of NGOs and civilians

Since the launch of the Corrective Action Initiative in 2018, numerous volunteers from NGOs, including terre des hommes switzerland, and the civilian population have been actively involved and have thus been able to achieve this great success. The strong implementation of the Corrective Action Initiative by parliament was more than necessary to finally ban arms exports to civil war countries once and for all.

"Now it's a matter of keeping a close eye on the implementation of this legislative proposal," says Andrea Zellhuber from the development policy team at terre des hommes switzerland. "What exactly does this mean for licensing practice?"

Stop arms exports to Brazil

In the view of the development organization for young people, Brazil is a country to which no more weapons should be exported in the future. "Because in the most populous state in Latin America, human rights violations happen systematically," says Andrea Zellhuber, referring to the Study by terre des hommes switzerland "Stop killing us!" on police violence against children and youth in Brazil and arms trafficking.

Photo © Bruno Itan (detail), terre des hommes switzerland

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