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Amnesty welcomes Ireland’s second report on control of arms exports

31st January 2014, 14:35:08 UTC

Amnesty International Ireland has welcomed the release today of the Government’s second report on the Irish arms trade under  the Control of Exports Act 2008, covering the period 2011 to 2012.

 Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said: “We welcome Ireland’s continuing to publish information on its export of military and dual use goods or technologies. Ireland is one of few states to publish details of the quantity and destination of dual use exports, that is, products and technologies normally used for civilian purposes but which may have military applications.”

“As with previous reporting, listed are just the licence values, not the values of the goods or technologies actually exported making it difficult to precisely quantify the trade. However we welcome the undertaking that future control of export reports will seek to provide information on the actual value of exports made under global licences. We urge that this happens.”

“We further welcome the comprehensive information in this report on how the Government considers and risk-assesses such license applications, and Ireland’s activities at the EU level during the period. While we would prefer to see annual reports published on an annual basis, this information is nevertheless welcome.

“The report points out that during the period,  the EU’s ‘Torture Regulation’ was extended to cover pharmaceuticals that could be used by states for the purposes of carrying out the death penalty by lethal injection, and  that Ireland established procedures to assist in its control of exports of such products. This is very welcome.”

“We also welcome Minister Bruton’s introductory remarks in the report that ‘the aim of export growth needs to be balanced by national and international priorities in essential areas such as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, human rights and regional conflict’. The international trade in arms and dual use goods is indeed one of the many areas where human rights and trade are mutually supporting.”

“Ireland was one of the states to sign the new global Arms Trade Treaty the day it opened for signature in June 2013. We expect it will shortly ratify this important treaty. We look forward to continuing our constructive engagement with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to ensure that Ireland is one of the leaders in implementing the provisions of that treaty.”