The campaign for an Arms Trade Treaty

Episode 5 – An interview with Anna Macdonald and Oliver Sprague, about the campaign to secure a global Arms Trade Treaty.


You can subscribe to the Advocacy Iceberg podcast, if you want to, on iTunes, or follow it on soundcloud


  1. Olly Sprague says:

    Olly Sprague here..I can’t quite believe this, but I got the DATE wrong in my last intervention – some expert hey! The month long conference 2012 not 2013 – It collapsed on the last day of 2012 conference and was fixed and finished in 2013. Sorry all. The point being made however, remains the same.

  2. Jonny @jon_e_g says:

    Fascinating and inspiring, I’ve bookmarked this and I reckon I’ll be referring people to it in future.

    Early on, Olly said governments were arguing that if they didn’t sell the arms, someone else would. I wonder what success Anna and Olly feel they’ve had in overcoming that particular line of argument, what lessons there might be for others facing that sort of argument.

  3. Olly Sprague says:

    Hi Johnny

    In truth these arguments never really go away, but there are mechanisms to deal with them. The first is basically the approach you take, in that you advocate a system that applies the same rules for everyone to follow.

    There are also practical things you can do in the implementation side of things. I’d argue we’ve been quite successful in the EU on arms issues as they’ve put in place specific technical mechanisms to run alongside the rules in place to help ensure that EU member states don’t sell arms where someone else has chosen not too.

    It’s also in my view about how you frame the argument – in you make it more about moral, ethical, value and rule of law based considerations rather than a pure cost benefit type analysis that allows you to make the choice because someone else would do it anyway so you might as well join them. What I mean here is that you make the decision itself “wrong” based on the negative consequences of making it, which would always be wrong irrespective of what anyone else chose to do. There are plenty of other campaigns that have used concepts of “stigma” to make that choice so abhorrent that people would or should refrain from doing it

    • Jonny @jon_e_g says:

      Thanks Olly, good to hear that advocating on right and wrong is reasonable and values do count in the twisty corridors of power.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.