On Thursday, October 22, the Finnish foreign ministry announced that new arms export licences to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will not be granted. Save the Children thanks the government for this decision to restrict selling of arms to parties of the conflict in Yemen.
This decision is an expression of exemplary political responsibility of the government. In its deliberations, the government highlighted the alarming humanitarian situation in Yemen.
– With the decision of the government, Finland shows that the country does not want to contribute to the continuation of the conflict, nor to increase the suffering of children in Yemen, says Tapio Laakso, Save the Children’s Advocacy Advisor.
– Sale of arms or other equipment intended for military purpose to the parties of the conflict can significantly escalate violations of children´s rights and expose them to the extreme violence and suffering, continues Laakso.
– Save the Children welcome the suspension of arms sale also as this likely puts added pressure on the parties to find a peaceful solution. Previously, Denmark and Germany, among others, have made similar decisions concerning arms export.
Popular support for ending arms exports
The petition of Save the Children Finland to stop selling of arms to all parties of the conflict has obtained more than 8,600 signatures. This shows that Finnish citizens are very concerned about the consequences of the export of arms. People do not want to see Finnish arms and other military equipment being used in violent conflicts like that in Yemen, that cause immense suffering for children and other civilians.