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Global Arms Trade Treaty approved by UN on second attempt

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Tactical weapons display by Houston Police DepartmentPhoto by Joseph Earnest


by Joseph Earnest April 2, 2013  

Newscast Media NEW YORKA treaty regulating cross-border trade in conventional weapons has been approved by the United Nations General Assembly. The treaty was put to an assembly vote after diplomats failed to pass it unanimously.

The General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the UN's Arms Trade Treaty in a vote on Tuesday, as 154 countries voted in favor of the proposal, three opposed it and a further 23 abstained. The treaty needed two-thirds approval to pass.

Syria, Iran and North Korea, which together blocked the treaty last week as UN diplomats sought consensus approval for the motion, voted against it on Tuesday. India, Sudan, Indonesia and Russia were among the countries that abstained.

Individual member states must now ratify the treaty domestically. It will be officially recognized once 50 countries have done so.

Australian Ambassador Peter Woolcott, who chaired the negotiations, said the treaty would "make an important difference by reducing human suffering and saving lives."

"We owe it to those millions - often the most vulnerable in society - whose lives have been overshadowed by the irresponsible and illicit international trade in arms," Woolcott told assembly members in his final appeal before they voted.

Under the terms of the treaty, countries planning to sell weapons abroad would agree to assess the risk of the arms being used to commit crimes against humanitarian and human rights law. If this risk was deemed "overriding" and could not be mitigated, the treaty said the deal would have to be stopped.  Add Comments>>


Source: Deutsche Welle







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