Aug 2012 16

Arms Trade TreatyComments Off on Arms Trade Treaty

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arms-trad-treatyMany people, perhaps you included, were over the moon when the United Nations Arms Treaty failed to pass.

The bad thing, we are afraid, is that this issue may arise again.

UN members states failed to agree on a proposed treaty by the UN that would have regulated the multibillion dollar business that is the arms trade. Some supporters and diplomats have pointed a finger of blame on the US for kick-starting the negotiating conference’s unraveling.

There had been hopes that an agreement might be reached on a revised version of the treaty. The revised treaty closed some major loopholes by Friday’s deadline for action.

The United States, however, stated that it needed more time to take a closer look at the proposed treaty. This move was later also made by China and Russia for the same reason.

In December 2006, the United Nations General Assembly voted on a treaty that would have regulated the ever growing arms trade. The United States, however, cast a ‘no’ vote.

However, this changed in October 2009 when US president Barack Obama reversed the ‘no’ vote that had been cast during the Bush administration. He supported the General Assembly’s resolution to hold four preparatory meetings during a month-long UN conference in 2012 to draft an arms trade treaty.

The obstacle, however, was on Washington’s insistence that the treaty be approved by all 193 members of the United Nations.

The chairman of the conference, Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, said that this was going to be a difficult thing to achieve. This is because even though a great majority of the member states supported it, there was a small minority that was not pleased with the draft.

The ambassador went on to add that from the beginning, there were several countries that held different views towards the draft. These countries included Iran, North Korea and Syria.

Moritan, however, predicted that a treaty was going to be possible by 2012 despite a failure to reach agreement.

The ambassador stated that there was a number of options possible for moving forward which the General Assembly would consider during the summer prior to the body’s new session in September.

Keep checking with us as we keep you posted on any new developments.

Until then, check our portfolio page for Class 3 Weapons.