UNITED STATES NEWS

Talks begin at UN on global arms trade treaty

Jul 3, 2012, 5:34 PM

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The world’s nations began a final push Tuesday for the first legally binding global treaty that would regulate the international arms trade and try to prevent the transfer of weapons to armed groups and terrorists.

The 193-member U.N. General Assembly is expected to approve the treaty, which has been in the works since 2006, when the U.S. voted against the resolution that launched the process. The Obama administration later reversed the George W. Bush administration’s position and supported an assembly resolution to hold this year’s four-week Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon opened the conference after a delay amid reports of disagreement over the role of the Palestinian delegation. Ban said that while the world has made progress on regulating weapons of mass destruction, work on conventional arms has lagged.

“Our common goal is clear: a robust and legally binding Arms Trade Treaty that will have a real impact on the lives of those millions of people suffering from the consequences of armed conflict, repression and armed violence,” Ban said. “It is ambitious, but it is achievable.”

Led by the United Kingdom, nations have worked to create a treaty that would promote transparency and accountability in the arms trade and prevent international transfers of arms that contribute to serious human rights violations, armed conflict, U.N. sanctions violations, organized crime and terrorist acts. It would not ban the sale of any kinds of guns.

As the escalating conflict in Syria loomed over the conference, questions remained on whether a final treaty would contain strong human rights provisions or cover ammunition as well.

The foreign ministers of the U.K., France, Germany and Sweden wrote in a Monday editorial in the Guardian newspaper that the treaty “should cover all types of conventional weapons, notably including small arms and light weapons, all types of munitions, and related technologies. It is also of great importance that the treaty includes strong provisions on human rights, international humanitarian law and sustainable development.”

In April, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for international security and nonproliferation, Thomas Countryman, reiterated U.S. support for a treaty, but not one that regulates ammunition.

“We want any treaty to make it more difficult and expensive to conduct illicit, illegal and destabilizing transfers of arms,” he said. “But we do not want something that would make legitimate international arms trade more cumbersome than the hurdles United States exporters already face.”

Supporters of a treaty say it will close loopholes that allow arms dealers to evade the strict laws that already exist in countries like the U.S. and transfer guns through weaker states. Only 52 nations have laws regulating arms brokers, and less than half of those impose criminal or monetary penalties for illegal gun sales, according to Oxfam America.

Republicans in Congress have expressed their opposition. Last week, in a letter to President Barack Obama, 130 members wrote that a treaty was “likely to pose significant threats to our national security, foreign policy, and economic interests as well as our constitutional rights.” They called for the rejection of any treaty that would prevent the U.S. from supplying arms to allies like Israel and Taiwan.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Associated Press

The Latest | Israeli strikes in Rafah kill at least 5 as ship comes under attack in the Gulf of Aden

Palestinian hospital officials said Israeli airstrikes on the southern city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip killed at least five people. More than half of the territory’s population of 2.3 million have sought refuge in Rafah, where Israel has conducted near-daily raids as it prepares for an offensive in the city. In central Gaza, four […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Colleges nationwide turn to police to quell pro-Palestine protests as commencement ceremonies near

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — With graduations looming, student protesters doubled down early Thursday on their discontent of the Israel-Hamas war on campuses across the country as universities, including ones in California and Texas, have become quick to call in the police to end the demonstrations and make arrests. While grappling with growing protests from coast […]

4 hours ago

Anti-Abortion activists rally outside the Supreme Court, Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Washington. ...

Associated Press

Supreme Court justices unconvinced state abortion bans conflict with federal health care law

Conservative Supreme Court justices are skeptical that state abortion bans enacted after the overturning of Roe v. Wade violate federal law.

9 hours ago

Lisa Pisano looks at photos of her dog after her surgeries at NYU Langone Health in New York on Mon...

Associated Press

New Jersey woman becomes second patient to receive kidney from gene-edited pig

A New Jersey woman who was near death received a transplanted pig kidney that stabilized her failing heart.

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Instagram fraudster ‘Jay Mazini’ has been sentenced for his crypto scheme that preyed on Muslims

NEW YORK (AP) — The former Instagram influencer known as “ swindled millions of dollars from online followers and a network of Muslims during the pandemic was sentenced to seven years in prison on Wednesday, prosecutors said. Jebara Igbara, 28, of New Jersey, had pleaded guilty to fraud charges, admitting that he created a Ponzi […]

10 hours ago

Associated Press

Connecticut Senate passes wide-ranging bill to regulate AI. But its fate remains uncertain

HARTFORD (AP) — The Connecticut Senate pressed ahead Wednesday with one of the first major legislative proposals in the U.S. to reign in bias in artificial intelligence decision-making and protect people from harm, including manufactured videos or deepfakes. The vote was held despite concerns the bill might stifle innovation, become a burden for small businesses […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Talks begin at UN on global arms trade treaty