Posted on 7/27/2012 7:08 PM in Politics
The UN today did not reach an agreement on the Arms Trade treaty designed to regulate the global arms trade. The UN had hoped the treaty would be signed today but many diplomats are blaming the US for causing the failure to reach an agreement. The US on Friday asked for more time to consider the treaty. Hopes were high that an agreement could have been reached on a revised version of the treaty that closed various loopholes. Previously a group of 51 senators had threatened to oppose the treaty if Americans' 2nd Amendment rights were not protected.
Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, the conference chairman, said treaty supporters knew "this was going to be difficult to achieve" and there were some delegations that didn't like the draft though "the overwhelming majority in the room did." He added that some countries from the beginning of negotiations had "different views" on a treaty, including Syria, Iran and North Korea. Despite the failure to reach agreement, Moritan predicted that "we certainly are going to have a treaty in 2012."
Great Britain has been a leading proponent of the treaty. Ahead of Friday's meeting, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg discussed treaty prospects with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in London and told reporters and both urged the treaty's adoption. "Global rules govern the sale of everything from bananas to endangered species to weapons of mass destruction, but not guns or grenades," Clegg said. "This anomaly causes untold suffering in conflicts around the world. 1,000 people are killed daily by small arms wielded by terrorists, insurgents and criminal gangs."
The secretary-general said he was disappointed at the failure to agree on a treaty, calling it "a setback." But he said he was encouraged that states have agreed to continue pursuing a treaty and pledged his "robust" support. At the end of the negotiating session, Mexico read a joint statement from more than 90 countries saying they "are determined to secure an Arms Trade Treaty as soon as possible."
The US had previously required that the treaty be approved by all 193 member nations.