Controlling Weapons: Over 60 countries sign arms treaty

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the treaty will “put an end to the ‘free-for-all’ nature” of weapons dealing


Afp June 04, 2013

UNITED NATIONS: More than 60 countries on Monday signed a landmark conventional arms trade treaty, but the United States held back from joining the first wave of signatories while Russia and China are expected to stay out of the accord.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the treaty will “put an end to the ‘free-for-all’ nature” of weapons dealing, according to his spokesman Martin Nesirky.

The treaty covers tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, as well as the vast trade in small arms.

Countries which ratify the treaty would have to evaluate before making a deal whether it risks breaching an international embargo, violate human rights law, or could be used by terrorists or criminals.

The opening of signatures was described as an “extremely important milestone” by ministers and other representatives of Argentina, Australia, Britain, Costa Rice, Finland, Japan and Kenya.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2013.

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