Conflict & Justice

UN General Assembly passes landmark treaty on global arms trade


Delegates to the United Nations General Assembly April 2, 2013 applaud the passage of the first UN treaty regulating the international arms trade. The UN General Assembly on Tuesday adopted the first-ever treaty to regulate the $80-billion-a-year conventional arms trade. The assembly voted 154-3 for a resolution that will open the treaty for signature from June. Syria, North Korea and Iran -- which had blocked the treaty last week -- voted against it. Russia was among the 23 abstentions.



The United Nations General Assembly passed a landmark treaty regulating the $70 billion global arms trade on Tuesday.

The treaty was passed by a vote of 154 to 3, with 23 countries abstaining. Iran, North Korea and Syria were the three that voted against the treaty, which aims to keep the weapons out of the hands of terrorists and gangs, the BBC reported.

The vote on the Arms Trade Treaty followed an earlier attempt to form a 193-member state consensus on the agreement that was blocked by Iran, Syria and North Korea last week.

GlobalPost in-depth: The global race to bear arms

The treaty would link the sale of conventional weapons to human rights abuses for the first time, banning shipments deemed harmful to women and children, The New York Times noted.

Mexico and Britain were among the key driving forces behind the new draft.

Russia, one of the world's largest arms exporters, abstained from the vote.

The treaty does not control the domestic market for weapons in any country, but it will require countries to establish national regulations to control the flow of conventional weapons and regulate arms brokers, said the Associated Press.

The treaty covers "battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons," the AP reported.