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No agreement on the weapons treaty

· Disappointment of the Secretary General of the United Nations ·

The Secretary General of the United Nations said he was deeply disappointed with the failure of the Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty. Its adoption by consensus, that is, unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly, was blocked by North Korea, Iran and Syria at the end of two weeks of negotiations. Ban Ki-moon emphasized in a note that it was a balanced text that would have established effective common standards to regulate the international trade in conventional arms. The Secretary General now “strongly hopes that Member States will continue exploring ways to bring the Treaty into being” and “to make this happen as soon as possible”. The supporters of the the UN document hope for a broad consensus should there be a vote in the General Assembly next week, where the aim will be to obtain approval from two thirds of the 193 member states.

The United Nations had seemed close to reaching the historical agreement on the first global and binding International Treaty on the arms trade after the change made to the position of the United States by President Barack Obama. Until then the United States had been opposed to subjecting their own arms trade to international restrictions. The majority of the African and Latin American countries in particular had done their utmost to obtain consensus on the Arms Trade Treaty, while nevertheless considering it weak in such aspects as missiles control and the banning of weapons such as drones – most of the African and Latin American countries in particular had done their utmost.

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St. Peter’s Square

Aug. 25, 2019

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