Sat, Mar 30, 2013 - Page 7 News List

UN arms trade treaty blocked

SEEKING CONSENSUS:UN member states have been meeting in a bid to hammer out a binding treaty to end the lack of regulation over cross-border conventional arms sales

Reuters, UNITED NATIONS

If adopted by the General Assembly, the pact will need to be signed and ratified by at least 50 states to enter into force.

Several diplomats and human rights groups that have lobbied hard in favor of the treaty complained that the requirement of consensus for the pact to pass was something that the US insisted on years ago. That rule gave every UN member state the ability to veto the draft treaty.

“The world has been held hostage by three states,” said Anna Macdonald, an arms control expert at humanitarian agency Oxfam. “We have known all along that the consensus process was deeply flawed and today we see it is actually dysfunctional.”

“Countries such as Iran, Syria and DPRK [North Korea] should not be allowed to dictate to the rest of the world how the sale of weapons should be regulated,” she said.

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