UN gathers for arms trade treaty talks

2013-03-18 20:39
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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New York - The UN General Assembly gathered on Monday morning to begin the final talks on the long-contested Arms Trade Treaty aiming to regulate the international sale of arms and ammunition.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon kicked off the negotiations reminding the assembly that the lack of regulations on international arms trades leads to widespread human rights abuses with half a million people dying each year due to weapons obtained illegally or used for genocide.

"We have international standards regulating everything from T-shirts to toys to tomatoes," Ban said on Monday. "That means there are common standards for the global trade in armchairs, but not the global trade in arms."

After six years in the making, a final draft of the treaty was produced last July, but negotiations hit a wall when the US joined China and Russia in their attempt to delay the agreement.

The three countries are among the world's top five arms exporters.

Ban said on Monday he hopes the present talks will lead to the ratification of last year's final draft instead of starting negotiations all over.

"After a very long journey, our final destination is in sight: a robust arms trade treaty," Ban said.

Read more on:    un  |  ban ki-moon  |  new york

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