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UN adopts pact to regulate multibillion-dollar global arms trade

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day dreamer
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UN adopts pact to regulate multibillion-dollar global arms trade

Post by day dreamer on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 12:51 pm

UN adopts pact to regulate multibillion-dollar global arms trade


Published April 02, 2013

FoxNews.com





The U.N. General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved the first U.N. treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar international arms trade.

The resolution adopting the landmark treaty was approved by a vote of 154 to 3 with 23 abstentions.

The 193-member world body voted after Iran, North Korea and Syria blocked its adoption by consensus at a negotiating conference last Thursday. The three countries voted "no" on the resolution.

The National Rifle Association has portrayed the draft treaty as a threat to gun ownership rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and has lobbied to defeat the proposal at the U.N. The NRA last week praised the Senate's passage of an amendment to the Democratic budget proposal that would prevent the U.S. from entering into the treaty.




'It would be pointless for the president to sign such a treaty and expect the Senate to go along. We won’t ratify it.'

- Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.


The Obama administration, however, formally supported the U.N. treaty-- despite the warnings from Senate lawmakers that they would not ratify it.

"The Senate has already gone on record in stating that an Arms Trade Treaty has no hope, especially if it does not specifically protect the individual right to bear arms and American sovereignty," Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who backed the amendment, said, The Washington Times reported. "It would be pointless for the president to sign such a treaty and expect the Senate to go along. We won’t ratify it."

Australian Ambassador Peter Woolcott, who chaired the negotiations, said the treaty will "make an important difference by reducing human suffering and saving lives."


SUMMARY
There has never been an international treaty regulating the estimated $60 billion global arms trade. For more than a decade, activists and some governments have been pushing for international rules to try to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime.


"We owe it to those millions—often the most vulnerable in society—whose lives have been overshadowed by the irresponsible and illicit international trade in arms," he told the assembly just before the vote.

The vote capped a more than decade-long campaign by activists and some governments to regulate the $60 billion global arms trade and try to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime.

It will not control the domestic use of weapons in any country, but it will require countries to establish national regulations to control arms transfers.

It 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. A phrase stating that this list was "at a minimum" was dropped, according to diplomats, at the insistence of the U.S. Supporters complained that this limited the treaty's scope.

Hopes of reaching agreement on what would be a landmark treaty were dashed last July when the U.S. said it needed more time to consider the proposed accord — a move quickly backed by Russia and China.

In December, the U.N. General Assembly decided to hold a final conference and set Thursday as the deadline for reaching agreement.

There has never been an international treaty regulating the estimated $60 billion global arms trade. For more than a decade, activists and some governments have been pushing for international rules to try to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime.

"It's important for each and every country in the world that we have a regulation of the international arms trade," Germany's U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig told the AP. "There are still some divergencies of views, but I trust we can overcome them."

The Associated Press contributed to this report


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/04/02/un-adopts-pact-to-regulate-multibillion-dollar-global-arms-trade/#ixzz2PKTVH5NQ


Last edited by day dreamer on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 12:55 pm; edited 1 time in total

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U.N. passes sweeping international arms regulation viewed by some as Second Amendment override

Post by day dreamer on Tue 02 Apr 2013, 12:54 pm

U.N. passes sweeping international arms regulation viewed by some as Second Amendment override



The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday signed off on a sweeping, first-of-its-kind treaty to regulate the international arms trade, brushing aside worries from U.S. gun rights advocates that the pact could lead to a national firearms registry and disrupt the American gun market.

The long-debated U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) requires countries to regulate and control the export of weaponry such as battle tanks, combat vehicles and aircraft and attack helicopters, as well as parts and ammunition for such weapons. It also provides that signatories will not violate arms embargoes, international treaties regarding illicit trafficking, or sell weaponry to a countries for genocide, crimes against humanity or other war crimes.

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SEE RELATED: New Connecticut gun law to ban another 100 weapons

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With the Obama administration supporting the final treaty draft, the General Assembly vote was 154 to 3, with 23 abstentions. Iran, Syria and North Korea voted against it.

American gun rights activists, though, insist the treaty is riddled with loopholes and is unworkable in part because it includes “small arms and light weapons” in its list of weaponry subject to international regulations. They do not trust U.N. assertions that the pact is meant to regulate only cross-border trade and would have no impact on domestic U.S. laws and markets.

Critics of the treaty were heartened by the U.S. Senate’s resistance to ratifying the document, assuming President Obama sent it to the chamber for ratification. In its budget debate late last month, the Senate approved a non-binding amendment opposing the treaty offered by Sen. James M. Inhofe, Oklahoma Republican, with eight Democrats joining all 45 Republicans backing the amendment.



Enlarge Photo
** FILE ** U.N. forces patrol a street in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, ... more >
Sen. Jerry Moran, Kansas Republican, said Tuesday that passing a treaty Iran, Syria and North Korea will just ignore will only serve to constrain law-abiding counties like the U.S.

“The U.S. Senate is united in strong opposition to a treaty that puts us on level ground with dictatorships who abuse human rights and arm terrorists, but there is real concern that the Administration feels pressured to sign a treaty that violates our Constitutional rights,” Mr. Moran said. “Given the apparent support of the Obama Administration for the ATT, members of the U.S. Senate must continue to make clear that any treaty that violates our Second Amendment freedoms will be an absolute nonstarter for ratification.”

Mr. Inhofe likewise said Mr. Obama should take the Senate vote seriously.

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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Second Amendment and Gun Control

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“It’s time the Obama Administration recognizes [the treaty] is already a non-starter, and Americans will not stand for internationalists limiting and infringing upon their Constitutional rights,” the Oklahoma Republican said. “Furthermore, this treaty could also disrupt diplomatic and national security efforts by preventing our government from assisting allies like Taiwan, South Korea or Israel when they require assistance.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday that “we are pleased to join with the consensus” on the treaty, adding that before the White House gets to planning on how to get it through the Senate, it will first review and assess the language of the treaty itself.

Despite the Senate vote, numerous groups have pressured Mr. Obama to support the treaty, and Amnesty International hailed Tuesday’s vote.

“The voices of reason triumphed over skeptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses,” said Frank Jannuzi, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA.

The American Bar Association also released a white paper arguing that the treaty would not affect Second Amendment rights.

General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic said Tuesday that the lack of a regulatory framework on the import and transfer of conventional arms “has made a daunting contribution to ongoing conflict, regional instabilities, displacement of peoples, terrorism and transnational organized crime.”

“Whatever the outcome of today’s meeting, for a treaty to be effective, we will need to keep working together to fulfill its goals,” he said.


Under the treaty, countries must also consider whether weapons would be used to violate international humanitarian or human rights laws, facilitate acts of terrorism or organized crime.

Proponents had hoped that the treaty could be ratified by acclamation at a final negotiating conference last week, but Syria, Iran and North Korea objected.

Some abstaining countries, like India and Egypt, felt the treaty did not go far enough on its language regarding terrorism or human rights.



Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/2/un-passes-international-arms-regulation-treaty/?page=2#ixzz2PKVV5F56
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter


Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/apr/2/un-passes-international-arms-regulation-treaty/#ixzz2PKVJKLhK
Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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