US Signs Arms Trade Treaty
Kerry signs the Treaty
US Secretary of State John Kerry today signed the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) at the United Nations which seeks to promote international peace and global security.
ATT also controls the global arms trade and is aimed at keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors.
In his speech at the Arms Trade Treaty Signing Ceremony in New York City, Secretary Kerry says the Treaty addresses the problem of illicit trade in conventional weapons in global context.
Secretary Kerry says the Treaty is a significant step in that effort and keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors as well.
A tower of confiscated smuggled weapons about to be set ablaze in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Keeping the illegal arms from terrorists
According to Secretary Kerry, the Treaty is about reducing the risk of international transf asers of conventional arms that will be used to carry out the world's worst crimes.
"This is about keeping Americans safe and keeping America strong." - Secretary Kerry
He adds the Treaty is also about advancing important humanitarian goals.
ATT strengthen US security
Secretary Kerry stresses that ATT will keep America safer and builds global security without undermining the legitimate international trade in conventional arms which allows each country to provide for its own defense.
He says through the ATT, it will the world closer to the possibilities of peace as well as a security, a higher level of a security, and the promotion and protection of human rights.
"That, frankly, is a trifecta for America, and that's why we're proud to sign this treaty today." - Secretary Kerry
Kerry: This treaty will not diminish anyone's freedom.
Secretary Kerry explains that the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes.
He says the treaty reaffirms the sovereign right of each country to decide for itself, consistent with its own constitutional and legal requirements, how to deal with the conventional arms that are exclusively used within its borders.
"What this treaty does is simple: It helps lift other countries up to the highest standards." - Secretary Kerry
He says it requires other countries to create and enforce the kind of strict national export controls that the United States already has in place.
Reports say the US is one of 106 nations to sign the agreement, which requires participants to establish rules to control the export and import of tanks, combat vehicles and aircraft, warships, missile and artillery systems, small arms and light weapons, and to regulate arms brokers.
ATT has been ratified by six countries and needs a total of 50 before it can go into effect.
Two-thirds of the world's countries support a global Arms Trade Treaty.
UN: Adoption of the ATT "is the only path to more accountability, openness and transparency in the arms trade"
The UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) started on 18th of March in New York which brings Member States together to continue negotiations on what is seen as the most important initiative ever regarding conventional arms regulation within the UN.
UN asserts that adoption of the ATT "is the only path to more accountability, openness and transparency in the arms trade."
According to UN, at the end of 2010, an estimated 27.5 million people were internally displaced as a result of conflict, while millions more have sought refuge abroad. The world's body reports that the armed violence that drove them from their homes was fuelled by the widespread availability and misuse of weapons.
Four weeks of negotiations ended in July 2012 without agreement.
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.
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