Arms Trade Treaty Now Open for Signatures

Will the United States sign the Treaty?

The Arms Trade Treaty approved by majority vote in the United Nations General Assembly in April is now open for signatures.

The treaty will regulate weapons transfers and purchases of conventional weapons between countries.

Reports say ATT covers small and large arms, including combat aircraft and warships.

The UN Office of Disarmament Affairs stated that ATT will “stop destabilizing arms flows to conflict regions” and help “prevent human rights abusers and violators” from obtaining weapons.

Will the United States sign the Treaty?

As the world’s largest arms exporter, speculations started to stir that US will not sign the treaty.

A Glock 17 pistol.

However, n a press statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the US welcomes the opening of the Arms Trade Treaty for signature.

“We look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily.” – Secretary Kerry

According to Secretary Kerry, the Treaty is an important contribution to efforts to stem the illicit trade in conventional weapons, which fuels conflict, empowers violent extremists, and contributes to violations of human rights.

In addition, the Treaty will require the parties to implement strict controls, of the kind the United States already has in place, on the international transfer of conventional arms to prevent their diversion and misuse and create greater international cooperation against black market arms merchants.

Moreover, the ATT will not weaken the legitimate international trade in conventional weapons, interfere with national sovereignty, or infringe on the rights of American citizens, including our Second Amendment rights.

United States Marines train with the AK47.

The US government also congratulates all the states that helped achieve an effective, implementable Treaty that will reduce the risk that international transfers of conventional arms will be used to carry out the world’s worst crimes.

Reports say more than 60 countries signed the UN-brokered treaty on Monday at the General Assembly in New York.

Only 50 countries need to ratify the accord for it to come into force.

Countries which signed the Treaty will be obliged to respect international embargoes and ensure that private and state-brokered arms agreement will not violate human rights.

US Only Supports Arms Trade Treaty Consistent With US Laws

The United States of America voiced conditional US support for UN arms trade treaty earlier this year.

US United States could only be party to an Arms Trade Treaty that addresses international transfers of conventional arms solely and does not impose any new requirements on the U.S. domestic trade in firearms or on U.S. exporters.

United States is the world’s No. 1 arms manufacturer. However, Secretary Kerry highlighted that US would not accept any treaty that imposed new limits on US citizens’ right to bear arms.

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. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.