After failing to pass the Arms Trade Treaty at the United Nations (UN) by the initial July 27 deadline, the fight to stem the deadly flow of arms around the world continues.
In the final hours of negotiations, consensus was procedurally blocked by the United States, Russia, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela. We’d expect objections from countries like North Korea and Russia, but are severely disappointed that the United States joined the effort to prevent the treaty from being adopted. A lack of political courage is being blamed for the decision. However, there will be opportunities moving forward to push for an effective treaty to be adopted by the UN this fall.
According to a statement released by the Control Arms Coalition, “In spite of today’s lack of agreement, momentum is gathering for an international and legally-binding treaty to bring the arms trade under control. Governments now have a second chance to make the treaty a reality by taking the text forward to the [UN] General Assembly, in the fall.”
“The four-week long negotiations [during July] at the UN in New York ended with more than 90 countries joining a statement reiterating their commitment to see the process succeed as soon as possible,” Amnesty International said.
The Arms Trade Treaty offers the international community an important tool to prevent genocide and mass atrocities. The unrestricted flow of arms has enabled governments to commit widespread violence against civilians in places like Sudan and Syria. United to End Genocide will continue to support the passage of an Arms Trade Treaty as the debate continues at the UN this fall.