UN arms treaty negotiations end without deal
Negotiations at the UN to support the final draft of a UN treaty to regulate the $60billion global arms trade ended without agreement yesterday.
The US and China confirmed they needed more time to consider the issue. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon declared his disappointment at the failure to agree on this treaty and defined it “a setback”.
Some delegates and also some diplomats, quoted by Foreign Policy, but asking not to be named, said: “It’s the fault of the United States that we failed, they derailed the process and we will have to wait for the US presidential elections in November to get out of the impasse.”
The negotiations that led to this draft were the result of a six-year campaign of a coalition of NGOs including Oxfam and Amnesty International.
Amnesty Secretary General Salil Shetty expressed his concern for the delay saying: “With one person dying every minute because of armed violence, there is an imperative for powerful states to lead. President Obama has asked for more time to reach an agreement. How much more time does he want?”
Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association expressed an even stronger point of view: “It was a lack of political will on the part of President Obama to take this historic opportunity to reduce the effect of the illicit arms trade.”
Conference chairman Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan acknowledged that some countries had objected to the final treaty draft, but prized, however, the 90 countries who signed it. Among them there were members from European Union, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa.
Most UN member states were in favour of a strong treaty, but activists said that at times negotiations were stopped by objections and disruptions from a minority of the states including Syria, North Korea, Iran, Egypt and Algeria.
At this point the test of the draft will be sent back to the UN General Assembly, which will reunite again next autumn.