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Friday, October 19, 2012

Renewed Push for a U.N. Small Arms Treaty

It looks like the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which got nowhere during a month of negotiations at UN headquarters in New York last July, is about to get another chance on the global stage. A resolution is likely to be introduced at the UN General Assembly this month calling for a revival of the negotiations at a treaty conference next March in New York.

The difference this time is that the treaty proponents are trying to eliminate the consensus process and allow the treaty to be approved by a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly. That means the United States won’t be able to stop the treaty from being adopted. They also aim to beef up the most current draft version of the text.

Treaty supporters want ammunition, parts and components included within the scope section of the treaty. They want more detailed record-keeping and reporting requirements that eliminate exemptions for “national security” and “commercially sensitive” data. And they insist that there be no exemptions for transfers of arms pursuant to existing defense cooperation agreements.
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