Last Updated:August 28 @ 07:56 am

UN fails to reach global arms treaty

By AP Staff

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Member states failed to reach agreement Friday on a new U.N. treaty to regulate the multibillion dollar global arms trade, and some diplomats and supporters blamed the United States for triggering the unraveling of the monthlong negotiating conference.

Hopes had been raised that agreement could be reached on a revised treaty text that closed some major loopholes by Friday's deadline for action. But the U.S. announced Friday morning that it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty - and Russia and China then also asked for more time.

"This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "It's a staggering abdication of leadership by the world's largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough."

A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, also blamed the U.S., saying "they derailed the process," adding that nothing will happen to revive negotiations until after the U.S. presidential election in November.

The chief U.S. negotiator refused to talk to several dozen reporters when the meeting broke up.

The draft treaty would require all countries to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and to regulate arms brokers. It would prohibit states that ratify the treaty from transferring conventional weapons if they would violate arms embargoes or if they would promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

In considering whether to authorize the export of arms, the draft says a country must evaluate whether the weapon would be used to violate international human rights or humanitarian laws or be used by terrorists, organized crime or for corrupt practices.

Many countries, including the U.S., control arms exports but there has never been an international treaty regulating the estimated $60 billion global arms trade. For more than a decade, activists and some governments have been pushing for international rules to try to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime.

The U.N. General Assembly voted in December 2006 to work toward a treaty regulating the growing arms trade, with the U.S. casting a "no" vote. In October 2009, the Obama administration reversed the Bush administration's position and supported an assembly resolution to hold four preparatory meetings and a four-week U.N. conference in 2012 to draft an arms trade treaty.

The United States insisted that a treaty had to be approved by the consensus of all 193 U.N. member states.

Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, the conference chairman, said treaty supporters knew "this was going to be difficult to achieve."

He said negotiations failed because some delegations didn't like the draft though "the overwhelming majority in the room did." He added that some countries from the beginning of negotiations had "different views" on a treaty, including Syria, Iran and North Korea.

Amnesty's Nossel accused the U.S. of raising eleventh-hour issues "and wanting more time to consult with itself," which stopped the momentum toward agreement.

Despite the failure to reach agreement, Moritan predicted that "we certainly are going to have a treaty in 2012."

He said there are several options for moving forward in the General Assembly which will be considered over the summer, before the world body's new session begins in September.

Ambassador Jean-Hugues Simon-Michel, who led the French delegation, called Friday's result "the worst-case scenario."

"I'm disappointed but not discouraged," he said. "The ball is now in the court of the General Assembly but the risk is that countries may want to start negotiations from scratch."

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said the General Assembly needs to decide whether to move forward with the treaty text that was close to adoption or reopen old issues.

"What we have now is an uncertain outcome that leaves in doubt the support of the major arms exporters and importers, including the U.S. and Russia, and that needs to be overcome," he said. "This is a delicate moment and it's going to require real leadership on the part of key states including the European countries, Washington and others."

The powerful National Rifle Association in the U.S. has portrayed the treaty as a surrender of gun ownership rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. The politically controversial issue has re-emerged since last week's shooting at a Colorado cinema that killed 12 people.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of 51 senators threatened to oppose the treaty if it falls short in protecting Americans' constitutional right to bear arms. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the senators expressed serious concerns with the draft treaty, saying it signaled an unacceptable expansion of gun control.

But the draft treaty reaffirms "the sovereign right and responsibility of any state to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory, pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems." And it states clearly that the treaty's aim is to establish the highest standards "for regulating, or improving the regulation of the international trade in conventional arms" - not domestic trade.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of 51 senators threatened to oppose the treaty if it falls short in protecting Americans' constitutional right to bear arms. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the senators expressed serious concerns with the draft treaty that has circulated at the United Nations, saying that it signals an expansion of gun control that would be unacceptable.

During negotiations, the United States objected to any requirement to report on exports of ammunition, and that remains out of the latest draft. It does call for every country to regulate the export of ammunition.

Britain has taken the lead in pushing for a treaty.

Ahead of Friday's meeting, Britain's Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg discussed treaty prospects with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in London and both urged the treaty's adoption.

"Global rules govern the sale of everything from bananas to endangered species to weapons of mass destruction, but not guns or grenades," Clegg said. "This anomaly causes untold suffering in conflicts around the world. 1,000 people are killed daily by small arms wielded by terrorists, insurgents and criminal gangs."

The secretary-general said he was disappointed at the failure to agree on a treaty, calling it "a setback." But Ban said he was encouraged that states have agreed to continue pursuing a treaty and pledged his "robust" support.

At the end of the negotiating session, Mexico read a joint statement from more than 90 countries saying they "are determined to secure an Arms Trade Treaty as soon as possible."

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18 Comments

  1. Pingback: UN Fails To Reach Global Arms Treaty – Red Alexandria

  2. ndmember46Comment by ndmember46
    July 28, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    Well Boo-Hoo! The United States didn’t just quietly walk to the gallows, like the evil people wanted us to.

    Folks, if they take our guns, we’re on our way to the gallows and there will be nothing we can do about it. They SAY they just want to get rid of guns, so we can have peace, but the truth is they will do anything to have control over us.

    Even if they ban all private citizens from having firearms, you’re fools if you believe that CRIMINALS will be without weapons. Once OUR GOVERNMENT takes our guns away, the OTHER CRIMINALS will have no mercy on us. They will be free to rape, rob and murder us and we will have no defense.

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    Rating: 4.9/5 (33 votes cast)
    • bna42Comment by bna42
      July 28, 2012 @ 10:09 am

      “Even if they ban all private citizens from having firearms, you’re fools if you believe that CRIMINALS will be without weapons.”

      So I suppose that means that all of us law-abiding citizens who refuse to relinquish our weapons will become criminals at the stroke of a pen.

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      Rating: 4.7/5 (28 votes cast)
    • nax777Comment by nax777
      July 28, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

      Yep and the R’s stand with the D’s as usual.
      Nothing dead about this UN arms treaty, the players feel very confident that it will never die. The moment they are confident that they will write the program’s that lets you know who is a terrorists, insurgent fighters and organized crime etc…. and who is not it will be handed to US Houses and get a quick pass.
      I know my two Senators (D&R) see this treaty as a threat to hunting and fishing rights. That’s as far as our (not their) sovereignty and second amendment rights go. They are to whom the appeasing sound bites apply too?

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    • speedy7201Comment by speedy7201
      July 28, 2012 @ 10:22 pm

      BNA42- Here is thwe link to the Fema Camp locations. There are over 800.

      http://www.thetruthbehindthescenes.org/2011/12/09/fema-camps-locations-and-executive-orders/

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  3. jcmooreComment by jcmoore
    July 28, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    Most of us citizens are already criminals if obscure laws are to be enforced. The unconstitutional government is waiting for a propitious time to enslave the population (by means of ever increasing encroachments on our civil liberties). Why do you think that there are already eighty some FEMA camps in place throughout the United States? The criminals will be the constitutional patriots who fight back against a totalitarian government controlled by The New World Order. Disarmament of the citizen is a primary step used by governments (Hitler’s, Stalin’s, Mao’s and others). Our Houses of Congress must NOT be allowed to let this happen. Most of the members (Representatives & Senators) must be voted out and replaced by Constitutionalists who will uphold their sworn duty.

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      July 28, 2012 @ 10:57 am

      “Why do you think that there are already eighty some FEMA camps in place throughout the United States?”

      jcmoore,

      I have heard about these FEMA camps, but can you give the location of ANY of them? Where are they? What act of Congress authorized them? Who at FEMA is responsible for operating them?

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  4. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    July 28, 2012 @ 10:45 am

    A ‘setback for the UN’? First good news related to the UN that I have seen in a long time, even if it is only a temporary setback. To really make my day though,I will have to see the total abolishment of the UN, or at least any US participation in it.Those international arrangements that are to our benefit, in the main, predate the establishment of the UN, and would continue even if the UN ceased to exist.

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    • speedy7201Comment by speedy7201
      July 28, 2012 @ 10:25 pm

      Even IF Clinton had signed the Treaty, it had to be ratified by the Senate and Harry Reid finally did something right and stated that the senate would not sign off on the treaty IF it infringed on any of our Second Amendment rights. Now we know why the NRA backed Harry Reid, which at this point is fine with me.

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  5. antithesisofreedomComment by antithesisofreedom
    July 28, 2012 @ 10:57 am

    Here, here! I raise my water glass to this uplifting news. If any of our ELECTED officials had anything to do with this ‘unraveling’ they are to be congratulated. How can we find a vote counter/tabulation(?) to find out who voted how?

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  6. Robert LaCoeComment by Robert LaCoe
    July 28, 2012 @ 11:13 am

    We won, sort of, for now, but the back door gang is in full speed ahead mode to take our guns. Keep after your congress person to fight this as an amendment can be added at any time to make our constitution invalid.Please support the 2Nd amendment groups. I am a member and recruiter for the NRA, but I also belong to 2 other pro gun groups. Your number and dollars are needed to fight the one world gang.

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  7. montie364Comment by montie364
    July 28, 2012 @ 11:43 am

    1,000 people are killed daily by small arms wielded by terrorists, insurgents and criminal gangs.
    And thousands more are killed by corrupt governments that represent the UN.

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    • ndmember46Comment by ndmember46
      July 28, 2012 @ 12:01 pm

      Millions of firearms owned by private citizens killed no one, but those are the weapons our government seeks to ban.

      And yes, law-abiding, patriotic Americans who refuse to give up their guns will automatically become criminals. I have read that the order has already been given, that any Americans who refuse to give up their guns will be killed…..and it will all be “legal,” because our government did it!

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      July 28, 2012 @ 12:09 pm

      “I have read that the order has already been given, that any Americans who refuse to give up their guns will be killed”

      I certainly wish I knew where you read that, and I would relish a copy of that article. But this only enforces the idea that you need to possess firearms that the government has no record of you purchasing. Firearms bought from friends or from newspaper ads can not be tracked and therefore can’t be confiscated when Big Brother knocks on your door.

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  8. genesalComment by genesal
    July 28, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    The United States pays Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood), Pakistan (Terrorists and protectors of Terrorists), Jordan (anti-Israel), Russia, Palestine (Terrorists) and even pays for their weapons that they in turn use against us, such as Russia arming Iran.

    They should be paying us for having weapons! Not trying to take them away!

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    Rating: 5.0/5 (16 votes cast)
  9. OldpatriotComment by Oldpatriot
    July 28, 2012 @ 1:08 pm

    We the people finally won one! The individual senators want to get reelected above all else, including us. The senators did that letter to save themselves first. This administration is so profoundly in the dark they actually think one hundred million gun owners are going to give up their rights for a treaty backed first by Pakistan and North Korea? Fat chance. Stop wasting our time and move the UN to Brussels where it belongs.

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    • Mort_fComment by Mort_f
      July 28, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

      Better they move the UN to Riyadh, or even Islamabad. Pyongyang anyone?

      I do remember one business trip that my boss, the ‘world traveler’ sent me by myself. It was not on his ‘bucket’ list.Actually it was a nice trip to Hermosillo, Mexico, and the Mexican government troops treated me very well.

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    • bgintnComment by bgintn
      July 28, 2012 @ 3:16 pm

      My suggestion would be inside the Blue Line in Lebanon.

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  10. superinfidelComment by superinfidel
    July 29, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

    Let the rest of them sign it. Leave us alone.

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