Absence of regulations for arms trade "defies explanation": Ban Ki-moon

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (file photo).

The absence of international standards for the global trade in conventional weapons defies explanation.

That's what United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at the opening of the Final Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty in New York on Monday.

According to the Secretary-General, after a very long journey, a robust Arms Trade Treaty is in sight.

He said that the trade in conventional arms touches on many complex matters of commerce, national security, human rights, as well as humanitarian law and policy.

"This is no doubt a difficult issue. Yet the absence of the rule of law in the conventional arms trade defies explanation. We have international standards regulating everything from t-shirts to toys to tomatoes. There are international regulations for furniture. That means there are common standards for the global trade in armchairs but not the global trade in arms. Families and communities around the world have paid a heavy price." (31")

Secretary-General Ban said that poorly regulated international arms deals undermine sustainable development, foster armed conflict and undercut the United Nations peacekeeping, peacebuilding and humanitarian efforts.

He pointed out that armed violence kills more than half a million people each year, including 66,000 women and girls.

Don Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'xx"

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