General Assembly approves global arms trade treaty

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Mr. Vuk Jeremic, President of the 67th General Assembly session

The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday approved a global arms trade treaty, to regulate conventional arms. The categories of arms affected include, battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms as well as light weapons.

The resolution establishing the treaty was passed with 154 votes in favour. Three Member States – the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran and Syria – voted against the decision and twenty three countries abstained.

The vote on the treaty follows last Friday's failure of the Final UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to reach consensus and unanimity among all 193 Member States at the conclusion of two weeks of talks and negotiations.

General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic, addressing delegates in the Assembly, described the text of Treaty as robust and actionable.

“It is also in many ways groundbreaking. It indicates that arms exporting countries would be legally bound to report arms sales and transfers. They would also be obliged to make an assessment as to whether the weapons they sell could be used to facilitate human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law.”

The treaty respects and protects the rights of its signatories to regulate the buying and selling of conventional armaments, both domestically and internationally. It also protects the right of States to define the conditions under which their citizens may own and operate arms.

Gerry Adams, United Nations

Duration: 1’43″

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