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London cautious about arms trade treaty

July 13, 2012 at 11:09 AM
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LONDON, July 13 (UPI) -- A British official said there's no point in agreeing on an arms trade treaty that falls short because "there will always be a tomorrow."

International delegates are gathered this month at U.N. headquarters in New York to discuss prospects for a global arms trade treaty. Most of the members of the United Nations support the treaty, though some members such as China have expressed concern about the scope of the measure.

Alistair Burt, British foreign minister for counter proliferation, told lawmakers it was too early to make any predictions about the outcome of the monthlong debate. There's no point, he said, in embracing a treaty that's ineffective.

"There will always be a tomorrow. That is important," he said in a statement. "Whether or not this is as successful as we want -- it is highly unlikely to be written as we would want it -- there will always be the opportunity of a further process."

The United Nations stated that $2.2 billion worth of weapons and ammunition found their way into countries under arms embargoes.

At least 750,000 people are killed by illegal weapons each year. Advocacy groups note there are more international regulations regarding the trade of fruit than there are for weapons.

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