GENEVA, Switzerland, July 27 (UPI) -- Conventional weapons are among the leading threats to international peace and stability, a U.N. official said from Geneva amid debates over an arms treaty.
Friday marks the deadline for drafting the first legally binding international arms treaty. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed frustration over the progress of the monthlong discussions at U.N. headquarters.
Some governments have supported certain provisions under consideration, though U.S., Russian and Chinese officials expressed reservations.
Alfred de Zayas, an envoy on international order for the United Nations, said worlds leaders need to seize the opportunity to advance a treaty. "The time is ripe" for a treaty that regulates the arms trade, he said.
"World peace is threatened not only by weapons of mass destruction but also by conventional weapons which have led to countless violations of human rights, including the rights to life and to physical integrity," he added in a statement.
Non-governmental organizations monitoring weapons proliferation note there are more international regulations governing the trade of bananas than there are conventional weapons.
The global weapons trade is worth at least $60 billion per year.
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