The Security Council adopted a resolution Thursday with 14 votes in favor to none against, with Russia abstaining, that calls for action to avoid the proliferation of small arms.
The council said the measure deals exclusively with light weapons and reminds member states of their obligation to "prevent the supply, sale, transfer or export of small arms and light weapons in contravention of [Security] Council embargoes."
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told member states the measure was needed to prevent the spread of arms fueling conflict in Mali and Afghanistan.
"The world is over-armed and peace is under-funded," he said in a statement.
Parts of Mali were seized by al-Qaida and its supporters following a 2012 coup. Low-grade conflict is simmering in Afghanistan more than 10 years after the U.S.-led invasion.
The resolution on small arms and light weapons follows the landmark signature of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. Kerry said the treaty, introduced in April and signed by more than 60 countries, will help deter the transfer of conventional weapons "used to carry out the world's worst crimes."