Support grows for U.N. arms treaty

Oct. 15, 2013 at 11:27 AM

LONDON, Oct. 15 (UPI) -- International momentum is needed to ensure a global arms treaty backed by the United Nations has durability, a non-proliferation group said from London.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in September added his signature to the list of 60 countries backing the treaty since it was introduced in April. Kerry said his signature would help deter the transfer of conventional weapons "used to carry out the world's worst crimes."

Saferworld, a British organization lobbying in support of the measure, said holistic support is needed to make the treaty influential.

"The Arms Trade Treaty will not reverse history in ongoing or recent conflicts," it said Tuesday. "But if implemented rigorously, it can help to prevent arms fueling future conflicts, acts of terrorism, transnational organized crime and violations of international law."

Chatham House, a British think tank, said Kerry's support means little without backing from U.S lawmakers influenced by the National Rifle Association.

The nine-member Africa-China-European Union Export Working Group on Conventional Arms issued a statement Monday in support of the treaty.

"The International community must build on this and continue to pursue rapid entry-into-force and full implementation," China's official Xinhua News Agency quoted the group as saying.

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