U.N. weapons trade regulation talks resume

March 17, 2013 at 10:15 PM
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NEW YORK, March 17 (UPI) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations this week will try to reach an agreement on a treaty to regulate global conventional weapons trade.

Rights groups say the lucrative illegal arms business is the main cause of violent conflicts around the world, The New York Times reported Sunday.

The U.N. negotiations that were suspended in an impasse in New York eight months ago are scheduled to resume Monday and conclude March 28, the Times reported.

"I am confident that member states will overcome their differences and muster the political will needed to agree on this landmark treaty," said Ban.

Advocates for the treaty effort say it is the most important U.N. initiative on conventional weapon regulation. It would affect no fewer than eight categories, such as small arms, missiles and missile launchers, tanks, combat aircraft and warships. Member states would be required to monitor cross-border weapons trade and set up a standardized system of background checks on weapons recipients, the Times reported.

"The United States could only be party to an Arms Trade Treaty that addresses international transfers of conventional arms solely and does not impose any new requirements on the U.S. domestic trade in firearms or on U.S. exporters. We will not support any treaty that would be inconsistent with U.S. law and the rights of American citizens under our Constitution, including the Second Amendment," U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

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