NEW YORK, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- The United Nations General Assembly moved forward with ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty on Thursday, less than two years after it was first adopted.
In order to be ratified, the treaty required the signature of 50 member states, a threshold that was reached at a treaty event on Thursday.
The treaty, which regulates international trade in conventional arms, will enter into force on December 24, 2014.
"Today we can look ahead with satisfaction to the date of this historic new Treaty's entry into force. Now we must work for its efficient implementation and seek its universalization so that the regulation of armaments -- as expressed in the Charter of the United Nations -- can become a reality once and for all," remarked U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
At last year's General Assembly, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry explained why he supported ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty. "I signed it because President Obama knows that from decades of efforts that at any time that we work with -- cooperatively to address the illicit trade in conventional weapons, we make the world a safer place. And this treaty is a significant step in that effort."