The United Nations Approves Global Arms Control Treaty

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero addresses the Millennium Development Goals Summit at the United Nations headquarters in New York, September 20, 2010. (EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

On Tuesday the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to approve a first of its kind global arms trade treaty. After years of wrangling, 154 countries voted in support of the treaty, 3 against and 23 abstained.

The treaty mandates that conventional weapons not be transferred to countries that are subject to U.N. arms embargoes or to states that promote genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes.

Republican Senators and at least one Democrat immediately condemned the treaty, calling it a "non-starter" and vowing to oppose Senate ratification. And without ratification, it's just another piece of paper.

As a consultant for the U.N.'s lead ambassador on the treaty, Rachel Stohl knows more about this issue than most. She is also a senior associate at the Stimson Center.


Rachel Stohl

Produced by:

Arwa Gunja and Elizabeth Ross

Comments [3]

DLMC from Brklyn

Shame talking heads do not realize when they lie about one thing it puts a big red flag on all their other commentary. Ms. Stohl's complete denial of reality about this treaty and the US Senate makes me doubt any other statements she made about how beneficial the treaty is.

Apr. 03 2013 10:00 PM

About 31,000 gun-related deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries occur annually. When one looks at this from proven injury control methodology, one realizes that a range of strategies are required to impact the annual twenty thousand gun related suicides and the 10,000 gun related homicides and the 1000 or so deaths from accidents. One simple and achievable intervention to reduce deaths from suicide for example would be to require gun owners to keep their guns in gun lockers.

Apr. 03 2013 04:13 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

The U.N. is a great peacekeeper on paper.

What are the consequences for people who don't follow the U.N. Arms agreement? Probably nothing.

Arms Dealers are laughing about this. They will be making more money.

Apr. 03 2013 12:25 PM

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