US, biggest exporter, signs landmark UN arms treaty

Dawn: UNITED NATIONS: US President Barack Obama’s administration signed a UN treaty Wednesday to track exports of firearms and other conventional weapons, offering a major boost to the pact despite opposition at home.

The United States is the world’s largest exporter of conventional arms, accounting for 30 per cent of the $90 billion global industry. The landmark treaty aims to curb weapons shipments to extremists and conflict areas.

Secretary of State John Kerry, signing on behalf of the United States in an oversized book at the UN headquarters, called the treaty a “significant step”for global peace efforts.

“This is about keeping weapons out of the hands of terrorists and rogue actors,” Kerry said after signing the Arms Trade Treaty in front of UN officials.

“This treaty strengthens our security and builds global security without undermining the legitimate international trade in conventional arms,” he said.

A spokesperson for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the US signature as having “particular significance” and said the treaty would “contribute to efforts to reduce insecurity and suffering for people on all continents.”

Kerry devoted much of his remarks to assuaging concerns inside the United States, where the weapons industry holds sizable political sway.

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Categories: Americas

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