Almost 70 states sign UN arms agreement
UNITED NATIONS - The Associated Press
MP Colonel Michael Joseph Kelly of Australia signs the first international treaty regulating global arms trade at the United Nations in New York City.More than 65 countries have signed the landmark treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade and the United States announced it will sign soon, giving a strong kickoff to the first major international campaign to stem the illicit trade in weapons that fuel conflicts and extremists.
The announcement on June 3 by United States Secretary of State John Kerry that the U.S. - the world’s largest arms dealer - will sign is critical, but the treaty’s ultimate strength rests on support by all major arms exporters and importers.
While the treaty was overwhelmingly approved on April 2 by the United Nations General Assembly, key arms exporters including Russia and China and major importers including India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Egypt abstained and have given no indication yet that they will sign it.
Signatures are the first step to ratification, and the treaty will only take effect after 50 countries ratify it.