The fight to end the illegal and irresponsible arms trade will press on after delegates at the United Nations failed to reach consensus and agree an Arms Trade Treaty during negotiations in July 2012. The lack of agreement on a final text was disappointing but not the end of the story.
In spite of the lack of agreement, momentum is gathering for an international and legally binding treaty to bring the arms trade under control. Governments now have a second chance to make the treaty a reality by taking the text forward to the General Assembly, in the fall of 2012.
A group of over 90 states, including Canada, gave a joint statement, read out by Mexico, saying they “are determined to secure an Arms Trade Treaty as soon as possible. One that will bring about a safer world for the sake of all humanity.”
Throughout the month there was majority support for the Arms Trade Treaty to cover all conventional arms including ammunition, and to be based around tough rules on international human rights and humanitarian law. In the final hours of negotiations consensus was procedurally blocked by the United States, Russia, DPRK, Cuba and Venezuela who all asked for more time.
The General Assembly must now act quickly to improve the text and establish a process for its agreement.
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