Iran, N. Korea, Syria Block UN Arms Trade Treaty
Other countries to keep pushing for pact
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2013 1:45 AM CDT
Iran's UN ambassador Mohammad Khazaee addresses the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

(Newser) – Iran, North Korea, and Syria blocked adoption of a UN treaty that would regulate the multibillion-dollar international arms trade for the first time, saying it fails to ban sales to terrorists, but other countries refused to let the treaty die. The treaty's adoption required agreement by all 193 UN member states, but some countries said yesterday they would ask Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to bring the final draft before the General Assembly for adoption as soon as possible.

"This is not failure," British ambassador Jo Adamson said. "Today is success deferred, and deferred by not very long." There has never been an international treaty regulating the estimated $60 billion global arms trade. For more than a decade, activists and some governments have been pushing for international rules to try to keep illicit weapons out of the hands of terrorists, insurgent fighters, and organized crime. After two weeks of intensive negotiations, many delegates had been optimistic that consensus was within reach, but Iran, North Korea and Syria announced they could not support the treaty. This was the second attempt in eight months to get countries with very different interests behind an Arms Trade Treaty.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Mar 31, 2013 4:41 AM CDT
This is not failure," British ambassador Jo Adamson said. Without UN where would Mr Adamson go for free food and drinks? UN IS failure.
Mar 29, 2013 11:40 AM CDT
I can't help but take note of the political agenda in the U.N. Security Council blocking this treaty... remarkably similar to the agendas in the U.S. Congress which have tied up government since Obama was elected President (twice) angering the right-wing, who've lost TWICE. Methinks the U.N. has too closely observed how Washington works!
Mar 29, 2013 7:45 AM CDT
"Iran, North Korea, and Syria blocked adoption of a UN treaty……saying it fails to ban sales to terrorists" Wow, that's kind of ironic since a lot of countries feel those three countries support terrorism. I guess it's all a matter of perspective.