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pwaldo
07-29-2012, 09:43 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/arms-treaty-must-wait-un-agreement-fails-045218709.html?_esi=1


A U.N. treaty to regulate the multibillion-dollar global arms trade will have to wait after member states failed to an reach agreement, and some diplomats and supporters blamed the United States for the unraveling of the monthlong negotiating conference.

Hopes had been raised that agreement could be reached on a revised treaty text that closed some major loopholes by Friday's deadline for action. But the U.S. announced Friday morning that it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty and Russia and China then also asked for more time.

"This was stunning cowardice by the Obama administration, which at the last minute did an about-face and scuttled progress toward a global arms treaty, just as it reached the finish line," said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "It's a staggering abdication of leadership by the world's largest exporter of conventional weapons to pull the plug on the talks just as they were nearing an historic breakthrough."

A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, also blamed the U.S., saying "they derailed the process," adding that nothing will happen to revive negotiations until after the U.S. presidential election in November.

Chief U.S. negotiator Thomas Countryman refused to talk to several dozen reporters when the meeting broke up.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said in a statement Friday evening that the U.S. supports a second round of negotiations next year.

"While we sought to conclude the month's negotiations with a treaty, more time is a reasonable request for such a complex and critical issue," the satement said.

The draft treaty would require all countries to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and to regulate arms brokers. It would prohibit states that ratify the treaty from transferring conventional weapons if they would violate arms embargoes or if they would promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes.

In considering whether to authorize the export of arms, the draft says a country must evaluate whether the weapon would be used to violate international human rights or humanitarian laws or be used by terrorists, organized crime or for corrupt practices.

Many countries, including the U.S., control arms exports but 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.

AUTaxMan
07-30-2012, 12:16 AM
I really don't know how important an international arms treaty is. I am always skeptical of anything that is pushed by the U.N., which almost never has the best interests of U.S. in mind.

Wickabee
07-30-2012, 03:00 PM
I really don't know how important an international arms treaty is. I am always skeptical of anything that is pushed by the U.N., which almost never has the best interests of U.S. in mind.

They're the UN. Their mandate isn't to have what's in the US's best interest (and for an American to think it should be is quite egotistical). Their mandate is what's best for everyone not any one country.

AUTaxMan
07-30-2012, 04:02 PM
They're the UN. Their mandate isn't to have what's in the US's best interest (and for an American to think it should be is quite egotistical). Their mandate is what's best for everyone not any one country.

Yes, but national sovereignty comes before international benefit.

Wickabee
07-30-2012, 08:29 PM
Yes, but national sovereignty comes before international benefit.

And life is full of give-and-take.