Iran, North Korea cause trouble for UN arms trade treaty

By REUTERS
March 28, 2013 23:30

Iran and North Korea on Friday objected to the adoption of the first international treaty to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade, complaining that it fails to ban weapons sales to rebel groups.

Peter Woolcott of Australia, the president of the UN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, adjourned the final session of the 10-day meeting to hold last-minute consultations with the Iranian and North Korean delegates in an attempt to persuade them to join the consensus needed to approve the draft treaty.

UN diplomats said there was still a chance Woolcott could salvage the process and secure the required unanimity to adopt the treaty on Thursday. If the conference fails to adopt it, it can be put to a vote in the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Syria also voiced serious concerns about the draft treaty, though it did not formally block its adoption. Iran and North Korea were the only two of the 193 UN members to formally block approval of the draft.


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