Nations gather for final UN arms trade treaty negotiations

By REUTERS
March 18, 2013 07:04

 
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UNITED NATIONS - Negotiators from around 150 countries gather in New York on Monday for a final push to hammer out a binding international treaty to end unregulated conventional arms sales, a pact that a powerful US pro-gun lobby is urging Washington to reject.

Arms control campaigners and human rights advocates say one person every minute dies worldwide as a result of armed violence, and that a treaty is needed to halt the uncontrolled flow of weapons and ammunition that they argue helps fuel wars, atrocities and rights abuses.

The UN General Assembly voted in December to relaunch negotiations this week on what could become the first global treaty to regulate the world's $70 billion trade for all conventional weapons - from naval ships, tanks and attack helicopters to handguns and assault rifles - after a drafting conference in July 2012 collapsed because the United States, then Russia and China, wanted more time.

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