U.N. Passes Arms Trade Treaty as Middle East Implodes


the paper

Illegal arms traffickers reportedly upset by loss of business
by Sofi Muñoz
News Co-Editor

un-building1

The United Nations made history on April 2 when the General Assembly passed the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the first coordinated international effort to regulate the $70 billion global arms trade. Efforts to restrict the sales of weaponry began nearly two decades ago, but were often vetoed by countries that benefitted from arms sales. Yet last Tuesday, the vast majority of member-nations, including the world’s largest arms exporter, the United States, adopted the measure in what U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called, “a victory for the world’s people.” The tally of votes revealed that the treaty was supported by 154 countries; 23 nations chose to abstain and only three countries (Syria, North Korea, and Iran) voted no.

The UN’s unprecedented move shows just how problematic the arms trade has become, particularly the trafficking of smaller arms because…

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