With governments, civil society, and UN leaders on the edge of their seats, consensus for adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty was broken when a small group of States including Iran, North Korea, and Syria, blocked the passage of this life saving instrument. The move came as a surprise as the treaty text commanded a vast majority of support amongst the UN’s 193 Member States.
The radical position of these States in no way means that hope to achieve the Arms Trade Treaty that the world needs is lost. The few delegates who raised their placards signaling opposition, stand against 190 other countries, nearly all of which know the importance of a strong Arms Trade Treaty and want to see its adoption as soon as possible.
It is not a matter of “if” we will achieve an Arms Trade Treaty, but “when.” That “when” is expected to be five days from today, on 2 April, when the President of the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, Peter Woolcott, reports back to the UN General Assembly (UNGA). This expectation was reinforced when the delegation of Kenya read out a statement on behalf of 12 states, calling for the UNGA to adopt the Treaty by vote as soon as possible.
As General Assembly rules stipulate, the majority of States will be responsible for the decision. Consensus or not, the people of the world need an Arms Trade Treaty that saves lives. With the exception of these brutal regimes, we expect the world to deliver them one. Next week.
Click here to view Control Arms press release on the outcome of negotiations.