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UN Arms Treaty Talks Resume

  • VOA News

Negotiations begin again this week to reach an agreement on what could be a landmark U.N. treaty to regulate the multi-billion dollar global arms trade.

Talks resume Monday at U.N. headquarters. Weeks of talks in July ended in failure when the United States, Russia and China asked for more time.

Arms control supporters say a treaty is needed to prevent the unregulated and illicit flow of weapons into conflict zones fueling wars and atrocities.

The U.S. - the world's top weapons producer - reaffirmed Friday that it opposes any pact that includes ammunition because of the financial and administrative burden of keeping checks.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a treaty that includes ammunition.

Washington also opposes any text that goes against the U.S. Constitution's second amendment rights to bear arms.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said the country is committed to a strong arms trade treaty, but will only agree on a "treaty that addresses international transfers of conventional arms," not "domestic trade in firearms or on U.S. exporters."

Amnesty International's Deputy Executive Director Frank Jannuzi says "the unfettered trade of conventional arms has contributed to the deaths of more than 500,000, the displacement of millions, widespread rape and the recruitment and exploitation of children as soldiers."

Salil Shetty, Amnesty International's secretary general, says "it shouldn't take millions more dying and lives destroyed before leaders show some backbone and take action to adopt global standards to effectively control international arms transfers."

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