UN to vote today on first arms trade regulation treaty

The UN General Assembly is due to vote on what would be the first treaty to regulate the 70 billion dollar global trade in conventional arms. The vote comes a week after Iran, North Korea and Syria blocked the treaty's adoption by consensus.

Supporters of the treaty say it is needed to keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists and organized crime. The treaty would prohibit states from exporting conventional weapons in violation of arms embargoes, or weapons that would be used for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or terrorism. It would also require states to prevent conventional weapons reaching the black market. Diplomats have worked for nearly a decade to agree on a set of principles to control the flow of such arms.
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