The Herald Bulletin

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April 2, 2013

UN adopts treaty to regulate global arms trade

(Continued)

UNITED NATIONS —

The treaty prohibits states that ratify it from transferring conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. It also prohibits the export of conventional arms if they could be used in attacks on civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.

In considering whether to authorize the export of arms, the treaty says a country must evaluate whether the weapon would be used to violate international human rights or humanitarian laws or be used by terrorists or organized crime. They must also determine whether the weapons transfer would contribute to or undermine peace and security.

The treaty also requires parties to the treaty to take measures to prevent the diversion of conventional weapons to the illicit market.

Ammunition was been a key issue in negotiations, with some countries pressing for the same controls on ammunition sales as arms, but the U.S. and others opposed such tough restrictions.

The final text calls for each country that ratifies the treaty to establish regulations for the export of ammunition "fired, launched or delivered" by the weapons covered by the convention.

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