UN General Assembly approves Arms Trade Treaty
Delegates to the United Nations General Assembly applaud the passage of the first UN treaty regulating the international arms trade in conventional arms at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, April 2, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
UNITED NATIONS - The UN General Assembly on Tuesday voted to adopt the Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates the multi-billion-US dollar international arms trade.
The landmark treaty was adopted by a vote of 154 to 3, with 23 countries, including Russia and India, abstaining from the vote.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Iran and Syria voted against the treaty.
The vote at the General Assembly took place after the UN conference on the treaty failed to adopt the pact last week due to a lack of consensus among 193 UN member states.
After its adoption by the General Assembly, the treaty needs to be signed and ratified by at least 50 countries to enter into force.
The last negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty ended in July last year without agreement after the United States dashed the hope of the agreement by saying that it needed more time to consider the proposed accord.
The UN General Assembly in December 2006 voted to begin on a new but last round of talks on the treaty regulating international trade in conventional weapons. Earlier last week, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said that reaching consensus through compromise on all sides is long overdue.
Armed violence, the secretary-general noted, kills more than half a million people each year, including 66,000 women and girls.
In addition, between 2000 and 2010, almost 800 humanitarian workers were killed in armed attacks and another 689 injured, according to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.