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Restrict the arms trade?
The attempts to get an arms trade treaty that have been going on for most of the month (see our forum topic Will the UN succeed in creating a binding arms trade treaty?) have ended in failure. The proposals would have needed to be adopted by consensus and with more than 170 nations involved in the negotiations persuading everyone to sign on to an agreement was always going to be difficult. As William Hague has said “to be fully effective, the treaty will need very broad – ideally universal – participation.”
In particular both Russia and the United States would need to be on board as two of the biggest manufacturers of weapons and neither was willing to commit just yet arguing they needed more time to clarify and resolve issues they had with the draft. The United States is the biggest arms manufacturer in the world and is well known for having used arms supplies as a policy in the past; often arming rebel groups to fight governments who the US disagrees with such as the Afghanistan Mujahedeen while fighting the USSR. Such a treaty would make these policies even more illegitimate than they already are.
However just because negotiations have failed in the last month of talks does not mean that there will be no arms trade treaty. Negotiations will simply move to the United Nations General Assembly where it could be adopted by a two thirds majority so it almost certainly already has the votes.
Debatabase debate: This House believes that the UN should restrict arms sales to rogue nations http://idebate.org/debatabase/debates/international-affairs/house-believes-un-should-restrict-arms-sales-rogue-nations