UN global arms treaty talks end without agreement

Mock graveyard set up by UN building in New York. 25 July 2012 Pro-treaty campaigners set up a mock graveyard for arms' victims near the UN building in New York

Related Stories

Negotiations at the UN to achieve a landmark treaty to regulate the conventional arms trade have ended without agreement.

The US, followed by Russia and China, said they needed more time to consider the issues.

The BBC's Barbara Plett at the UN said it was a disheartening end to a month of intense negotiations.

However, the conference chairman said he was confident a treaty could be agreed by the end of the year.

Some delegates accused the US of bowing to domestic pressure from the powerful gun lobby in the run up to presidential elections, our correspondent says.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group of 51 US senators threatened to oppose any agreement that infringed on the constitutional right to bear arms.

Despite the setback, conference chairman Roberto Garcia Moritan said the eventual adoption of an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was inevitable.

"I don't have any doubt, because there is a need," he said.

"We need a treaty and we will have a treaty."


  • United States
  • Russia
  • Germany
  • France
  • United Kingdom

Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was disappointed at the failure to agree on a treat and called it "a setback".

But he said he was encouraged that countries had agreed to continue pursuing a treaty and pledged his "robust" support.

The negotiations were the result of a six-year campaign by a coalition of non-governmental organisations, including Amnesty International and Oxfam.

Amnesty Secretary-General Salil Shetty expressed frustration at the delay.

"With one person dying every minute because of armed violence, there is an imperative for powerful states to lead," he said.

"President Obama has asked for more time to reach an agreement. How much more time does he want?"

The text of the draft resolution is now likely to be sent back to the UN General Assembly in the autumn.

The global arms trade is estimated to be worth between $60bn and $70bn (£40-50bn) per year.

Some 750,000 people are killed by illicit weapons each year.


More on This Story

Related Stories


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    Unfortunately no US President will ever go for this cos of the 2nd Amendment. If they put it to the ppl for a vote it might be different, but that will never happen either. As for China and Russia .. well enough said eh!

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    The opening ceremony was a remembrance of how the British were once great and not now. They give the flame to the future and finish with the past with another portrait of PMcCartney with his crap songs again. That time piece gets too much exposure and is abviously only there for the money. The British always looking back and the anti climax just proves it. Mind u there is nothing to look forward 2

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    I'm fairly sure Americans are wise enough to know that machine guns should not be available, off the shelf, to the civilian population at all. Although there could be a rush to buy them before they run out. Like bread, water or milk.

    There are many ways for a country to shoot themselves in the foot - if only it were just the foot. It's human nature to panic and escalate the need to protect.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    ...and the reason for our Second Constitutional Amendment...? We, the filthy Colonists were trying to protect ourselves from another government like the British Monarchy (not that we don't love you now). ;-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    At a minimum, the new treaty must require states to withhold approval for the international transfer of arms in contravention of UN embargoes or when there is a substantial risk the items will be used to commit serious violations of human rights. Despite its strong, pro-human rights rhetoric, Obama administration HAS YET TO ENDORSE such a formula.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    "They need more time to consider the issues" - the main issue is they'll need to work out how they'll orchestrate civil disorder and regime change in other countries if they can't freely arm their puppets

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.


    I don't think that all Americans are lovely, nice people. They have bad folks just like we do, and everywhere else does. Its just a small minority like it is here and everywhere else.

    If you seriously think that ALL Americans are gun toting rednecks, you've watched too many westerns, and believed they're true. Now that IS terrifying.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    Billythefirst (69),

    "... What approach would you suggest - picking something which does not support one's view ..."

    One that reflects reality, of course. Not some juvenile "I hate guns, so therefore those who make them are bad" fantasy.


  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    As US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security, Thomas Countryman, said in April, when it comes to the arms trade there must be “a new sense of responsibility upon every member of the United Nations that you cannot simply export and forget”. Nice words. Can any meaningful resolution get through the UN with US weapons industry AND ITS VETO?

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    Ah! Cherry picking your data to satisfy the opinion, I note. How amusing!

    What approach would you suggest - picking something which does not support one's view.



    Who'd have though the world's largest employer was in the US Public Sector?

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    @59 'BluesBerry'
    See your point Blues. Unfortunately one example of loophole trading is that France supplies her ex-colonial nations - Iran, in particular - with various unpopular products - in return for her oil imports, via third parties to circumvent international sanctions. Same as China/Russia.

    Sanctions don't work - they just allow traders to manipulate prices on basics we all rely on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    #michael lloyd
    "The gun laws of the USA are the business of the USA and not the citizens of the UK anywhere else.."

    True.So stop interfering with other countries' laws yourself. US foreign policy since WW2 has been a succession of attempts to manipulate governments around the world, politically and economically.

    Clean up your act.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    After all the preparation, diplomats from US + 100 other countries met at the UN to work out a new LEGALLY BINDING, global arms trade treaty by supposedly July 27th. They failed.
    In the absence of international standards & effective national controls, irresponsible arms suppliers exploit gaps for profit. Russian supplies helicopters to Syria; US & UK supply God knows what to the opposition…

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    What would be more to the point would be preventing the US from creating the conditions for invading a country on the pretext of bringing American style"democracy" to the unfortunate recipients. The US love regime change, the then sell "security" which means weapons of all kinds.The US is nothing more than a military industrial complex making a profitable living selling death.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Once again we are on the "saving lives" kick on this HYS. If we saved every possible "life" where would everyone fit in this overcrowded world?
    Good spot there sport.How about you taking the next bullet?

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    anti-idiot (56),


    There is evidence. plenty of it ..."

    Ah! Cherry picking your data to satisfy the opinion, I note. How amusing!

    Perhaps you’ll be able to explain the growing U.S. economy between WWII & Korea, between Korea & Vietnam, between Vietnam and . . . well, you get the idea.
    Nice try!

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    # opondo

    You may very well think Americans are nice and pleasant. Unfortunately I can't share your view nor will I apologise for it. Many of them believe all their wars and invasions are legal and just. They believe America is the be all and end all everyone else is just backward. The sheer arrogance is astounding by demonising what doesn't fit with American life

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    Judging what is going on in Syria,I would say today is a good day to be an,International Dealer in Death,Pain,Misery,Heartbreak,Maiming & Tears."They" must be rubbing,their fat little fur covered paws,with glee....

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    The gun laws in the USA are the business of the USA and not the citizens of the UK or anywhere else.

    It is obvious that arms maunufacturers and dealers are wealthy and influential and will try to scupper any agreements about reducing or "banning" arms.

    Once again we are on the "saving lives" kick on this HYS. If we saved every possible "life" where would everyone fit in this overcrowded world?

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Governments & arms brokers contribute to crimes against humanity; they do this by selling guns & ammo into conflict zones. They are allowed to do this because they are not violating any international law & are often outside the jurisdiction of national laws. This loophole in the fabric of international security can & must be fixed - I guess in the autumn, or by Christmas, or whenever…


Page 8 of 11


More US & Canada stories



Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.