UN panel adopts resolution on arms trade standards

By Xinhua,

United Nations : The UN has adopted a British sponsored resolution seeking to establish agreed standards of arms trade.

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The resolution, tabled Friday, received an overwhelming support of 145 members at the General Assembly session of the Committee on Disarmament and International Security, with only the US and Zimbabwe dissenting, Britain’s UN envoy John Sawers said.

He said “the standards that will be part of an arms trade treaty” would be negotiated in March and July.

“The only impact it will have will be to bear down on the irresponsible and illegal transfer and export of weapons,” Sawers said.

Sawers hailed it as “another step forward toward establishing a world in which arms are traded fairly and responsibility and with respect to the principles which underpin the UN Charter”.

He noted that US defence companies are in favour of establishing standards for arms import, export and transfer.

“They see the advantages because it gives them support in the standards that they are trying to uphold in their own production and export of arms,” Sawers said.

“So we do look to the next US administration to reconsider this approach,” he said. “It’s not an ideological question.”