UN Arms Trade Treaty talks fail with no consensus
The final United Nations conference on the first-ever Arms Trade Treaty failed to pass a consensus-based agreement Thursday after Iran, North Korea and Syria blocked the treaty, dpa reported.
Despite high expectations and overall optimism on the part of arms control activists, the talks, involving all 193 UN members, came to an abrupt end Thursday, leaving it up to the UN General Assembly to pass the treaty by a two-thirds majority vote.
Iran, North Korea and Syria said they could not accept the text as it poses a threat to their ability to defend themselves.
After hearing the objections, several nations called for the adoption of the agreement based on majority support. Mexico said there is no clear definition of consensus, and the delegation from South Sudan called the treaty "lifesaving" to urge its adoption.
However, the Russian delegation disagreed saying it could not support a treaty that disregards the voice of the minority.
Arms control groups expressed their frustration after the consensus was not reached.
"The world has been held hostage by three states," said Anna Macdonald, Oxfam's head of arms control. "Countries such as Iran, Syria and DPRK (North Korea) should not be allowed to dictate to the rest of the world how the sale of weapons should be regulated."
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was "deeply disappointed" by the failure of the talks.