US Joins Arms Trade Treaty but at a High Price
The United Nations is at the moment undergoing a very important debate on the Arms Trade Treaty which more or less has a very direct impact on the lives of everyone, specially in countries like Pakistan where there is an abundance of unregulated arms and ammunition. The Arms Trade Treaty is to control the conventional trade requiring states to authorize any international arms transfer which may originate or pass through their territory. The treaty was initially brought into effect in 2006 wtih a landslide vote in 2006 where 153 states voted in favor of this treaty while the USA was then the only state to vote against the Resolution. The major proponents of this bill have been UK, Argentina, Finland, Costa Rica, Japan, Kenya and Finland. It must be noted that armed violence claims at least 2000 deaths per day, and NGOs have calculated the cost to Africa alone of armed violence is 19 billion dollars per day.
It seems ironic that on one hand the US claims itself to be the police force for the world waltzing into countries like Pakistan trying to sweet talk its way on Anti-Terrorism offering to lend a helping hand [sic] to de-weaponize Pakistan. ironically on the very opposite end the US of A remains remains the only country not willing to come under an Arms Trade Treaty, which would help control and monitor the trade, trafficking of ammunition across the globe
In a very recent development the United States of America has willingly accepted to support the start of the negotiations on the Arms Trade Treaty but this agreement comes under a condition that future negotiations must include a veto clause enabling them to bail out of any commitment in the future definitely weakening any possible deal.
Oxfam International’s policy adviser Debbie Hillier rightly says “The world has waited a long time for the USA to come on board to support global arms trade negotiations. However, Governments must resist US demands to give any single state the power to veto the treaty as this could hold the process hostage during the course of negotiations. We call on all governments to reject such a veto clause.”
I personally believe its a step forward but may potentially come at a high price in the long run and I believe hot targets like Pakistan must raise hue and cry to bring the American government to stop the arms industry and control this trade. While a few days back Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Zamir Akram addressed the committee and generally was in support of a global consensus but now in light of this recent conditional position adopted by the United States of America we my strongly lobby the Americans since their greed to promote their own ammunition industry can indirectly be the result of the deteriorating terrorism situation in Pakistan. Seriously if they’re so interested in rooting the terrorists out of Pakistan maybe a long term solution could very well be a seizure of the arms industry for once