Vertrag zur Kontrolle des Waffenhandels

Arms control treaty passed on 02 Apr 2013 by the United Nations’ General Assembly after seven years of negotiations. The world’s first international agreement for controlling conventional weapons, “from pistols to panzer tanks,” it must still be ratified by fifty countries. States that sign the treaty agree not to export arms to countries where it appears that they might be used in crimes against humanity; one controversial point in the agreement is that it allows distribution of weapons to rebel groups if the shipments “serve to aid freedom and stability in the world.” The USA insisted on leaving that one in.

Update on 25 Sep 2013: The U.S. secretary of state signed the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. Amnesty International praised this, noting that the U.S.A. is the world’s biggest weapons exporter, selling ca. 1/3 of the world’s arms trade to ~170 countries. 86 countries have signed the A.T.T.

(Fer TROG   tsoor   con TROLL eh   dess   VOFF en hon dellz.)


“Watering can principle,” in which subventions are distributed evenly throughout a group without regard to individual needs or priorities, a principle some European arms exporters say they won’t follow if allowed to resume exporting weapons to Syrian rebels. They say they will only give guns to good guys. The UK and France don’t want to renew the EU’s embargo on Syrian arms shipments, which is about to expire.

Update on 27 May 2013: Because the member states could not reach a unanimous decision, the EU embargo on sending more weapons to Syrian rebels will expire. The UK indicated they were only proposing voting against renewal of the embargo because they want to increase pressure on the Assad family (which is currently fighting to the death, of all its members, unless they agree to a better solution at the upcoming peace talks in Switzerland). We shall see whether France and the UK now indeed export more weapons to that corner of the world.

(GEESE Cannes en prints EEP.)

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