Official: Kerry to sign landmark arms trade treaty - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Official: Kerry to sign landmark arms trade treaty

By MATTHEW LEE
AP Diplomatic Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - American officials say Secretary of State John Kerry will sign a landmark treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade during the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting this week.

The officials said Kerry will sign the Arms Trade Treaty on Wednesday, initiating an uncertain ratification process in the U.S. Senate. Some lawmakers have expressed strong opposition to the United States becoming a party to the treaty. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to be identified as the source of information about Kerry's plans.

The U.S. is the world's largest arms dealer and its accession is seen as critical to the treaty's success, although many of the world's other top arms exporters and importers have not signed the document.

The treaty will require countries that ratify it to establish national regulations to control the transfer of conventional arms and components and to regulate arms brokers, but it will not control the domestic use of weapons in any country. It prohibits the transfer of conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, and if they could be used in attacks on civilians or civilian buildings such as schools and hospitals.

What impact the treaty will have in curbing the global arms trade - estimated at between $60 billion and $85 billion annually - remains to be seen. A lot will depend on which countries ratify it, and how stringently it is implemented once it comes into force.

More than 85 countries have signed the treaty to date, but it will not take effect until 50 nations have ratified it.

The Obama administration announced it would sign the treaty in June over the objections of critics who fear it will undermine constitutional rights.

The treaty covers battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons.

In considering whether to authorize the export of arms, a country must evaluate whether the weapons would be used to violate international human rights laws or be employed by terrorists or organized crime elements. A country must also determine whether the weapons would contribute to or undermine peace and security.

In addition, the treaty requires countries to take measures to prevent the diversion of conventional weapons to the illicit market.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Kavanaugh's accuser wants FBI probe before she testifies

    Kavanaugh's accuser wants FBI probe before she testifies

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-09-18 05:30:22 GMT
    Tuesday, September 18 2018 9:31 PM EDT2018-09-19 01:31:39 GMT
    (AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reacts as he testifies after questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Official Washington is scrambling Monday to assess...(AP Photo/Alex Brandon). In this Sept. 6, 2018 photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh reacts as he testifies after questioning before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington. Official Washington is scrambling Monday to assess...

    Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

    Republicans reversed course and agreed to the hearing in the face of growing demands by GOP senators to hear directly from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, now a psychology professor in California.

  • Emmys: An epic proposal, but winners lacking in diversity

    Emmys: An epic proposal, but winners lacking in diversity

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 3:17 AM EDT2018-09-18 07:17:02 GMT
    Tuesday, September 18 2018 9:28 PM EDT2018-09-19 01:28:06 GMT
    (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP). Glenn Weiss, right, winner of the award for outstanding directing for a variety special for "The Oscars" and Jan Svendsen pose in the press room after getting engaged at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, S...(Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP). Glenn Weiss, right, winner of the award for outstanding directing for a variety special for "The Oscars" and Jan Svendsen pose in the press room after getting engaged at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, S...

    That feel-good moment lightened the mood of an evening that otherwise had a lackluster feel and disappointed many with the lack of ethnic diversity among its winners.

    That feel-good moment lightened the mood of an evening that otherwise had a lackluster feel and disappointed many with the lack of ethnic diversity among its winners.

  • Ford wants FBI investigation into Kavanaugh allegation before testifying, attorney says

    Ford wants FBI investigation into Kavanaugh allegation before testifying, attorney says

    Tuesday, September 18 2018 9:06 PM EDT2018-09-19 01:06:37 GMT
    Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor, went public with the allegation over the weekend after it was leaked in the news media. (Source: CNN/Researchgate.net)Christine Blasey Ford, a psychology professor, went public with the allegation over the weekend after it was leaked in the news media. (Source: CNN/Researchgate.net)

    Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that stressed “an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations.”

    Christine Blasey Ford's attorneys sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee that stressed “an FBI investigation of the incident should be the first step in addressing her allegations.”

Powered by Frankly