Member states have failed to reach agreement on a new UN treaty to regulate the multibillion dollar global arms trade, with some diplomats and supporters blaming the US for triggering the unraveling of the month-long negotiating conference.
Hopes had been raised that agreement could be reached on a revised treaty text that closed some major loopholes by Friday’s deadline for action.
However, the US announced that it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty, with Russia and China then also asking for more time.
The UN General Assembly voted in December 2006 to work toward a treaty regulating the growing arms trade, with the US casting a “no” vote.
In October 2009, the Barack Obama, the US president, reversed the Bush administration’s position and supported an assembly resolution to hold four preparatory meetings and a four-week UN conference in 2012 to draft an arms trade treaty.
Washington insisted that a treaty had to be approved by the consensus of all 193 UN member states.
Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, the conference chairman, said treaty supporters knew “this was going to be difficult to achieve” and there were some delegations that did not like the draft though “the overwhelming
majority in the room did”.
He added that some countries from the beginning of negotiations had “different views” on a treaty, including Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Despite the failure to reach agreement, Moritan predicted that “we certainly are going to have a treaty in 2012″.
He said there are several options for moving forward in the General Assembly which will be considered over the summer, before the world body’s new session begins in September.