The United Nations vote “yes” on the Arms’ Trade Treaty
The overwhelming majority of the international community found it necessary to take a strong stand to prevent future abuses of human rights and incentivize disarmament and the non – proliferation of arms. As of today, there aren’t international standards yet for the trade of conventional arms. Even though unanimity was not reached and the General Assembly‘s decision is not binding, the result of the vote was welcomed with satisfaction by both the specialized agencies of the UN, such as UNICEF and the Refugee Agency, and the General Secretary Ban Ki – moon, who commented: “It is a historic diplomatic achievement – the culmination of long-held dreams and many years of effort. This is a victory for the world’s people.”
The reparation of the damages caused by crime exceeds greatly the earnings from the arms’ sales, and without an adequate regulation of the arms’ trade, the losses, also in financial terms, will remain huge.
The need to limit the trade of conventional weapons is felt not only internationally, but also nationally, especially in those countries like the United States, where the right to bear a weapon is still guaranteed by the Constitution. The White House praised the UN vote on the Treaty. A White House spokesperson, Jay Carney, was said to be pleased about it and added that the text achieves the objectives that were set out for this negotiation; he also said that they will follow normal procedures to conduct a thorough review of the treaty‘s text to determine whether or not they will sign it.
The UN vote arrives after a particularly ferocious period of time, both for the US, which in 2012 witnessed the massacres of Newtown, Aurora and Oak Creek, and the whole international community. According to UN estimates, weapons kill more than half a million people every year, among whom are 66,000 women and young girls. Furthermore, according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, between 2000 and 2010 almost 800 humanitarian workers lost their lives during armed attacks, and another 689 were injured. This proves that the possession of a weapon and the arms race don’t guarantee a more secure coexistence. If you want peace, prepare peace.