Too busy selling in the US$85 billion market

DUBAI: It is disappointing is that the nations that are some of the world’s biggest arms peddlers have kept their pens in their inkwells and have neither signed nor ratified the treaty, a local newspaper opined on Friday.

The US, China and Russia, the paper said, “are too busy selling in the US$85 billion (AED312.63 billion) market right now.” The treaty is a nice idea too bad that money gets in the way.” “Much of what the United Nations aspires for is built upon the dreams of the righteous, the well-intended, the kinder human condition. But for all that it aspires to, it falls by the failings of governments, political allegiances and the basest of all cold hard cash. Such is the case with the global arms treaty that is supposed to regulate the multibillion dollar business of selling weapons and munitions to wage war,” said the English-language newspaper the Gulf News in an editorial comment on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which came into force on Wednesday, 24 December.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the paper added, has heralded the treaty as a “new chapter” that would help prevent the transfer of weapons to “warlords, human rights abusers, terrorists and criminal organisations”.

“What is encouraging is that 130 nations have signed the bottom line, vowing not to sell weaponry used to promote war crimes and genocide,” remarked the Gulf News.

According to the UN News Centre, the ATT, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 2 April 2013, is the first legally-binding multilateral agreement that prohibits States from exporting conventional weapons to countries when they know those weapons will be used for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. As of 23 December, 60 States had ratified the treaty, and 130 had signed it, indicating that they intended to ratify.