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'Badly misguided': Trump to withdraw US from UN arms treaty

The US Senate never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty after former president Barack Obama endorsed it.

Donald Trump US President Donald Trump arrives to speak to the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Source: Evan Vucci via AP

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP has announced that the US would not abide by a UN treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade.

He called the treaty “misguided” and an encroachment on US sovereignty.

The US Senate never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty after former president Barack Obama endorsed it. 

Trump said he was revoking his Obama’s signature.

“We will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone,” Trump said in a speech to the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis.

“We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom,” he said, referring to the constitutional right to bear arms.

And that is why my administration will never ratify the UN arms trade treaty.
I am officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treatment (sic). We’re taking our signature back.

The treaty seeks to regulate the flow of weapons into conflict zones. It entered into effect in December 2014.

It requires member countries to keep records of international transfers of weapons and to prohibit cross-border shipments that could be used in human rights violations or attacks on civilians.

While 130 countries originally signed the treaty, only 101 have ratified and joined it, including France, Germany and the UK.

UN praises landmark achievement

The world’s largest arms traders, the US, China and Russia, have not joined the treaty. 

When asked about Trump’s announcement, the United Nations called the treaty as a “landmark achievement” in efforts to ensure responsibility in international arms transfers.  

A UN spokesperson said the treaty is “the only global instrument aimed at improving transparency and accountability in the international arms trade”.

He said the treaty was “particularly important in present times, when we witness growing international tensions and renewed interest in expanding and modernising arsenals”.

The White House said in a statement that the treaty ”fails to truly address the problem of irresponsible arms transfers, while providing a platform for those who would seek to constrain our ability to sell arms to our allies and partners”.

“The ATT is simply not needed for the United States to engage in responsible arms trade,” the White House said.

Includes reporting by © – AFP, 2019

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