UK and European Leaders Accuse Obama of Watering Down Human Rights Clause in Arms Trade Treaty

Wednesday, July 04, 2012
It may not come as a surprise that the world’s largest arms trader has reservations about negotiations for a treaty to limit the international sale of weapons that began on Tuesday in New York.
The United States, which sells more military hardware every year than most of its competitors combined, does not want the new arms trade treaty to restrict weapons sales to countries with poor human rights records.
The foreign ministers of Great Britain, Germany, France and Sweden want this provision in the international agreement and are ready to “defy Washington” at the talks, according to The Guardian. They favor language stating governments must refuse arms sales to nations where a “substantial risk of a serious violation” of human rights exists.
American negotiators would prefer that governments only have to “consider” factors such as human rights records before approving weapon sales. Russia is expected to join the United States in downplaying human rights considerations.
The Obama administration also wants to exclude the sale of ammunition for guns from the treaty, while China wants to exempt small arms, which it supplies to many impoverished nations and conflict zones.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:
Guns, Bullets, Human Rights on Agenda at Arms Treaty Talks (by Harvey Morris, International Herald Tribune)


Leave a comment