Typical of the United Stupids. When will they ever learn?
The United States, which is the worldâ€™s biggest exporter of arms and accounts for more than 50 per cent of all arms exports, on Wednesday became the only country in the United Nations to vote against letting work begin on a new treaty to bolster arms embargoes and prevent human rights abuses by setting uniform worldwide standards for arms deals. The vote in the 192-nation UN General Assembly was 153-1, with the United States casting the sole â€œnoâ€ vote. Twenty-four other nations abstained, including major arms sellers Russia and China and emerging exporters India and Pakistan.
Wednesdayâ€™s vote in the UN General Assembly has been described as â€œhistoricâ€ by TANSA. But it can only become historic in practical terms if the United States were to agree to sign the treaty, ratify it and agree to abide by its provisions. If the US does not do so, the worldâ€™s biggest arms exporter would remain outside the purview of the treaty – reducing it, in effect, to just another piece of paper.
So where do the weapons used to deny people their most basic human rights come from?
According to the 2003 edition of the Small Arms Survey, 1,134 companies in at least 98 countries are involved in some aspect of small arms production. At least 30 countries are regarded as significant producers, with the United States and Russia dominating the global market. Between them, these two countries account for more than 70 per cent of total worldwide production of civilian firearms.
As the survey points out, â€œThe majority of countries involved in the small arms trade still fail to produce comprehensive data on their annual arms exports and imports. A significant proportion of the global trade in small arms is conducted in secrecy, reinforcing an environment in which corruption and black markets thrive.â€
Mary Robinson said: â€œThe lack of data on the arms trade makes it easy for many of the weapons traded legally to end up in the wrong hands.â€
One can only conclude the United Stupids are protecting their major export item – weapons.