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NGOs Warn Arms Trade Negotiations Behind Schedule

  • RFE/RL

Campaigners from the Control Arms coalition lie in fake body bags at a demonstration in front of the UN building in New York earlier this month.

Campaigners from the Control Arms coalition lie in fake body bags at a demonstration in front of the UN building in New York earlier this month.

UNITED NATIONS -- Non-governmental organizations are warning that international talks on a global arms trade treaty, now in their final week at UN headquarters, are behind schedule.

Representatives of UN member states have until July 27 to agree on a treaty on conventional weapons trading, which experts estimate to be worth more than $70 billion a year.

Representatives of Control Arms and Oxfam International told journalists on July 23 that some states, including Russia, China, and Iran, are continuing to stymie negotiations.

Issues reportedly still being debated include whether ammunition and small "nonmilitary" arms will be included.

Jeff Abramson of Control Arms said Russia, China and Iran continue to resist a robust arms treaty, and that China has asked to exclude all arms labeled as "gifts" from being regulated.
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