Negotiations are getting under way at the United Nations in New York aimed at crafting the first binding treaty to regulate the world weapons market.
The negotiations are scheduled to run until July 27.
Reports say there are divisions among nations over how tough the treaty should be in regulating a market worth more than $60 billion per year.
The United States and other countries want to exclude ammunition from the treaty, while China doesn't want it to cover small arms.
There is also a debate on whether adherence to human rights standards should be a criteria for whether governments should permit weapons exports.
In a joint statement, France, Britain, Germany, and Sweden called the arms trade a "growing threat to humanity" and urged support for a legally binding but nationally enforced pact.
The United States is the world’s biggest arms exporter, followed by Britain, China, France, Germany, and Russia.
Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP