Iran and North Korea tried to block adoption of a U.N. treaty that would regulate the multibillion-dollar international arms trade Thursday but the chair suspended the meeting in an apparent effort to try and get them to back down.
To be approved, the draft treaty needs support from all 193 U.N. member states.
Australian Ambassador Peter Woolcott, the meeting chair, called the suspension after Iran and North Korea raised their nameplates signifying their refusal to join consensus following speeches outlining their objections to the treaty.
Supporters of the treaty said before the meeting that if it was not adopted they would go to the General Assembly and put the draft treaty to a vote, which they predicted would receive overwhelming approval.
Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said the draft treaty has major loopholes, is “hugely susceptible to politicization and discrimination,” and ignores the “legitimate demand” to prohibit the transfer of arms to those who commit aggression.
“How can we reduce human suffering by turning a blind eye to aggression that costs the lives of hundreds of thousands of people?” he asked.