India is among 133 nations that have voted in favour of a draft UN General Assembly resolution. The resolution seeks resumption of failed negotiations on an international arms treaty aimed at regulating the USD 70 billion global trade in conventional weapons.
The passing of the resolution for resumption of the talks, which in the past had seen stiff opposition from the powerful US gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA), has paved the way for a final round of negotiations to be held here from March 18 to 28 next year.
The Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty would aim to finalise the “elaboration of the Arms Trade Treaty, in an open and transparent manner, utilising the modalities under which the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty operated,” the resolution said.
The US was among the 133 nations that voted in favour of the resolution, which was opposed by none. Seventeen countries, including Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen abstained from voting.
The arms trade talks had collapsed in July this year after the US said it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty.
The new round of talks seeks to give impetus to global efforts to come up with a “legally binding instrument” on the highest possible common international standards to regulate the USD 70 billion global trade in conventional arms.
The call for regulating the arms trade assumes significance against the backdrop of a surge in mass shooting incidents across the US, where private citizens used their assault weapons to kill others.
Earlier this month, a 20-year old man used an assault rifle to kill 27 people, including his mother and 20 elementary school students, in Newtown in Connecticut.
The Newtown killings shocked the nation and the world and led to intense criticism and backlash against the NRA, which has called for arming more people to prevent mass shootings.
NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre had said in a news conference last week that his organisation would finance and develop a programme called the National Model School Shield Programme, which would work with schools to arm and train school guards.
The guards would include retired police officers and volunteers.
“The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre had said.
The NRA had also lobbied hard to oppose any treaty that restricts the rights of gun owners.