Wednesday, June 5th 2013 - 08:19 UTC

Argentina first of 66 countries to sign UN Arms Trade Treaty; US on hold

Representatives of sixty six countries lined up at U.N. headquarters in New York to sign the first international treaty to regulate the 85 billion dollars global conventional arms trade, a landmark event. However doubts exist about whether the treaty will work.

Argentine Foreign minister Hector Timerman signing the treaty (Photo: TELAM)

Argentina was the first to sign the Arms Trade Treaty the General Assembly approved in April. Iran, Syria and North Korea cast the only votes against the treaty.

A joint statement was issued by the seven co-sponsors of the treaty: Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Finland, Japan, Kenya and the UK, saying they were “heartened” that so many countries had signed so early.

Signatory nations whose parliaments ratify the treaty would be required to examine the possibility that any deal risked breaching an international embargo, violating human rights laws, or allowing terrorists or criminals to have access to weapons.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who signed the treaty on Monday afternoon in New York, said the event “sends a strong signal to the international community” that there was widespread support for the treaty. However, he added that “more is needed.”

The United States, which is the world's biggest arms and ammunition exporter, was not among the first signatories because of problems in agreement on a translation of the treaty into the UN's official languages.

“The United States welcomes the opening of the Arms Trade Treaty for signature, and we look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“The treaty is an important contribution to efforts to stem the illicit trade in conventional weapons, which fuels conflict, empowers violent extremists, and contributes to violations of human rights,” Kerry said.

The treaty was overwhelmingly approved by the UN General Assembly in April, although exporters Russia and China abstained and have not indicated that they will sign it. Neither has weapons importers Egypt and India. Iran, North Korea and Syria, which all face arms embargoes, were the only countries to cast no votes in the April ballot.

The treaty will only come into effect when 50 signatory countries have ratified it. Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja predicted this would happen “within slightly more than a year.”

However, Tuomioja also said: “The real test is, of course, getting those who still have doubts or who have not made up their minds, to sign on and ratify”.

The international conventional arms market, which is currently under no international control, is estimated to be worth up to 85 billion dollars per year.

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1 Think (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 10:37 am Report abuse
Article says...:
Argentina first of 66 countries to sign UN Arms Trade Treaty.......
I say...:
Think is happy......
2 reality check (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 10:42 am Report abuse
I say read the order of signatories,

Alphabetical anyone?
3 mollymauk (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 11:13 am Report abuse
All very well signing up to it, hope they accept and abide by its decisions.

Not a very good track record there though.................. (UN SC 502)
4 Think (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 11:15 am Report abuse
Turnip at (2)
I say read the order of signatories,

Argentina first of 67 countries to sign UN Arms Trade Treaty.......
Think is happy......
5 Redrow (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 11:54 am Report abuse
@4 Think

Argentina is alphabetically first of the sponsors.
Come to think of it, alphabetical order might be another plank in the sovereignty case!
Argentina is both geographically closer and alphabetically earlier than the UK. Except.....the United Provinces comes after, so you lose again!!

I hope Mr T realises that's an international treaty he is signing. Not that I'm insinuating anything of course.
6 Think (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 12:15 pm Report abuse
(5) Redrow

Are you infering that that Rouge Failed Pariah State called Argentina has been co-cponsor, together with civilized countries as Costa Rica, Finland and Kenya, for the UN Arms Trade Treaty?

Stop pulling my leg!
7 Redrow (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 12:33 pm Report abuse
@ 6
Rouge or Rogue?
8 Think (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 12:51 pm Report abuse
(7) Redrow

Are you infering that that Rogue and (Rouge:-) Failed Pariah State called Argentina has been co-sponsor, together with civilized countries as Costa Rica, Finland and Kenya, for the UN Arms Trade Treaty?

Stop pulling my leg!
9 Orbit (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 01:00 pm Report abuse
CFK's government excel at signing things - its what they do best all that pomp and false bonhomie at little cost to themselves; its the implementation they consistently fail at... that requires hard work, planning, transparency, accountability and follow up. Not their strengths one bit.
10 screenname (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 01:01 pm Report abuse
It's all a secret plan...if those Latin imperialist squatters in SA can get everyone back to using sticks and stones they might stand a chance of invading some more land.


Why am I imagining CFK stroking a cat?

“Argentina will give up its claim to the Falkland Islands if Britain pays a ranson of 1 million-pounds, Muhahahahaha !!!!!!”

You couldn't make this stuff up:

But of course she has Maxi-me, instead of mini-me.
11 ChrisR (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 04:18 pm Report abuse
The woman in the photo is saying “just mark your X here, Mr. Timmerpunk: what do you mean that is not how you say your name. Well I can tell you TMBOA calls you that; - NOW what have I said, you LatAms are touchy aren't you?”
12 Conqueror (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 05:16 pm Report abuse
@1, 4 What effect does the “order of signatories” have? After all, argieland breaches agreements, treaties, binding UNSC resolutions, international law, court judgements, contracts and its own “constitution” without paying attention to the “order of signatories”. Mind you, signing isn't all that important. Ratifying is. And, on occasions, argieland has gone YEARS before ratifying something it had signed. In the photo, I think the lady is saying “Look, Mr Timplstiltskin, we've left you a whole page so you don't put your ”X“ over someone else's signature”. Argieland has few fears over this treaty. After all, it manufactures little that anyone else wants. I understand that it's possible to knock out an argie-designed and built tank driving an Austin Mini armed with a Colt .45! No doubt the WW2 Italian influence.
@10 Very useful, that second article. Even in 1843/4, the argies were being told the Islands were British. Pretty thick if you don't get the idea after 170 years. And its first default in the same story! That's pretty amazing. Nearly 200 years of defaults. Wonder if argies understand why people don't want to lend them money. Nothing to do with the IMF. Just a long history of being crooks.
13 Anbar (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 07:43 pm Report abuse
Does it matter if Argentina signed it or not?

Do they have anything military to sell?

Would anybody buy it if they did?


“”“What effect does the “order of signatories” have?”“”

Absolutely none whatsoever... unless you've got the attitude of a 5 year old.


“”“”CFK's government excel at signing things - its what they do best all that pomp and false bonhomie at little cost to themselves; its the implementation they consistently fail at.“”“”


However, once again: exactly who buys arms from Argentina anyway?
14 Pete Bog (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 08:35 pm Report abuse
@12After all, it manufactures little that anyone else wants.

That's why it's easy to sign-but as you say Argentina signing a treaty usually means they ignore it (Treaty of perfect friendship with Britain 1850), the UN Charter (they don't recognise it).

@13Do they have anything military to sell?

Yes. A training jet some say is called after barren grassland but sounds suspiciously like babies diapers, that can't even sport a swept wing and needs engines and kit from other countries. (I think they even had to get a USA firm to make it in the end),

If they can make it as cheap as the Biodiesel they were trying to flog to Europe perhaps the UK could buy them as target drones for use in the Falklands. But hey, that would be militarising the South Atlantic.
15 ChrisR (#) Jun 05th, 2013 - 09:27 pm Report abuse
They do of course have the 'Bursa' range of pistols, some of which are available in Uruguay though I have never fired one.

The full-frame 9mm looks like it might be OK but you can never tell just by looking and who in their right mind would want to be the first to fire the thing?
16 Biguggy (#) Jun 06th, 2013 - 10:03 am Report abuse
There really is very little left for me to add to the short comings of the Nation of Argentina, the previous posters' seem to have covered them all except for the one brought on by this Treaty.
How is Argentina now going to purchase arms in the International Market from signatory countries as said countries are supposed to examine the possibility that the weapons may be used, inter alia, to deny human rights? Think, deny the Falkland Islanders their UN Charter right to self determination.
17 reality check (#) Jun 06th, 2013 - 05:20 pm Report abuse
Well they are pretty well screwed anyway, Arms are expensive, who in their right mind is going to accept their credit?

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