The United Nations General Assembly has voted to restart talks on a landmark international treaty to control the USD 70-billion global arms trade after UN members failed to reach an agreement earlier this year.
The General Assembly on Monday voted overwhelmingly to hold a final round of negotiations on March 18-28 in New York.
In a joint statement, countries that drafted the resolution, including Argentina, Australia, Costa Rica, Finland, Japan, Kenya and the United Kingdom, welcomed the decision to resume talks.
"This was a clear sign that the vast majority of UN member states support a strong, balanced and effective treaty, which would set the highest possible common global standards for the international transfer of conventional arms," the statement said.
Proponents of the treaty have blamed major global arms exporters, especially the US, for torpedoing the talks as the American National Rifle Association (NRA) has been trying to block the treaty.
United States is the world's biggest arms trader and accounts for more than 40 percent of global transfers in conventional arms.
NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said before an earlier UN conference in July that, “We will not stand idly by while international organizations, whether state-based or stateless, attempt to undermine the fundamental liberties… on which our entire American system of government is based.”
"Any treaty that includes civilian firearms ownership in its scope will be met with the NRA's greatest force of opposition,” he added.
This is while, according to a USA Today
report on December 19, four or more American people are targeted by a mass killer every two weeks. The victims of these attacks, however, make up for only one percent of the 15,000 people murdered in the United States each year.
The study, based on news reports and FBI records from 2006 through 2010, found that 774 people, including at least 161 young children have been killed in mass murders.