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United Nations passes historic global arms treaty

  • The United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday approved a historic treaty that aims to control the $70 billion trade in conventional arms.

    Member-states voted by 154 votes to three, with 23 abstentions.

    The treaty went to a vote after Iran, Syria and North Korea last week blocked its approval by consensus.

    Russia and China, some of the world's biggest arms exporters, were among those who abstained from the vote in New York.

    The treaty bans states from exporting conventional weapons in violation of arms embargoes, or weapons that would be used for acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes or terrorism.

    States are also required to prevent conventional weapons reaching the black market.

    Diplomats have spent nearly a decade to reach an agreement to control the flow of such arms.

    Last year, attempts to agree on the treaty broke down after the United States, Russia and China said they needed more time to mull over the talks.

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