International relief and development organization Oxfam America criticized the United States for delaying an agreement today on an Arms Trade Treaty that will provide a global solution to the rogue and irresponsible trade of weapons across borders.
During the final hours of the negotiations the United States joined Russia and China to voice their opposition, saying more time was needed to work on finalizing a treaty. Scott Stedjan, Oxfam America’s senior policy advisor made the following statement.
"The White House walked away at a critical moment by failing to move this treaty to conclusion. It is a tremendous loss for thousands of innocent civilians around the globe who die each year from armed violence fueled by the unregulated transfer of arms.”
“In the United States we already have tough regulations governing the trade of weapons—and this Treaty is about leveling the playing field with the many countries around the world that have weak or ineffective regulations, if any at all. The patchwork of laws around the globe allows irresponsible arms brokers to operate in the black holes of the international regulatory system and circumvent the jurisdiction of countries like the United States. These weapons often end up in in enemy and rogue hands, putting US troops at risk every day and threatening our national security."
“This was not going to be a perfect treaty, but the latest draft is workable and consensus is imminent. To not act now threatens final passage."
“The Administration must get this process back on track. Our nation has the opportunity and the responsibility to stand on the right side of history. For the millions of people living in fear and poverty around the world there is no time left to waste.”
Oxfam America now wants to see the momentum lead to presentation of the draft text in the General Assembly, where a majority of two-thirds is required for the treaty to be agreed on.