US signs landmark United Nations weapons trade treaty

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry signs the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty at U.N. headquarters in New York City September 25, 2013. Standing beside him is U.N. Under Secretary General for Legal Affairs Miguel de Serpa Soares.
U.S. President Barack Obama\’s administration signed a UN treaty Wednesday to track exports of firearms and other conventional weapons, offering a major boost to the pact despite opposition at home.
The United States is the world\’s largest exporter of conventional arms, accounting for 30 percent of the $90 billion global industry. The landmark treaty aims to curb weapons shipments to extremists and conflict areas.
Secretary of State John Kerry signed the pact during a ceremony Wednesday at United Nations headquarters in New York.  He called the Arms Trade Treaty a "significant step" in global peace efforts.
The treaty, which was adopted in April, sets international guidelines for the sale of weapons ranging from battle tanks, warships and attack helicopters to small arms and light weapons.
It also prohibits member nations from transferring weapons to countries in which human rights are being abused.
The treaty, which does not affect domestic weapons sales, requires ratification by the U.S. Senate, and has faced some opposition from lawmakers that feel it would infringe on Americans\’ rights to bear arms.
The United States is the world\’s largest exporter of conventional weapons.
Source: Agencies
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