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Latino Daily News

Sunday July 29, 2012

Mexico Criticizes U.N. For Not Passing Arms Trade Treaty

Mexico Criticizes U.N. For Not Passing Arms Trade Treaty

Photo: International arms trade

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The Mexican government criticized Saturday the inconclusive results of the U.N. diplomatic conference seeking to pass an international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), and deplored “the imposition of the consensus rule” as a condition for reaching an agreement.

“The government of Mexico decries the U.N. diplomatic conference postponing the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty,” the foreign ministry said in a communique.

On Friday, the 193 participating countries finished their United Nations meeting “after a month of intense negotiations” but unable to reach a consensus on the final text that would have created “new international standards” for regulating the trade in conventional arms worldwide, the foreign ministry said.

“Faced with the lack of positive results, Mexico regrets that the imposition of the consensus rule makes it impossible to reach agreement despite the wide and obvious support for the measure, which can thereby be made null and void by a small minority of countries,” the foreign ministry said.

Negotiations were going well but were derailed when the United States asked for “more time” to study the last draft that had been agreed upon last Thursday, and due to the objections of other great powers like China and Russia.

Despite the fruitless result, “Mexico wishes to stress that the conference did make considerable progress on a draft of the text that should be improved and strengthened…within the United Nations General Assembly,” the foreign ministry said.

For Mexico, a “strong, sturdy” international treaty is necessary to end “the lethal situation that many societies suffer on every continent from the irresponsible sale and shipment of arms and munitions.”

At the international conference’s final session, Mexico read a statement “in the name of 87 delegations from all regions, in which it urged that efforts not be abandoned to finish negotiating the treaty at the next U.N. General Assembly.”

Finally, Mexico announced that “it will continue giving the greatest importance to this subject and will continue to work with like-minded countries, as it did throughout this conference and during the preparatory meetings.”

“Mexico wishes the U.N. to pass the treaty that the international community needs: a strong, effective treaty that bans the trade of conventional weapons when they risk being used to commit grave violations of international law, and that establishes mechanisms to prevent arms from being shifted to the illegal market,” the communique said.

Mexico is one of the countries most damaged by the illicit trade in arms, which are sold legally in the United States but frequently end up in the possession of drug cartels and organized crime groups operating in this country.

Combating these groups has been a priority for Mexican President Felipe Calderon, who imposed the strategy of all-out war on organized crime with the army in the streets, and who will step down from office next Nov. 30.