Under the treaty, countries must consider whether weapons would be used to violate international humanitarian or human rights laws and facilitate acts of terrorism or organized crime.
“The treaty’s prohibition section, if it were in force today, would prohibit the ongoing supply of weapons and parts and components to the Assad regime in Syria,” said Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the ACA, a national group that works on arms-control policies.
The American Bar Association released a white paper arguing that the treaty would not affect Second Amendment rights.
The U.N. vote clears the way for countries to add their signatures to the treaty starting June 3. The treaty will take effect 90 days after 50 nations sign it.
Within one year of signing on, each country must submit a report outlining the steps it has taken to comply. But more specifics on the implementation, enforcement and possible punishment for violations of the treaty remain to be seen. Countries have the right to withdraw from the treaty, but are not, as a result, excused from obligations they had while participating.
“This is a very good framework, I think, to build on — it’s fair, I think it’s balanced, and it’s strong. But it’s only a framework,” Mr. Woolcott said. “And it’ll only be as good as its implementation.”
More rule-making is to be delegated to a conference of participating countries, to convene within one year after the treaty goes into effect to review its implementation and consider amendments.
Some abstaining countries, including India and Egypt, said the treaty did not go far enough on its language regarding terrorism or human rights.