- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to sign the landmark Arms Trade Treaty during the annual United Nations General Assembly meeting on Wednesday, American officials said.

The U.S. is the largest arms dealer in the world and its accession is seen as critical to the treaty’s success, although many other top arms dealers have not signed the document, the Associated Press reported. More than 85 countries have signed the treaty so far, but it will not take effect until 50 nations have ratified it, the report said.

The treaty will require countries that ratify it to establish national regulations to control the sale of arms, but it will not control the domestic use of weapons in any country. The treaty prohibits the transfer of conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, the report said.

What impact the treaty will have in curbing the global arms trade remains to be seen, and a lot will depend on which countries ratify it.

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