US Senate Blocks UN Arms Trade Treaty - State Department Official

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US State Department Conventional Arms Threat Reduction Director Ann Ganzer said the US Senate is an obstacle in ratifying UN arms Trade Treaty.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — A US Senate amendment blocking funds for the implementation of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be an obstacle to full US ratification, US State Department Conventional Arms Threat Reduction Director Ann Ganzer told Sputnik.

“It’s going to make things more difficult, obviously,” Ganzer said on Tuesday of an amendment included in the 2016 Senate Budget restricting funding for the ATT.

“We are currently under restriction on our funding anyway,” she said, noting that the current US Congress does not allow the State Department to spend money on ATT implementation.

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Ganzer explained that despite not ratifying the Treaty, the United States is already fully compliant with its provisions.

“We don't really need to do anything in the United States to implement the ATT,” she said, noting that the controls on conventional arms exports are already US national policy.

If the US Senate fails to ratify the ATT, the United States will not be able to participate in the upcoming ATT Conference of States meeting in August 2015.

“Senate ratification gets us a seat at the table,” Ganzer noted, and warned that if the United States is not at the table, “it could undo some of the good work we did when we negotiated it in the first place.”

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The White House will be sending the ATT to the Senate for ratification soon and it expects opposition, Ganzer stated in a panel discussion sponsored by the Stimson Center in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

The primary opponents of the Treaty are concerned it will interfere with the US gun rights, although the Treaty reaffirms the right of sovereign nations “to regulate and control conventional arms exclusively within its territory.”

The ATT creates a framework to regulate arms trade and prevent the illicit trade of weapons, including small arms, tanks, combat aircraft, warships and other military hardware, according to the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs.

According to the UN, 130 countries have signed the treaty and 65 have ratified it.

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