Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Costa Rican President
"I never imagined that I would see this in my lifetime," Arias told me hours after the U.N. approved the treaty Tuesday by a 154-to-3 vote, with 23 abstentions. "It was a quixotic move for those of us who started it, but it worked."
Arias recalled that he convened a meeting of eight Nobel laureates, including
"This treaty will have a big impact," Arias said. "It will not only curb arms sales to governments that use them to repress their people, or to carry out wars, but will also free countries' resources that can be used to help reduce poverty."
Under the treaty, which has to be ratified by 50 countries to become effective, countries that export arms will have to make sure that their weapons don't go to nations that are under
Not surprisingly, the only three countries that voted against it were
The treaty also calls for arms exporting countries to demand data on final users and other concrete measures from importers to make sure that weapons don't reach organized crime or terrorist groups.
In what is heralded as a major victory for
What are the chances of it being ratified by 50 countries, and especially by
Arias responded that considering that 154 countries supported the treaty, ratification by at least 50 countries is likely. As for
The powerful pro-gun
My opinion: The NRA's claim that there is such a thing as "civilian" firearms that should be excluded from the U.N. treaty is ludicrous. It makes little difference whether innocent people are shot at by a tank, an AK-47 or a semi-automatic weapon. Guns falling in the wrong hands kill people, whatever their caliber.
Granted, much like happened with the 1997
But the U.N. treaty, despite complaints from
Maybe Arias is not overly optimistic, and the U.N. treaty will help reduce killings around the world. It may be remembered as one of the best things
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(c)2013 Tribune Media Services, "UN Arms Treaty May Succeed Despite Iran, North Korea, Syria and NRA"