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U.N. overwhelmingly approves global arms trade treaty

April 03, 2013
"[The treaty] will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms."
- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The 193-nation U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved the first treaty on the global arms trade, which seeks to regulate the $70 billion business in conventional arms and keep weapons out of the hands of human rights abusers.

The National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful U.S. pro-gun lobbying group that has opposed the treaty from the start, said it was a sad day for the United States, which joined the vast majority of U.N. member states by voting for the pact.

Iran, Syria and North Korea cast the sole votes against the treaty. The same three states last week prevented a treaty-drafting conference at U.N. headquarters from reaching the required consensus to adopt the pact.

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