Do you want to invest in an overseas platinum mine, oil refinery or manufacturing center? You’d better put those dreams on hold. Some regions of the world are so ridden with warfare that financial development is simply laughable. Let’s face the truth: war sucks the life out of legitimate business. But as of yesterday, the United Nations will try to change that with the Arms Trade Treaty.
You can’t build roads, factories and cities where tribal groups, militia and terrorists are present. It’s the shooting. Guns make a mess. So why not make it harder for the bad guys to get weapons? In effect, the Arms Trade Treaty can do to guns what trade standards do for other products. They regulate the proper exchange of firearms and ammunition from truck to truck, port to port, and nation to nation. They keep popular weapons like the AK-47 out of black markets. They make it harder for violent people to acquire the tools to vaporize a rival tribe, capture hostages, seize a building, or extinguish a village. Paperwork is tighter and communications are smoother between authorities.
Less illegal weapons in a ravaged country makes it easier for U.N. peacekeepers to help people on the ground. Had the ATT been enacted in April 1994, 10 Belgian peacekeepers might still be alive and the horror of Rwandan genocide could have been lessened.
The treaty approval shows a majority of nations’ determination for the control of weapons used in all atrocities: 155 states for the ATT, 3 against, and 22 abstentions. I have the greatest respect for the United Nations, an undoubtedly complex environment where varying languages and customs must be balanced and blended for one admirable goal. . . the ending of human suffering.
Read more about the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty here.