US President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he was withdrawing the US signature of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a text adopted in 2013 by the UN, aimed at moralizing the international arms trade.
“America rejects this treaty,” Trump said in a speech in Indianapolis, Indiana to the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).
“We will never ratify this treaty,” he said, once again showing his distrust of international treaties and the multilateral organization headquartered in New York.
“I officially announce today that the United States will revoke the effects of America’s signing of this treaty,” he said. “We will never let foreign bureaucrats trample on the freedoms guaranteed by the Second Amendment (of the Constitution),” he added.
The text was signed by US Foreign Secretary John Kerry under President Barack Obama but was never ratified by Congress.
In particular, it provides that each signatory country shall assess before any transaction whether the weapons sold may be used to circumvent an international embargo, violate human rights or be diverted to criminals.
Covered weapons range from pistols, warplanes and warships to missiles. The text covers all international transfers (import, export, transit, brokerage).
The treaty “is the only global instrument to improve transparency and accountability in the international arms trade,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, commenting on the US decision.
“This is particularly important now, as we witness growing international tensions and a renewed interest in the expansion and modernization of arsenals,” he added.