Posts Tagged ‘voting against’

One small step for mankind: “The Arms Trade Treaty” (Press Statement, and link to full text of the treaty)

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to create the first treaty regulating the international arms trade, a landmark decision that imposes new constraints on the sale of conventional arms to governments and armed groups that commit war crimes, genocide and other mass atrocities.

The vote was hailed by arms-control advocates and scores of governments, including the United States, as a major step in the global effort to put in place basic controls on the $70 billion international arms trade. But the treaty was denounced by Iran, North Korea and Syria, which maintain that it imposes restrictions that prevent smaller states from buying and selling weapons to ensure their self-defense.

–Colum Lynch, “U.N. approves global arms treaty,” The Washington Post Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 (3:15 PM)

Lynch reports that the vote in the U.N. General Assembly was 154-3 with 23 abstentions.

The United Nations’ 193-member assembly voted 154 to 3 to adopt the treaty. There were 23 abstentions, including from major arms traders such as China, India and Russia, as well as Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are supplying weapons to opposition groups in Syria. The treaty will not go into force until 90 days after it is ratified by at least 50 member states.

The vote came four days after Iran, Syria and North Korea — governments that are likely to be targeted by the new measures — blocked an attempt to adopt the treaty by consensus. They said the treaty is unfair to them and is riddled with deficiencies. Iran and North Korea are under arms embargoes.

The treaty is highly significant, as it will immediately become legally binding on parties that ratify it once it enters into force (after 50 ratifications). While it is disappointing that Russia and China, two major arms suppliers, abstained from voting in favor of adoption of the treaty, their positions could eventually change over time. As an increasing number of countries accede to the treaty, it could even eventually generate legally binding obligations on states that have not ratified it as its norms become “crystalized” into norms of customary international law. While this process may take considerable time, its potential impact is great.

The treaty covers tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber weapons, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and launchers, small arms and light weapons. Ammunition exports are subject to the same criteria as the other war matériel. Imports are not covered
–Neil MacFarquhar, “U.N. Treaty Is First Aimed at Regulating Global Arms Sales,” April 2, 2013

Official U.N. Summary of the General Assembly Vote, including summary of statements by Representatives

A summary of the proceedings, including statements by delegations in general and in defense of their vote, can be found in U.N. Press Release, Overwhelming Majority of States in General Assembly Say ‘Yes’ to Arms Trade Treaty to Stave off Irresponsible Transfers that Perpetuate Conflict, Human Suffering Adopted by Vote of 154 in Favour to 3 Against; ‘Robust and Actionable’ Text Requires Arms Exporters to Assess Possible Misuse,” U.N. Doc. GA/11354 (April 2, 2013), found here.

The Full Text of the Arms Trade Teaty

The full text of the treaty is found in U.N. General Assembly, “Final United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty,
New York, 18-28 March 2013, (U.N. Doc. A/CONF.217/2013/L.3)

A link to the text is also found on the web site of the German Mission to the United Nations, here.

The Vote Tally

Voting in Favor:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, El Salvador, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States, Uruguay, Zambia.

Voting Against:
Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Syria.

Abstaining:
Angola, Bahrain, Belarus, Bolivia, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Nicaragua, Oman, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Yemen.

Absent: Armenia, Cape Verde, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

The Trenchant Observer

U. N. General Assembly condemns Syria by by vote of 137 to 12, with 17 abstentions (text of resolution and updated vote breakdown)—Syria Update #6

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Today, February 16, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly approved by an overwhelming margin (137 in favor, 12 against, with 17 abstentions) a resolution (Doc.A/66/L.36) strongly condemning “widespread and systematic human rights violations by Syrian authorities.”

A press release summarizing the resolution and the interventions by various delegations is found here.

The text of the resolution, which has been made available by the Los Angeles Times, is found here.

The Washington Post provided one of the earliest reports on the vote tally.  Colum Lynch has provided a more complete breakdownn of the vote. See Colum Lynch, “The Syria List of Shame”, Turtle Bay: Reporting from Within the United Nations (Foreign Policy blog), February 17, 2012.

For some reason, the United Nations appears to not yet have published the official vote tally. In the meantime, Lynch’s breakdown of the vote, including the “no shows” is the most authoritative the Observer has ben able to find. That breadkdown is as follows:

Voting Against

Belarus
Bolivia
Cuba
China
Ecuador
Iran
Nicaragua
North Korea
Russia
Syria
Venezuela
Zimbabwe

Abstaining

Algeria
Angola
Armenia
Cameroon
Comoros
Fiji
Lebanon
Myanmar
Namibia
Nepal
Sri Lanka
St. Vincent and Grenadines
Suriname
Tanzania
Tuvalu
Uganda
Vietnam

No Shows (Not Present)

Burundi
Cambodia
Cape Verde
Dominica
Dominican Republic
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
Ethiopia
Gabon
Gambia
Guinea-Bissau
Kiribati
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Madagascar
Mali
Palau
Philippines
San Tome Principe
Sierra Leon
Swaziland
Tajikistan
Tonga
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Vanuatu
Yemen

Melissa Bell of the Washington Post observes, “It’s striking to note that aside from Syria and Iran, no other Middle East country voted no. Two, however, did abstain: Lebanon and Algeria.

Five countries from the Western Hemisphere voted against the resolution:

Bolivia
Cuba
Ecuador
Nicaragua
Venezuela

Two additional countries from the region abstained:

St. Vincent
Suriname

From Africa, one country voted against the resolution:

Zimbabwe

In addition, the following 6 African countries abstained:

Angola
Cameroon
Comoros
Namibia
Tanzania
Uganda

***

Hopefully, the official vote break-down should become available from the United Nations within a few more days.

The Trenchant Observer

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