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On Arms Trade Treaty, Draft Excludes Grenades & Ammo as US Wants

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 24, updated w/ comment -- When the Arms Trade Treaty talks resumed Tuesdy at 2 pm, the omission of ammunition from the new draft's coverage immediately drew negative comments from Nigeria, which said guns are just a "delivery device," it's the bullets that kill. Click here for the new draft, put online by Inner City Press.

  The United States, as its mission to the UN confirmed to Inner City Press, was and is against including ammunition in any treaty. And lo and behold it was not in.

  Neither were grenades, despite the recent news of Swiss made grenades showing up in Syria, via the United Arab Emirates.

  Cote d'Ivoire gave a wide ranging speech, citing "old president" Laurent Gbagbo's force's use of heavy weapons, which France raised in the Security Council then had its Force Licorne put an end to.

  But Cote d'Ivoire, beyond asking that more of the negotiations be in French, also mentioned Senegal's Casamance, a conflict rarely mentioned at the UN.

  The plenary session began with a minute of silence with John Atta Mills, the president of Ghana who'd just died. Then the Argentine president of the ATT launched into a long analogy of treaty negotiation and the tango.

  When he referred to the "synchronization of bodies," there was laugher in the standing room only conference room.

   The UK made another obvious analogy, to the Olympics: it's been a six year marathon, now it is a sprint. The deadline is Friday. Watch this site.

Update of 7:45 am --

From: Edmund GROVE [at]
Date: Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 4:06 AM
Subject: Comment on " Arms Trade Treaty, Draft Excludes Grenades & Ammo as US Wants"
To: matthew.lee [at]

Hi Matthew, I liked your article on the arms treaty, which highlighted the omission of grenades and ammunition. I wanted to ask, what about the trade in mines? Seems important given that the UN spends so much on demining, or is that already covered elsewhere under another pre-existing treaty?

  Thanks for your comment, Edmund, and you are right. More than one delegate / negotiators in the ATT plenary yesterday mentioned mines to me. I think it was vaguely because there IS a landmine treaty that I focused on ammunition -- the exclusion of which the US has loudly demanded, leading to ECOWAS countries yesterday threatening not to sign on -- and hand grenades. But you are right about mines, and this piece will be add it before it does into, for example, Lexis - Nexis. Thanks.

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