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Arms Trade Treaty Draft Allows Ammo for Transnational Crime, Illicit Market

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 26 -- When the new Arms Trade Treaty draft was circulated on the afternoon of Thursday, the day before the deadline to agree or not agree, it took a new approach to ammunition.

The US does not want ammo to be included; the ECOWAS states of West Africa have said they wouldn't sign on if ammo is not covered. Click here for previous coverage from Inner City Press.

  Reflecting the US' strength, ammunition is still not listed among the items Covered. But later under Exports the text says

"Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of ammunition for conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, and shall apply article 3, and paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of article 4 prior to authorizing any export of ammunition."

  So what is being excluded? Article 3 has six paragraphs, from the last of which ammo is excluded:

6. Each State Party, when considering a proposed export of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty, shall consider taking feasible measures, including joint actions with other States involved in the transfer, to avoid the arms:

a. being diverted to the illicit market or for unauthorized end use;

b. being used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children;

c. being used for transnational organized crime;

d. becoming subject to corrupt practices; or

e. adversely impacting the development of the importing State.

   This is a major exclusion, of a duty to check on ammo exports "being used for transnational organized crime."

  To Inner City Press, it brings to mind US guns and ammo being used by the transnational drug cartels based in Mexico. Can you say, Fast and Furious? That is how they want to push this watered down Treaty through. Watch this site.

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