Accuracy in Media

WASHINGTON — Reuters news agency reports that the U.S., Iran, Syria and North Korea are against signing a new U.N. treaty on arms.

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 10.14.41 PMIts headline reads “Nations line up to sign U.N. arms trade treaty; U.S. not yet”. Does that sound fair or balanced to you?

Guns and gun control have been a contentious discussion within the U.N. General Assembly after several shootings in the U.S. This new treaty aims to regulate the $70 billion global conventional arms trade.

The General Assembly this past Monday voted to put this treaty into effect. As the U.S. did not sign the treaty yet, they are not forced to adhere to the treaty. But, it seems that the Obama administration will sign the treaty as soon as it is completely translated.

Argentina’s foreign minister, Hector Timerman, was the first to sign the treaty when the U.N. headquarters in New York opened on Monday. 62 countries signed the treaty Monday morning, with a total of 66 by the end of the day.

What does this mean?

This treaty creates a binding requirement for states to, as Reuters says, “review cross-border contracts to ensure that weapons will not be used in human rights abuses, terrorism, violations of humanitarian law or organized crime.” Small arms, helicopters and tanks are included in the terms of the treaty.

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