Secretary of State John Kerry has now added the United States' signature to the Arms Trade Treaty. This treaty is a great step forward in dealing with the unregulated and illicit global trade in conventional weapons and ammunition, which fuels wars and human rights abuses worldwide. I am so proud of thousands of GlobalSolutions.org members who emailed, petitioned and called the White House. Your efforts paid off!
GlobalSolutions.org also was one of 33 national organizations who urged President Obama to sign the treaty, saying it, "...would be a powerful step demonstrating the United States' commitment to preventing mass atrocities and protecting civilians from armed conflict around the globe."
Not only is it good for our nation to have all countries operating from the same rule book, it's also our responsibility. Without the treaty, warlords and terrorists will continue to get weapons which are used to force child soldiers to kill their parents, to attack American soldiers and missionaries, and to rape refugee women and girls.
As the world's largest arms dealer, the US signature will put pressure on other major buyers and sellers such as Russia, China and India to join the treaty. US signature will add momentum to efforts to get at least 50 nations to join or ratify the agreement so it can go into force. So far, eighty-six other nations have signed the treaty and four have ratified it.
The US has the world's gold standard in national arms export trade controls. Kerry's signature now paves the way for the US to provide assistance and cooperation with other states on how to create good export control systems for themselves.