18 countries ratify treaty regulating arms trade

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

UNITED NATIONS -- Eighteen countries including five of the world's leading arms exporters have officially ratified the landmark treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade on the first anniversary of its adoption by the UN General Assembly.

The handover of official documents by ambassadors from the 18 countries at a UN ceremony on Wednesday brings the number of ratifications to 31 — more than half the 50 ratifications needed for the treaty to enter into force.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson urged all 193 UN member states to sign and ratify the treaty without delay.

The treaty is aimed at stemming the illicit trade in weapons that fuel conflicts and extremists.

The US is one of 118 countries that have signed the treaty, but it has not yet ratified it. (AP)

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