The United Nations witnessed a historic moment Monday with the signing of the Arms Trade Treaty, first adopted in April by the General Assembly, and the first time the 85-billion-dollar international arms trade has been regulated by a global set of standards.
Advocacy groups here are stepping up a campaign to pressure President Barack Obama to quickly sign on to a new United Nations treaty aimed at regulating, for the first time, the international small-arms trade.
Four U.S. non-proliferation specialists are urging the Obama administration to impose tougher economic sanctions against Iran and issue more explicit threats to destroy its nuclear programme by military means.
U.S. weapons sales around the world have massively expanded over the past year, setting several records. Agreements for foreign arms sales in 2011 totalled around 66.3 billion dollars – three times higher than the previous year and constituting an "extraordinary increase", according to the Congressional Research Service.