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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

UN chief pleads for arms pact, Palestinians demand seat

(Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pleaded on Tuesday for a binding pact to regulate the more than $60 billion global weapons market, while delegates at a treaty drafting conference worked to defuse a dispute over Palestinian participation.

"We do not have a multilateral treaty of global scope dealing with conventional arms," Ban told delegates to the conference, which runs through July 27. "This is a disgrace."

"Poorly regulated international arms transfers are fueling civil conflicts, destabilizing regions, and empowering terrorists and criminal networks," he said.

Arms control campaigners say one person every minute dies from armed violence around the world and that a convention is needed to prevent illicitly traded guns from pouring into conflict zones and fueling wars and atrocities. They say conflicts in Syria and elsewhere show a treaty is necessary. Read More