In the run-up to a United Nations summit in July, the anti-poverty organization Oxfam International is urging nations to strengthen global rules covering the trade of both firearms and ammunition, saying that without controlling bullets along with the guns that fire them, any new treaty ”doesn’t make sense.”
Oxfam cited the violence in Syria as proof that global arms trade needs to be more tightly regulated in order to keep weapons out of the hands of human rights violators.
Reuters reported that the Bashar al-Assad regime continues to receive shipments of weapons and ammunition despite being responsible for the deaths of more than 9,000 civilians.
There are currently no rules governing global weapons sales, the UN said.
So far, 153 countries have voted in support of draft forms of a treaty that would regulate the sale of weapons, but Egypt, Syria, Russia, Iran and Cuba have objected. And the United States opposes the inclusion of ammunition controls in global treaties, along with Syria and Egypt.
Oxfam has also proposed an agreement that will have implications for nations who sell arms to human rights violators — including Britain and the U.S., both of which have sold weapons to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The global ammunition industry is currently worth $4.3 billion, and is growing faster than the trade of the weapons themselves, BBC News reported.