The European Union on Saturday warned that US President Donald Trump's rejection of a UN treaty would hamper the global fight against illicit weapons trafficking. "A decision by the US to revoke its signature would not contribute to the ongoing efforts to encourage transparency in the international arms trade, to prevent illicit trafficking and to combat the diversion of conventional arms," said the EU's chief diplomat, Federica Mogherini.
"The EU will continue to call on all states, and in particular the major arms exporters and importers, to join the Arms Trade Treaty without delay," she said.
The treaty, which entered into effect in December 2014, requires member countries to keep records of international transfers of weapons and to prohibit cross-border shipments that could be used in human rights violations or attacks on civilians.
On Friday, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would not abide by a UN treaty aimed at regulating the global arms trade, calling it “misguided” and an encroachment on US sovereignty. Trump said the US Senate had never ratified the 2013 Arms Trade Treaty despite his predecessor Barack Obama having endorsed it, and said he would never ratify it.
“We will never surrender American sovereignty to anyone,” Trump said in a speech to the National Rifle Association in Indianapolis.
“We will never allow foreign bureaucrats to trample on your Second Amendment freedom,” he said, referring to the constitutional right to bear arms.
“And that is why my administration will never ratify the UN arms trade treaty.” “I am officially announcing today that the United States will be revoking the effect of America’s signature from this badly misguided treatment (sic). We’re taking our signature back.”
It also claimed that some groups are trying to use the treaty to overturn “sovereign national decisions” on arms exports—pointing to one effort to block the British government’s sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.
“The ATT is simply not needed for the United States to engage in responsible arms trade,” the White House said.