Arms treaty to take effect

UNITED NATIONS, New York – A UN treaty that for the first time regulates the flow of weapons into conflict zones will come into force this year after eight more nations joined the pact.

The treaty requires signatory 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, but critics say some major players remain on the sidelines.

The United Nations says the treaty will come into force on December 24 after eight more countries submit their ratifications during the annual General Assembly, pushing the pact past the threshold of 50 countries.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the upcoming entry into force of the treaty, saying: “Deadly weaponry continues to find its way into irresponsible hands.”

“All actors involved in the arms trade must be held accountable,” he said.

Only three nations voted against the treaty last year.

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