Talks begin at UN on global arms trade treaty

By RON DePASQUALE | July 3, 2012 | 8:36 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The world's nations have begun a final push for the first legally binding global treaty that would regulate the international arms trade and try to prevent the transfer of weapons to armed groups and terrorists.

A four-week Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty began Tuesday. The 193-member General Assembly is expected to approve the treaty, which has been in the works since 2006.

The Obama administration supports a treaty, reversing the George W. Bush administration's position.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon says that while the world has made progress on regulating weapons of mass destruction, work on conventional arms has lagged.

As the escalating conflict in Syria looms over the conference, questions remain on whether a final treaty would contain strong human rights provisions or cover ammunition as well.