RealNews

U.S. Effort on Arms Opposed

Pakistan, Brazil, Germany and other Security Council members are working to scale back a U.S. initiative meant to halt the spread of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons to terrorist groups, on grounds the proposals could subject governments to sanctions and weaken the international system of disarmament treaties. Representatives from the governments say they support Washington’s goal of outlawing the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists and renegade arms dealers. But they maintain that a U.S.-sponsored resolution under negotiation in the 15-nation council would impose new legal obligations on all members of the United Nations without their consent. The diplomatic standoff shows the difficulty in forging new agreements — even among friendly nations — aimed at halting the illegal spread of the world’s deadliest weapons. It is also a fresh setback for President Bush, who urged the Security Council in a September 2003 address to criminalize the transfer of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. Full Story

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