|Saturday, 28 July 2012 14:38|
UN member states have failed to reach agreement on a new treaty to regulate the multibillion dollar global arms trade.
Some diplomats and treaty supporters blamed the US for triggering the unravelling of the month-long negotiating conference.
Hopes had been raised that agreement could be reached on a revised treaty text that closed some key loopholes by Friday\'s deadline for action.
But the US announced in the morning that it needed more time to consider the proposed treaty - and Russia and China then also asked for more time.
The UN General Assembly voted in December 2006 to work towards a treaty regulating the growing arms trade, with the US casting a No vote.
In October 2009, the Obama administration reversed the Bush administration\'s position and supported an assembly resolution to hold four preparatory meetings and a four-week UN conference in 2012 to draft an arms trade treaty.
The United States insisted that a treaty had to be approved by the consensus of all 193 UN member states.
Ambassador Roberto Garcia Moritan, the conference chairman, said treaty supporters knew "this was going to be difficult to achieve" and there were some delegations that did not like the draft though "the overwhelming majority in the room did". He added that some countries from the beginning of negotiations had "different views" on a treaty, including Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Despite the failure to reach agreement, Mr Moritan predicted that "we certainly are going to have a treaty in 2012".
He said there are several options for moving forward in the General Assembly which will be considered over the summer, before the world body\'s new session begins in September.