Syria's Bashar al-Assad has agreed to destroy chemical weapons and has until mid-2014 to destroy the over 1,000 tons of stockpile weapons. As of October 7, the Syrian government has cooperated and the arsenal destruction is being overseen by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Assad claimed that it would take about a year to destroy all the chemical weapons.
On Tuesday, April 2, the United Nations easily approved a new global arms trade treaty by a vote of 154-3 with only 23 abstentions. Included among the many “yes” votes were the United States’ representatives to the UN, but that by no means implies that we should expect to see the treaty go into effect here in the States. Reuters reports that a Senate measure wanting the treaty rejected was already supported last month, and, with a two-thirds majority needed for the treaty to be approved and put into use in the United States, it’s almost completely unlikely that it will ever pass the Senate. The reason for this could be that the U.S. is the world’s leading gun exporter, making up a solid 30 percent of global gun trade. Other major exporters such as Russia and China will also heavily weigh the options before actually approving the treaty in their nations.