Costa Rica’s vice president signed U.N. firearms sales tracking treaty

Vice President Alfio Piva signed the U.N. treaty over the sale of firearms Monday.

He was in New York at the United Nations Building. This was expected, and Costa Rica has promoted this treaty for seven years.

The agreement established an international tracking system for firearms.

The United Nations General Assembly passed the measure 154 to 3 with 23 abstentions April 2.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday that the Obama administration would sign the measure, too. He has voiced conditional support for months.

The United States, the world’s largest producer of conventional weapons, voted for the measure, but most observers believe that there is little chance for the U.S. Senate confirming it by the needed two-thirds votes. In addition, the National Rifle Association, which considers the treaty an end run around Congress and the states, plans to continue an aggressive campaign against ratification.

There is little opposition in Costa Rica. The country does not manufacture firearms, and a proposed firearms bill would prohibit such activities.

The treaty does not cover weapons sold or transferred by a national government.

The treaty does not cover nuclear or biological weapons. And the treaty is open to amendments in the future.

However, the document does create a U.N. bureaucracy to oversee the treaty and Article 5(4) requires annual reports by nations to the United Nations of arms deals, and these reports will be available for other U.N. members.

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