US bishops urge Obama to sign arms trade treaty

Treaty advocates say it wouldn't affect domestic sales and only requires exporting countries to ensure that their weapons are unlikely to be used against civilians. President Obama is expected to sign the treaty within the next few months after the U.S. mission to the U.N. voted in favor.

“The treaty is not perfect, but it is an important step,” Pates wrote. “As the Holy See noted, '[t]here remain in the text of the treaty considerable gaps, particularly with regard to an emphasis more on States’ prerogatives than on the dignity and human rights of people, the predominance of commercial or economic considerations, and an inadequate elaboration of the principles of sufficiency, of victims’ assistance and of the need to reduce demand for arms.”