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18 countries ratify UN Arms Trade Treaty

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Eighteen countries, including five of the world’s leading arms exporters, ratified a landmark treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade on Wednesday, giving a significant boost to the campaign for the treaty’s entry into force.

The ambassadors of the 18 countries handed over the documents at a U.N. ceremony on the first anniversary of General Assembly’s adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, which is aimed at stemming the global illegal weapons trade, estimated at between $60 billion and $85 billion. The new ratifications bring the total number to 31, more than half of the 50 needed for the pact to enter into force.

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