Wednesday, May 31, 2006

U.N., Swiss Call Small-Arms Meeting, U.S. Not Invited

The United Nations and the Swiss government said on May 31 they were calling a high-level international meeting next week on armed violence and development -- but the United States was not invited.

The gathering of ministers and senior representatives from some 48 countries aims to launch a world-wide effort to cut the gun crime and conflict hitting the economies of poorer nations, U.N. and Swiss officials told a news conference.


But the United States -- which has backed U.N. efforts to control the global trade in illicit weaponry but had stood aloof from other recent arms control pacts including one on land mines -- was not on the list of invitees, he told the news conference.
Invitations had gone out, he said, "to all those countries very committed to addressing this issue."

"But," he added, "I think ultimately that is why the United States is not invited -- it has to be countries that have shown a commitment on these issues ... We want to create this dynamic core group that can take this issue forward."


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