Delegates from 190 countries have gathered at the United Nations to begin talks on the first-ever global agreement regulating the arms trade. According to arms control campaigners, one person every minute dies as a result of armed violence around the world. The global weapons market is valued at more than $60 billion a year, and critics argue that a binding treaty is necessary to prevent guns from flooding into conflict zones and fueling wars and human rights violations. The United States is by far the world’s largest producer, importer and exporter of armaments.
"Believe it or not, bananas and bottled water are regulated more stringently than conventional weapons. These are weapons that are killing 1,500 people every day, up to 750,000 a year," says Suzanne Nossel, executive director of Amnesty International USA. "These are the real weapons of mass destruction, because they’re killing, year in, year out, person by person, family by family, village by village."