US signs Australian treaty to control small firearms

THE world's biggest small arms exporter, the United States, has signed an Australian treaty pushing to control the flow of small firearms around the globe.

A key part of Australia's agenda at the United Nations General Assembly this week, the treaty has already garnered more than 100 signatories.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop chaired her first meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Wednesday in New York.

She put forward the treaty as a way to help stem the flow of illegal arms, an initiative which may help in slowing the casualties in conflicts such as Syria.

Ms Bishop said it was "very significant" the US had endorsed Australia's push, as America produced more firearms for export than any other.

She said the treaty now had "strong international momentum", saying she hoped it would help save lives around the globe.

While many nations have signed the treaty, the proof of success will depend on those who ratify it, with few to confirm ratification so far.

Topics:  firearms illegal firearms julie bishop united nations

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