"The Treaty will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market" and "will help to keep warlords, pirates, terrorists, criminals and their like from acquiring deadly arms," he said.

April 2nd treaty

The UN General Assembly on Tuesday adopted the first-ever treaty to regulate the $80-billion-a-year conventional arms trade. The treaty introduces general standards for deals involving conventional weapons, from small arms to warships.

The assembly voted 154-3 for a resolution that will open the treaty for signature from June.

The treaty will be open for signature June 3 and will enter into force 90 days after the 50th signatory ratifies it.

Against and abstaining

Syria, North Korea and Iran - which had blocked the treaty last week - voted against it.

Major arms producers China and Russia joined Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other countries in abstaining. A number of countries complained that the treaty favors exporting over importing states.

US and NRA

The US, the world's No.1 arms exporter, said last week it would vote in favor of the treaty despite opposition from the National Rifle Association, a powerful US pro-gun lobbying group.

The NRA opposes the treaty and has vowed to fight to prevent its ratification by the U.S. Senate when it reaches Washington.

The NRA says the treaty would undermine domestic gun-ownership rights, a view the US government rejects.

Syria's stance

Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari repeated that his government opposes the arms trade treaty because it does not ban the sale of weapons to non-state actors and "terrorists" like the ones active in Syria, where a two-year-old civil war has claimed at least 70,000 lives, according to UN estimates.