The UAE last night signed the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty, becoming one of the 79 nations to sign so far. The Treaty was signed by the UAE Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Jarman, who called it an important treaty, and the first international mechanism for the organization of international trade in conventional arms without prejudice of the sovereign rights of states in regulating weapons within its territory, Emirates news agency (WAM) reported. The agreement also protects the right of access to necessary types of conventional weapons for the purpose of self-defense and the protection of both national and regional security according to the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the resolutions of international legitimacy and relevant conventions. With 154 states voting in favour and only 23 abstentions, the Treaty gained overwhelming approval in April of this year. Iran, Syria and North Korea remained in opposition to the agreement which needed to be approved by at least 50 member states. Signatures are the first step towards ratification, and the treaty will only take effect after 50 countries have fully ratified it.