Talks aimed at creating a landmark treaty to regulate the global conventional arms trade failed to reach an agreement on Friday, even after month-long discussions by world delegations.
Major world powers including the US, China and Russia stuck to their position demanding more time to consider the issues and a possible UN vote at the end of 2012.
Over 170 countries were part of the month-long deliberations in New York to reach a consensus on formulating a treaty. The treaty has to be ratified by 65 countries to take effect.
"We feel that we could have agreed (a treaty). It is disappointing that more time is needed. But an arms trade treaty is coming - not today - but soon. We've taken a big step forward," a spokesman for the British delegation told Reuters.
The arms trade is estimated a $60bn industry and illegal trade in conventional weapons is on the rise every year fuelling conflict zones across the world.
The US alone accounts for over 40 percent of the global arms trade. Other major arms suppliers in the world are Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia.
The treaty proposes to cover all conventional arms in the categories of battle tanks, armoured combat vehicles, large-calibre artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons.
According to arms control activists, one person dies every minute from armed violence across the world as they cite the examples of Syria and other parts of the world as reasons which necessitate a treaty to control the arms trade.
Activists blamed the inability of the major powers including the US and Russia for the failure of the talks, though a number of nations such as Syria, North Korea, Iran, Egypt and Algeria where armed conflicts have become the order of the day raised objections to such a treaty.
The US was accused of bowing to the pressure of the powerful arms lobby in the country in the run-up to the presidential election.
"Moving forward, President Obama must show the political courage required to make a strong treaty that contains strong rules on human rights a reality," Scott Stedjan, a senior policy advisor at Oxfam America, told Reuters.
"The conference's inability to conclude its work on this much-awaited ATT, despite years of effort of member states and civil society from many countries, is a setback," said UN Secretary-General Ban ki-moon.