June 4, 2013
Yesterday, at the UN Headquarters in New York, there was a public signing of the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) held for the world to see. An estimated 60 nations signed the document, including:
• Democratic Republic of the Congo
The US did not attend the public signing. In fact, President Obama, who once supported the ATT, has declined to sign the document all together.
A few of the other nations that did not sign the ATT are:
According to Laura Lucas, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council (WH-NSC) said : “We are conducting a thorough review of the treaty text to determine whether to sign the treaty.”
John Kerry, Secretary of State, stated that when the translations of the ATT are complete, the US will review them for consideration.
It should be made known that the US is the biggest arms dealer in the world. Kerry asserted that the ATT “will not undermine the legitimate international trade in conventional weapons, interfere with national sovereignty, or infringe on the rights of American citizens.”
The ATT is expected to place the UN at the frontline of the $70 billion global arms trade.
Andrew Feinstein, author of “The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade”, explains: “What governments would have to do is they would have to consider certain criteria before authorizing the export of materiel, military equipment, weaponry, from their country. Those would include the likelihood of it contributing to an intensification of conflict, atrocities against their own citizenry or citizenry from other countries. It would also mean that they would have to document exactly what they were both exporting and importing. So there are a whole number of ways in which it would apply regulation that doesn’t currently exist. However, again let me emphasize, without strong enforcement mechanisms and without really committed political will from individual nation states, the utility and effectiveness of this treaty still will remain to be seen.”
Anna McDonald, member of the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Oxfam said: “The signing of the Arms Trade Treaty gives hope to the millions affected by armed violence every day. The devastating humanitarian consequences of the … conflict in Syria underline just how urgently regulation of the arms trade is needed. Gunrunners and dictators have been sent a clear message that their time of easy access to weapons is up. For generations the arms trade has been shrouded in secrecy but from now on it will be open to scrutiny.”
The UN ATT final draft has been released. The UN has told member states to “take or leave it.”
In the draft, the 2nd Amendment is completely retracted, and replaced with the UN Declaration of Human Rights.
By international mandate, the UN will have the “sovereign right of any State to regulate and control conventional arms”; this places international law above individual governmental controls over gun ownership.
Citing violence against women and children, the ATT claims individual countries must surrender control of manufacturer, purchase, possession, sale, trade and transfer of weapons of every size” to international control for the sake of “protecting women and children from armed conflict.”
The UN would have manipulative control over ammunition as well, rendering guns ineffective and gun owners helpless.
On control mechanism is the establishment of a “national control list” by each country to be given over to the UN for ultimate oversight. These lists will be turned given to the UN Secretariat; providing names, addresses and other identifiable information of gun owners to the UN.
The background checks being argued on Capitol Hill would simply become information transferred to the UN under reports that include all guns owned by who and where they reside.
Senators have vocalized their opposition of the US participation in the ATT. Specifically Senator Max Baucus said he would refuse to support the treaty because it does not “uphold the rights of Americans.”
Senator James Inhofe proposed two amendments into the Senate Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2014 to restrict the US government’s participation in international efforts to disarm sovereign nations.
Inhofe wants to protect Americans from threats to the 2nd Amendment by the UN and the ATT.
Inhofe said: “The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty is another attempt by internationalists to limit and infringe upon America’s sovereignty. Such a treaty would require the United States to implement laws as required by the treaty, instead of the national controls that are currently in place. This would also disrupt diplomatic and national security efforts by preventing our government from assisting allies like Taiwan, South Korea, or Israel when they require assistance. I will continue to mount strong opposition to any effort by Sec. Kerry and the State Department to ratify this treaty.”
These amendments were passed 53-46 in the Senate.
Senator Patrick Leahy’s proposal to prevent the US from violating the 2nd Amendment with participation in the ATT; this amendment was also approved.