Plowing the Field for Genocide: The UN's Arms Trade Treaty (ATT): The UN's Proposed Arms Trade Treaty, (Temporarily) Rejected the Week of July 23, Would Have Disarmed Citizens and Left Many Nations Vulnerable to Genocide

Article excerpt

The United Nations failed to put the finishing touches on a global gun control treaty in New York on July 27, a treaty that would have threatened the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment and promised to allow future genocidal governments to kill with impunity. The aborted global Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) would have obligated nations who sign it to create national firearms registries and establish collection methods for firearms not owned by government forces.

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The month-long United Nations conference to draw up the ATT failed to achieve consensus after the United States, Russia, and China requested more time to consider a draft treaty, according to United Nations officials. The draft treaty required unanimity among the nations assembled in order to advance.

The Obama administration had initially supported the ATT process, reversing a U.S. vote at the UN in 2006 (under the Bush administration) against an ATT, on the condition that a proposed ATT be unanimously adopted. The Obama administration's ambassador even delivered a July 12 speech at the convention in support of the agreement. But after the draft treaty was released, the Obama administration asked for more time to consider the treaty, effectively killing the agreement.

The Obama administration may have backed away from the treaty because of high domestic political pressure and the obvious fact that the treaty wouldn't be ratified by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate. Some 56 U.S. senators--a majority--wrote a July 26, 2011 letter to President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton opposing the UN global gun registry, according to the National Rifle Association, claiming "the establishment of any sort of international gun registry that could impede upon the privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners is a non-starter." Senatorial opinion did not appear to have shifted in the intervening year between the letter and the UN conference.

Although the treaty didn't go so far as to ban private ownership of firearms outwardly, this has been the motivation behind the private non-governmental organizations (NGOs) attending UN disarmament conferences since the UN committed itself to disarming civilians in 2001. The UN's "Programme of Action" adopted in 2001 established the global body's view that national governments should enact national gun registration: "These records should be organized and maintained in such a way as to ensure that accurate information can be promptly retrieved and collated by competent national authorities."

Also part of the UN's 2001 "programme" (even the spelling of its agenda is foreign to Americans) is the requirement that nations engage in firearms collection, suggesting the formation of rules "to develop and implement, where possible, effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration programmes, including the effective collection, control, storage and destruction of small arms and light weapons." (Emphasis added.)

UN officials are undaunted by their failure. "I am disappointed that the Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) concluded its four-week-long session without agreement on a treaty text that would have set common standards to regulate the international trade in conventional arms," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a July 27 statement. Ban termed the lack of agreement a "setback," but said that the UN's commitment to signing "a robust ATT is steadfast" and that the global body would continue to work toward what he termed "a noble goal."

The long-term legacy of an eventual ATT--if successful--may be more genocide by governments around the world. As scholars Jay Simkin and Alan M. Rice noted in their breakthrough 1994 book Lethal Laws:

  The down-side of "gun control" is genocide. …