The United Nations never tires of proposing treaties designed to undermine U.S. sovereignty. President Obama and Secretary Clinton have supported three proposed U.N. Treaties in just the last few months. Fortunately, Senate Conservatives, led by Mike Lee (R-UT) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), have successfully gathered enough support to block any attempt to pass a treaty during the upcoming lame duck session. In a letter to the Majority and Minority leaders, the Senators state, “The writers of the Constitution clearly believed that all treaties presented to the Senate should undergo the most thorough scrutiny before being agreed upon. The American people will be electing representatives and senators in November, and the new representatives carrying the election mandate should be afforded the opportunity to review and consider any international agreements that are outstanding at the time of their election.”
One of the treaties, the controversial U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), also known as the “small arms treaty,” failed to advance at the U.N. conference in July where NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre addressed the conference on behalf of gun owners. The NRA was instrumental in gathering the signatures of a majority of U.S. Senators who opposed the treaty, which would have infringed on our Second Amendment rights. For the ATT to become legally binding, it would first have to pass out of the U.N. and then be ratified by a vote of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.
Some confusion has ensued due to another U.N. initiative undertaken at the Second Review Conference for the U.N. Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects (POA) that took place from August 27-September 7. The POA is an attempt by the U.N. to control small arms through a set of voluntary international standards. Countries may agree to abide by the voluntary standards, but the POA is not binding, unlike a possible treaty. Nevertheless, the POA is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and fails to recognize the rights of civilians to own firearms. As part of the POA conference, there was a proposal for international gun registration which reads, “For each individual small arm and light weapon under the jurisdiction of a State, records of the following information, where applicable in each instance, shall be maintained…ownership information (names, addresses and license numbers of owners), as well as dates of ownership, up until the point that the weapon leaves the jurisdiction of the State…in a centralized database administered by a competent State authority.” Efforts by the U.N. to restrict gun ownership are ongoing and will require constant vigilance.
A second U.N. treaty, known as the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), was blocked earlier this year when opponents pointed out that it would undermine U.S. control of oil and gas royalty revenue and violate U.S. sovereignty. A total of 34 Senators, led by Jim DeMint (R-SC) and James Inhofe (R-OK), led the opposition to LOST, pointing out that it would create yet another massive international bureaucracy which the U.S. would be forced to fund.
The third U.N. Treaty, entitled the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), was passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sent to the full Senate for ratification in July. Senator Jim DeMint, an opponent of CRPD, explained that this treaty has “a lot of language in there that has nothing to do with disabilities and that is likely to push the U.S. toward more international law.” He also points out that the treaty suggests it will promote abortion and undermine parental rights, saying, “We’re afraid that if the language suggests that parental authority is not absolute, we’re going to have an international body telling our parents they can’t homeschool.”
CRPD would expand abortion rights through its language requiring countries “to provide persons with disabilities with the same range, quality and standard of free or affordable health care and programmes as provided to other persons, including in the area of sexual and reproductive health and population-based public health programmes.” Senator Marco Rubio proposed an amendment to neutralize the pro-abortion language, but a second-degree amendment eliminating the Rubio clarification on abortion was offered by John Kerry (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which passed along a straight-party-line vote.
Senator Rick Santorum, who is the father of Bella, a special-needs child, wrote in an Op Ed, “What’s so problematic here is that the provisions of this treaty could open the door for a professional or government official to override the decision that we as parents need to make for our special-needs children…This is one yet one more example of Barack Obama’s ideology and mission to give more power to the government; to allow the government to dictate what our rights are.”
Thanks to the leadership of Senators Lee and Toomey we should be safe from the U.N.’s meddling during the upcoming lame duck session; however, please contact our U.S. Senators to ask for their opposition to these U.N. Treaties:
Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST), and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).
Senator John Cornyn: 972-239-1310/202-228-2856
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison: 214-361-3500/ 202-224-5922
Soon-to-be Senator-Elect Ted Cruz: 214-477-4047; 512-637-8777 (Campaign Offices)