The proposed United Nations international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) is out, and it is already running into trouble as many of the tenets are apparently contrary to United States law, to say nothing of the collision they might have with the Second Amendment.
Julianne Versnel-Gottlieb with the Bellevue-based Second Amendment Foundation reports from the U.N. headquarters in New York that the head of the U.S. delegation, Thomas Countryman, was quick to point out that provisions in the proposed treaty will run into trouble with existing law.
However, Versnel-Gottlieb notes that the proposed treaty is still getting support from the United Kingdom and the French delegation let slip that their ultimate goal is to regulate legitimately-owned “weapons.” Gun rights activists will quickly note that this has not worked too well for the British.
The entire document has been posted on the website of the International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR), an organization that Versnel-Gottlieb and her husband, Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, and founder of SAF, were instrumental in creating.
The important section of this document is the Preamble, according to Alan Gottlieb, who leaves for New York Wednesday in order to be on hand during the anticipated final negotiations later this week. This is what it says:
The States Parties to this Treaty:
1. Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
2. Recalling that the charter of the UN promotes the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the world’s human and economic resources;
3. Reaffirming the obligation of all State Parties to settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered, in accordance with the Charter of the UN;
4. Underlining the need to prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade of conventional arms and to prevent their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use, such as terrorism and organized crime;
5. Recognizing the legitimate political, security, economic and commercial rights and interests of States in the international trade of conventional arms;
6. Reaffirming the sovereign right and responsibility of any State to regulate and control transfers of conventional arms that take place exclusively within its territory pursuant to its own legal or constitutional systems;
7. Recognizing that development, human rights and peace and security, which are three pillars of the United Nations, are interlinked and mutually reinforcing.
8. Recalling the United Nations Disarmament Commission guidelines on international arms transfers adopted by the General Assembly;
9. Noting the contribution made by the 2001 UN Programme of Action to preventing combating and eradicating the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons in all its aspects, as well as the 2001 Protocol against the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in Firearms, their parts and components and ammunition, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime;
10. Recognizing the security, social, economic and humanitarian consequences of the illicit trade in and unregulated trade of conventional arms;
11. Recognizing the challenges faced by victims of armed conflict and their need for adequate care, rehabilitation and social and economic inclusion;
12. Bearing in mind that the women and children are particularly affected in situations of conflict and armed violence;
13. Emphasizing that nothing in this treaty prevents States from exercising their right to adopt additional more rigorous measures consistent with the purpose of this Treaty;
14. Recognizing the legitimate international trade and lawful private ownership and use of conventional arms exclusively for, inter alia, recreational, cultural, historical and sporting activities for States where such ownership and use are permitted or protected by law;
15. Recognizing the active role that non-governmental organizations and civil society can play in furthering the goals and objectives of this Treaty; and
16. Emphasizing that regulation of the international trade in conventional arms should not
hamper international cooperation and legitimate trade in material, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes;
Have agreed as follows:
Guided by the Purposes and Principles of the Charter of the United Nations, States Parties, In promoting the goals and objectives of this Treaty and implementing its provisions, shall act in accordance with the following principles:
1. The inherent rights of all States to individual or collective self-defense;
2. Settlement of individual disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered;
3. The rights and obligations of States under applicable international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law;
4. The responsibility of all States, in accordance with their respective international obligations, to effectively regulate and control international transfer of conventional arms as well as the primary responsibility of all States to in establishing and implementing their respective national export control systems; and
5. The necessity to implement this Treaty consistently and effectively and in a universal, objective and non-discriminatory manner.
But as Gottlieb puts it, the Devil is always in the details. It is still not clear whether ammunition will be targeted by this proposed agreement, and that is an important consideration.
ATT proponents were hoping to have this treaty signed and in the bag by this Friday, but there is a possibility that may not happen if enough concerns are raised.
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