Skip to comments.Obama punts on signing UN arms trade pact opposed by NRA
Posted on 06/03/2013 10:28:00 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
Obama punts on signing UN arms trade pact opposed by NRA
By Julian Pecquet - 06/03/13 12:00 PM ET
President Obama will not immediately sign a United Nations arms trade treaty opposed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) but is committed to doing so shortly, Secretary of State John Kerry said Monday.
Advocates for the pact had hoped the president would sign the treaty as soon as it became open for signatures on Monday, arguing that such a public display of support would create pressure on major arms dealers, such as Russia and China, to get on board.
Kerry, however, said the administration still has concerns that the U.N.'s various translations of the pact don't include the same language.
The United States welcomes the opening of the Arms Trade Treaty for signature, Kerry said in a statement. We look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily.
The NRA insists the pact is a U.N.-backed gun grab. A majority of senators have already said they oppose the treaty, making ratification impossible in the short-term.
Kerry pushed back against those concerns, saying the treaty would in no way infringe on Second Amendment rights.
Advocates for the treaty suggest the delay is, in part, politically motivated, and that the administration may wait until Congress is in recess this August to sign the treaty when few people are paying attention.
They say the treaty, which the U.S. mission to the U.N. joined 155 other countries in approving in April, was originally in English and that the administration could make clear in its signing statement what its requirements are before the translations are revised.
Raymond Offenheiser, president of Oxfam America, said he was "disappointed" by the delay but "confident the US will sign the treaty as expeditiously as possible."
"As a humanitarian organization, weve seen firsthand the impact of the global arms trade on innocent men, women and children in places like Syria and South Sudan. The time is now for the United States to lead by example and sign this treaty as swiftly as possible to stop dangerous weapons from reaching violent extremists and human rights abusers. There is no time left to wait.
Here's Kerry's full statement:
United States Welcomes Opening of Arms Trade Treaty for Signature
The United States welcomes the opening of the Arms Trade Treaty for signature, and we look forward to signing it as soon as the process of conforming the official translations is completed satisfactorily.
The Treaty is an important contribution to efforts to stem the illicit trade in conventional weapons, which fuels conflict, empowers violent extremists, and contributes to violations of human rights. The Treaty will require the parties to implement strict controls, of the kind the United States already has in place, on the international transfer of conventional arms to prevent their diversion and misuse and create greater international cooperation against black market arms merchants. The ATT will not undermine the legitimate international trade in conventional weapons, interfere with national sovereignty, or infringe on the rights of American citizens, including our Second Amendment rights.
We commend the Presidents of the two UN negotiating conferences Roberto Garcia Moritan of Argentina and Peter Woolcott of Australia for their leadership in bringing this agreement to fruition. We also congratulate all the states that helped achieve an effective, implementable Treaty that will reduce the risk that international transfers of conventional arms will be used to carry out the worlds worst crimes.
“Kerry, however, said the administration still has concerns that the U.N.’s various translations of the pact don’t include the same language.”
Only a government hack would sign an agreement that varies so much between the parties signing.
He’ll wait until after 2014 mid-terms.
He’s stuck enough sticks into the hornet’s nest (NRA).
He needs to shut up for 1.5 years to keep the NRA from overwhelming the polls and his hopes for Her Lordship Nancy.
He's got to stage another school shooting first...
In actuality, I expect Obama to wait until the press is done and then sign it quietly thinking he can avoid riling up gun owners.
If not, then why all the pressure for the US to sign it? Just to pressure Russia and China to sign it (which they won't)? The devil is in the fine print I'm sure.
“Such a display of support (weakness) will put pressure on Russia and China to get on board (laugh).
Fast and Furious and arming of the Mexican cartels, the current smuggling to the Syrian rebels via Benghazi, the Moslem brotherhood in Egypt getting everything from rifles to F-16s, the Libyan al qeida rebels, the Afghan military, the Palestinian authority with tens of thousands of M-16s.
Who could -ever- accuse US of arming terrorists?
exactly,,, he’s got it ready, now he’s just waiting for another mass shooting. Obama is evil.
Although, i will admit. The UN is an organization is almost entirely made up of human rights abusers, terrorists, and despots. So there is no way their goal is to stop the flow of arms to such types.
Their goal is to protect state sanctioned weapons trade businesses, and to find ways to declaw American gun owners.
Yeah. Because the Chinese and Russian governments are well known for falling in line when the UN snaps its collective fingers. What planet are these people from?
The violations are being perpetrated upon the unarmed.
Any student of history will recognize the pattern.
ONLY either providing the means for the defenseless to defend themselves or providing others to defend them will work, at least until the oppressors are removed.
There is no guarantee that the oppressed will not become oppressors, and they need not have firearms to do so. (Many slaughtered in Rwanda and Burundi were killed with machetes.)
. Does the ban include F-5s, F-15s and F-16s sold to peaceful governments like Egypt?
Ahh, my FR Brother, These which you mention are not "illicit". They are sponsored by a sovereign government engaged in diplomacy, as will any and all trade deals between Iran, North Korea, China, Russia, Syria, etc. An illicit arms trade would be without the authorization of a government. It is my understanding this is to restrict "black market" and "smuggling" of weapons. It's the UN. The devil is in the details. Question we should ask is, why would we need a treaty to get nations to agree that something that is illegal is also illegal by a consistent standard (as written)?
The laws that are to be broken per this treaty have yet to be written.
True, the US has armed some despicable people under the pretense of arming “the opposition” or “rebels”, and no way should we be sending planes to Egypt. As you say, the UN is largely composed of these same despicable people. I’m sure that part of this treaty involves a mandatory registry of guns, because how else can they keep us citizens from arming Sudan or Somalia?
Well, there it is. I feel better already.
What you say makes sense, but I don’t think he will wait.
He’ll probably sign it late some Friday afternoon.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.