Posts Tagged ‘United Nations Arms Trade Treaty’

IAPCAR comment on UN ATT approval

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights (IAPCAR) expressed concern about the passage of the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (UN ATT) after its approval on April 2, 2013 in the UN General Assembly. This is not the path that the ATT should have taken. The Treaty had not been able to reach consensus, where all parties agreed, and it was hurried to the General Assembly. There were 154 votes in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions.

Philip Watson, IAPCAR’s executive director, stated, “An ATT without any provision protecting civilian use of firearms for the purpose of self-defense is unacceptable. While the preamble makes vague reference to civilian arms, there is nothing acknowledging the right in the operative language of the treaty.”

IAPCAR co-founder Julianne Versnel addressed the global body at the ATT conference on March 27 along with other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and defended the use of firearms in self-defense. “Almost half of the handguns in the US are owned by women. They are used daily for self-defense. I fully endorse, as should every person in this room, the idea that women must have the means to defend themselves. Nothing that is in an Arms Trade Treaty should affect a woman’s right to defend herself,” she told the delegates.

Pro-civilian rights supporters, collectors, industry and other participated in the process; however, were given less than half the time allotted to the self-titled ‘arms control’ groups in testimony to the global body.

The ATT will be open for signature on June 3 and will enter into force 90 days after the 50th signatory ratifies it.

The International Association for the Protection of Civilian Arms Rights ( is the only worldwide political action group focusing on the human right to keep and bear arms. Founded in 2010, IAPCAR has grown to 24 major gun-rights organizations and conducts operations designed to inform the public and promote the right of self-defense and gun-ownership.

NSSF Objects to U.S. Government Abandoning Position that U.N. Treaty Must be based on International “Consensus”

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Via:  National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF)

The National Shooting Sports Foundation today strongly objected to the last-minute reversal of the U.S. government position regarding the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty. In the closing hours of negotiations on Thursday, March 28, the government abandoned its previous insistence that the treaty be approved only through achieving “consensus” of all the member states. Requiring consensus had been the United States position going back to earlier administrations.

At the end of the session, a U.S. government spokesperson told reporters “It’s important to the United States and the defense of our interests to insist on consensus. But every state in this process has always been conscious of the fact that if consensus is not reached in this process, that there are other ways to adopt this treaty, including via a vote of the General Assembly.” The spokesperson went on to say that the United States would vote “yes” on the treaty in the General Assembly, regardless of the positions of other member states. By abandoning the requirement for consensus the United States is assuring passage of the treaty by the United Nations.

“This abrupt about-face on the long-standing United States requirement for ‘consensus’ illustrates that the Obama Administration wants a sweeping U.N. arms control treaty,” said Lawrence Keane, NSSF senior vice president and general counsel. “We are troubled by the timing of the Obama Administration’s decision to abandon consensus on the eve of the Senate debate on pending gun control measures. The United Nations treaty would have a broad impact on the U.S. firearms industry and its base of consumers in the U.S.”

Industry analysts have identified three major areas of concern with the treaty text. The treaty clearly covers trade in civilian firearms, not just military arms and equipment. It will have a major impact on the importation of firearms to the United States, which is a substantial source for the consumer market. And it will impose new regulations on the “transit” of firearms, the term defined so broadly that it would cover all everything from container ships stopping at ports to individuals who are traveling internationally with a single firearm for hunting or other sporting purposes.

“We hope that the Members of the U.S. Senate are closely watching the White House abandon its principles and promises in the rush to ramrod this flawed treaty into effect. Not only will they later be asked to ratify this attack on our constitution and sovereignty, but they will also be lavished with new promises from the administration in its drive to push a broad gun control agenda through the U.S. Senate when it returns from recess. They would be right to question those promises strongly,” concluded Keane.

US Senate Votes to Block UN Arms Trade Treaty

Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

Original Story Via:  PJ Media

by Howard Nemerov

During the Senate’s passing of their (congressional budget) Concurrent Resolution 8 on March 23, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe successfully inserted Senate amendment 139 to “prevent the United States from entering into the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty.” (Text of bills can be retrieved from Library of Congress “Thomas” site.)

In a 53-49 vote, the Senate passed Inhofe’s amendment. The list of Yeas and Nays is what’s important going forward, and contains both good news and a warning.

Along with all 45 Republicans, 8 Democrat senators voted Yea:

  • Mark Begich, Alaska
  • Joe Donnelly, Indiana
  • Kay Hagan, North Carolina
  • Martin Heinrich, New Mexico
  • Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota
  • Joe Manchin, West Virginia
  • Mark Pryor, Arkansas
  • Jon Tester, Montana

Full story:


Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Original Story Via:

The Second Amendment Foundation today reminded the United Nations that “if women have the right to be protected against violence, then they have the right to protect themselves against violence.”

So spoke SAF’s Director of Operations Julianne Versnel, whose remarks to the U.N. Programme of Action conference were unlike anything many delegates had ever heard before.

The conference is seen as the first step toward rekindling discussions about an on-going process to continue development of a small arms and light weapons treaty, which earlier this summer collapsed when several nations opposed it.

Noting that she had reviewed what has already been written and said about the violence against women as it relates to the Programme of Action, Versnel emphasized that, “I am struck by what is not said.”

“If there is a basic sanctity of a woman’s person,” she observed, “if there is a right to not be a victim of sexual or personal violence, then that right involves the right to defend one’s self.”

Alan Gottlieb, Laura McDonald, Otis McDonald and Julianne Versnel at the 2011 Gun Rights Policy Conference in Chicago, Illinois.

Versnel stressed that any new global gun control initiatives must “do nothing to disarm women who legitimately and rightfully want to defend themselves.”

While international gun prohibitionists have been pushing a civilian disarmament agenda, Versnel’s warnings may open up a new and politically uncomfortable arena. It is impossible to dismiss female victims of violence as “male American gun nuts.”

“The drive for human rights is a force throughout the world,” Versnel stated, “and especially here at the U.N. A woman’s right to be free from violence is a fundamental human right. That fundamental right is to defend one’s self. The report of this conference should state that without reservation.”

The Second Amendment Foundation ( is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control. In addition to the landmark McDonald v. Chicago Supreme Court Case, SAF has previously funded successful firearms-related suits against the cities of Los Angeles; New Haven, CT; New Orleans; Chicago and San Francisco on behalf of American gun owners, a lawsuit against the cities suing gun makers and numerous amicus briefs holding the Second Amendment as an individual right.


Friday, July 27th, 2012

Original Story Via:

The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms today applauds the decision by the United States to not sign the proposed International Arms Trade Treaty, and CCRKBA credits grassroots action for the gun rights victory.

CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, who is at the United Nations in New York, said the announcement came Friday morning after a week of intense negotiations.

“I think the grassroots surge by American gun owners against this treaty convinced our government to not sign this document,” Gottlieb said. “The proposed treaty, as written, poses serious problems for our gun rights, and the sovereignty of our Second Amendment.”

CCRKBA has been active in raising public awareness about the proposed treaty, and Gottlieb said he is proud of members and supporters who made “stepped up to the plate” and contacted their U.S. senators.

“This is freedom in action,” Gottlieb stated. “We are gratified that so many did so much to protect their Second Amendment rights from an international gun rights grab.

BREAKING NEWS: UN Arms Trade Treaty – Full Proposed Document

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012


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.


Article 1

Goals and Objectives

Cognizant of the need to prevent and combat the diversion of conventional arms into the illicit market r to unauthorized end users through the improvement of regulation on the international trade in conventional arms,

The goals and objectives of this Treaty are:

–          For States Parties to establish the highest possible common standards for regulating or improving regulation of the international trade in conventional arms;

–          To prevent, combat and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and their diversion to illegal and unauthorized end use;

In order to:

–          Contribute to international and regional peace, security and stability;

–          Avoid that the international trade in conventional arms contributes to human suffering;

–           Promote cooperation, transparency and responsibility of States Parties in the trade in conventional arms, thus building confidence among States Parties,


Article 2

–          A. Covered Items

–          1. This Treaty shall apply to all conventional arms within the following categories:

–          a. Battle Tanks

–          b. Armored combat vehicles

–          c. Large-caliber Artillery systems

–          d. Combat aircraft

–          e. Attack helicopters

–          f. Warships

–          g. Missiles and missile launchers

–          h. Small Arms and Light Weapons

–          2. Each State Party Shall establish and Maintain a national control system to regulate the export of munitions to the extent necessary to ensure that national controls on the export of the conventional arms covered by Paragraph a1 (a)-(h) are not circumvented by the export of munitions for those conventional arms.

–          3. Each State Party shall establish and maintain a national control system to regulate the export of parts and components to the extent necessary to ensure that national controls on the export of the conventional arms covered by Paragraph A1 are not circumvented by the export of parts and components of those items.

–          4. Each State Party shall establish or update, as appropriate, and maintain a national control list that shall include the items that fall within Paragraph 1 above, as defined on a national basis, based on relevant UN instruments at a minimum. Each State Party shall publish its control list to the extent permitted by national law.

–          B. Covered Activities

–          1. This Treaty shall apply to those activities of the international trade in conventional arms covered in paragraph a1 above, and set out in Articles 6-10, hereafter referred to as “transfer.”

–          2. This Treaty shall not apply to the international movement of conventional arms by a State Party or its agents for its armed forces or law enforcement authorities operating outside its national territories, provided they remain under the State Party’s ownership.


Article 3

Prohibited Transfers

  1. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate any obligation under any measure adopted by the United Nations Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, in particular arms embargoes.
  2. A State Party shall not authorize any transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty if the transfer would violate its relevant international obligations, under international agreements, to which it is a Party, in particular those relating to the international transfer of, or illicit trafficking in, conventional arms.
  3. A State Party shall not authorize a transfer of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty for the purpose of facilitating the commission of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes constituting grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, or serious violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Convention of 1949.


Article 4

National Assessment

  1. Each State Party, in considering whether to authorize an export of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty, shall, prior to authorization and through national control systems, make an assessment specific to the circumstances of the transfer based on the following criteria:
  2. Whether the proposed export of conventional arms would:
    1. Be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law;
    2. Be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law;
    3. Contribute to peace and security;
    4. Be used to commit or facilitate an act constituting an offense under international conventions and protocols relating to terrorism or transnational organized crime, to which the transferring State is a Party;
  3. In making the assessment, the transferring State Party shall apply the criteria set out in Paragraph 2 consistently and in an objective and non-discriminatory manner and in accordance with the principles set out in this Treaty, taking into account relevant factors, including information provided by the importing State.

4. In assessing the risk pursuant to Paragraph 2, the transferring State Party may also take into consideration the establishment of risk mitigation measures including confidence-building measures and jointly developed programs by the exporting and importing State.

5. If in the view of the authorizing State Party, this assessment, which would include any actions that may be taken in accordance with Paragraph 4, constitutes a substantial risk, the State Party shall not authorize the transfer.


Article 5

Additional Obligations

  1. Each State Party, when authorizing an export, shall consider taking feasible measures, including joint actions with other States involved in the transfer, to avoid the transferred arms:
  2. being diverted to the illicit market;
  3. be used to commit or facilitate gender-based violence or violence against children;
  4. become subject to corrupt practices; or
  5. adversely impact the development of the recipient State.


Article 6

General Implementation

  1. Each State Party shall implement this Treaty in a consistent, objective and non-discriminatory manner in accordance with the goals and objectives of this Treaty;
  2. The implementation of this Treaty shall not prejudice previous or future obligations undertaken with regards to international instruments, provided that those obligations are consistent with the goals and objectives of this Treaty. This Treaty shall not be cited as grounds for voiding contractual obligations under defense cooperation agreements concluded by States Parties to this Treaty.
  3. Each State Party shall take all appropriate legislative and administrative measures necessary to implement the provisions of this Treaty and designate competent national authorities in order to have an effective, transparent and predictable national control system regulating the transfer of conventional arms;
  4. Each State Party shall establish one or more national contact points to exchange information on matters related to the implementation of this Treaty. A State Party shall notify the Implementation Support Unit (See Article 13) of its national contact point(s) and keep the information updated.
  5. State Parties involved in a transfer of conventional arms shall, in a manner consistent with the principles of this Treaty, take appropriate measures to prevent diversion to the illicit market or to unauthorized end-users.  All State Parties shall cooperate, as appropriate, with the exporting State to that end.
  6. . If a diversion is detected the State or States Parties that made the decision shall verify the State or States Parties that could be affected by such diversion, in particulate those State Parties that are involved in the transfer, without delay.
  7.  Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within national laws and regulations, to regulate transfers of conventional arms within the scope of the Treaty.


Article 7


  1. Each State Party shall conduct risk assessments, as detailed in Articles 4 and 5, whether to grant authorizations for the transfer of conventional arms under the scope of this Treaty.  State Parties shall apply Articles 3-5 consistently, taking into account all relevant information, including the nature and potential use of the items to be transferred and the verified end-user in the country of final destination.
  2. Each State Party shall take measures to ensure all authorizations for the export of conventional arms under the scope of the Treaty are detailed and issued prior to the export.  Appropriate and relevant details of the authorization shall be made available to the importing, transit and transshipment State Parties, upon request.


Article 8


  1. Importing State Parties shall take measures to ensure that appropriate and relevant information is provided, upon request, to the exporting State Party to assist the exporting State in its criteria assessment and to assist in verifying end users.
  2. State Parties shall put in place adequate measures that will allow them, where necessary, to monitor and control imports of items covered by the scope of the Treaty.  State Parties shall also adopt appropriate measures to prevent the diversion of imported items to unauthorized end users or to the illicit market.
  3. Importing State Parties may request, where necessary, information from the exporting State Party concerning potential authorizations.


Article 9


  1. Each State Party shall take the appropriate measures, within national laws and regulations, to control brokering taking place under its jurisdiction for conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty.


Article 10

Transit and Transshipment

  1. Each State Party shall adopt appropriate legislative, administrative or other measures to monitor and control, where necessary and feasible, conventional arms covered by this Treaty that transit or transship through territory under its jurisdiction, consistent with international law with due regard for innocent passage and transit passage;
  2. Importing and exporting States Parties shall cooperate and exchange information, where feasible and upon request, to transit and transshipment States Parties, in order to mitigate the risk of discretion;


Article 11

Reporting, Record Keeping and Transparency

  1. Each State Party shall maintain records in accordance with its national laws and regardless of the items referred to in Article 2, Paragraph A, with regards to conventional arms authorization or exports, and where feasible  of those items transferred to their territory as the final destination, or that are authorized to transit or transship their territory, respectively.
  2. Such records may contain: quantity, value, model/type, authorized arms transfers, arms actually transferred, details of exporting State(s), recipient State(s), and end users as appropriate. Records shall be kept for a minimum of ten years, or consistent with other international commitments applicable to the State Party.
  3. States Parties may report to the Implementation Support Unit on an annual basis any actions taken to address the diversion of conventional arms to the illicit market.
  4. Each State Party shall, within the first year after entry into force of this Treaty for that State Party, provide an initial report to States Parties of relevant activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty; including inter alia, domestic laws, regulations and administrative measures. States Parties shall report any new activities undertaken in order to implement this Treaty, when appropriate. Reports shall be distributed and made public by the Implementation Support Unit.
  5. Each State Party shall submit annually to the Implementation Support Unit by 31 May a report for the preceding calendar year concerning the authorization or actual transfer of items included in Article 2, Paragraph A1. Reports shall be distributed and made public by the Implementation Support Unit. The report submitted to the Implementation Support Unit may contain the same type of information submitted by the State Party to other relevant UN bodies, including the UN Register of Conventional Arms. Reports will be consistent with national security sensitivities or be commercially sensitive.




  1. Each State Party shall adopt national legislation or other appropriate national measures regulations and policies as may be necessary to implement the obligations of this Treaty.




  1. This Treaty hereby establishes an Implementation Support Unit to assist States Parties in its implementation.
  2. The ISU shall consist of adequate staff, with necessary expertise to ensure the mandate entrusted to it can be effectively undertaken, with the core costs funded by States Parties.
  3. The implementation Support Unit, within a minimized structure and responsible to States Parties, shall undertake the responsibilities assigned to it in this Treaty, inter alia:
    1. Receive distribute reports, on behalf of the Depository, and make them publicly available;
    2. Maintain and Distribute regularly to States Parties the up-to-date list of national contact points;
    3. Facilitate the matching of offers and requests of assistance for Treaty implementation and promote international cooperation as requested;
    4. Facilitate the work of the Conference of States Parties, including making arrangements and providing the necessary service es for meetings under this Treaty; and
    5. Perform other duties as mandated by the Conference of States Parties.




  1. States Parties shall designate national points of contact to act as a liaison on matters relating to the implementation of this Treaty.
  2. States Parties shall cooperate closely with one another, as appropriate, to enhance the implementation of this Treaty consistent with their respective security interests and legal and administrative systems.

States Parties are encouraged to facilitate international cooperation, including the exchange of information on matters of mutual interest regarding the implementation and application of this Treaty in accordance with their national legal system. Such voluntary exchange of information may include, inter alia, information on national implementation measures as well as information on specific exporters, importers and brokers and on any prosecutions brought domestically, consistent with commercial and proprietary protections and domestic laws, regulations and respective legal and administrative systems.

4.   Each State Party is encouraged to maintain consultations and to share information, as appropriate, to support the implementation of this Treaty, including through their national contact points.

5. States Parties shall cooperate to enforce the provisions of this Treaty and combat breaches of this Treaty, including sharing information regarding illicit activities and actors to assist national enforcement and to counter and prevent diversion. States Parties may also exchange information on lessons learned in relation to any aspect of this Treaty, to develop best practices to assist national implementation.

Article 15
International Assistance

  1. In fulfilling the obligation of this Treaty, States Parties may seek, inter alia, legal assistance, legislative assistance, technical assistance, institutional capacity building, material assistance or financial assistance. States, in a position to do so, shall provide such assistance. States Parties may contribute resources to a voluntary trust fund to assist requesting States Parties requiring such assistance to implement the Treaty.
  2. States Parties shall afford one another the widest measure of assistance, consistent with their respective legal and administrative systems, in investigations, prosecutions and judicial proceedings in relation to the violations of the national measures implemented to comply with obligations under of the provisions of this Treaty.
  3. Each State Party may offer or receive assistance, inter alia, through the United Nations international, regional, subregional or national organizations, non-governmental organizations or on a bi-lateral basis. Such assistance may include technical, financial, material and other forms of assistance as needed, upon request.

Article 16
Signature, Ratification, Acceptance, Approval or Accession

  1. This Treaty shall be open for signature on [date] at the United Nations Headquarters in New York by all States and regional integration organizations.
  2. This Treaty is subject to ratification, acceptance or approval of the Signatories.
  3. This Treaty shall be open for accession by any state and regional integration organization that has not signed the Treaty.

4. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

5. The Depositary shall promptly inform all signatory and acceding States and regional integration organizations of the date of each signature, the date of deposit of each instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession and the date of the entry into force of this Treaty, and of the receipt of notices.

6. “Regional integration organization” shall mean an organization constituted by sovereign States of a given region, to which its Member States have transferred competence in respect of matters governed by this Treaty and which has been duly authorized, in accordance with its internal procedures, to sign, ratify, accept, approve or accede to it.

7.  At the time of its ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, a regional integration organization shall declare the extent of its competence with respect to matters governed by this Treaty.  Such organizations shall also inform the Depositary of any relevant modifications in the extent of it competence.

8.  References to “State Parties” in the present Treaty shall apply to such organizations within the limits of their competence.


Article 17

Entry into Force

  1. This Treaty shall enter into force thirty days following the date of the deposit of the sixty-fifth instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval with the Depositary.
  2. For any State or regional integration organization that deposits its instruments of accession subsequent to the entry into force of the Treaty, the Treaty shall enter into force thirty days following the date of deposit of its instruments of accession.
  3. For the purpose of Paragraph 1 and 2 above, any instrument deposited by a regional integration organization shall not be counted as additional to those deposited by Member States of that organization.


Article 18

Withdrawal and Duration

  1. This Treaty shall be of unlimited duration.
  2. Each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Convention. It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other States Parties from this Convention.  It shall give notice of such withdrawal to all other States Parties and to the Depositary.  The instrument of withdrawal shall include a full explanation of the reasons motivating this withdrawal.
  3. A state shall not be discharged, by reason of its withdrawal, from the obligations arising from this treaty while it was a party to the Treaty, including any financial obligations, which may have accrued.


Article 19

  1. Each State party, in exercising its national sovereignty, may formulate reservations unless the reservation is incompatible with the object and purpose of this Treaty.


Article 20

  1. At any time after the Treaty’s entry into force, a State Party may propose an amendment to this Treaty.
  2. Any proposed amendment shall be submitted in writing to the Depository, which will then circulate the proposal to all States Parties, not less than 180 days before next meeting of the Conference of States Parties. The amendment shall be considered at the next Conference of States Parties if a majority of States Parties notify the Implementation Support Unit that they support further consideration of the proposal no later than 180 days after its circulation by the Depositary.
  3. Any amendment to this Treaty shall be adopted by consensus, or if consensus is not achieved, by two-thirds of the States Parties present and voting at the Conference of States Parties. The Depositary shall communicate any amendment to all States Parties.
  4. A proposed amendment adopted in accordance with Paragraph 3 of this Article shall enter into force for all States Parties to the Treaty that have accepted it, upon deposit with the Depositary. Thereafter, it shall enter into force for any remaining State Party on the date of deposit of its instrument of accession.


Article 21
Conference of States Parties

  1. The Conference of States Parties shall be convened not later than once a year following the entry into force of this Treaty. The Conference of States Parties shall adopt rules of procedure and rules governing its activities, including the frequency of meetings and rules concerning payment of expenses incurred in carrying out those activities.

The Conference of States Parties shall:
a. Consider and adopt recommendations regarding the implementation of this Treaty, in particular the promotion of its universality; TR

b. Consider amendments to this Treaty;

c. Consider and decide the work and budget of the Implementation Support Unit;

d. Consider the establishment of any subsidiary bodies as may be necessary to improve the functioning of the Treaty;

e. Perform any other function consistent with this Treaty.

3. If circumstances merit, an exceptional meeting of the State Parties may be convened if required and resources allow.


Article 22
Dispute Settlement

  1. States Parties shall consult and cooperate with each other to settle any dispute that may arise with regard to the interpretation or application of this Treaty.
  2. States Parties shall settle any dispute between them concerning the interpretation or application of this Treat though negotiations or other peaceful means of the Parties mutual choice.
  3. States Parties may pursue, by mutual consent, third party arbitration to settle any dispute between them, regarding issues concerning the implementation of this Treaty.


Article 23
Relations with States not party to this Treaty

  1. States Parties shall apply Articles 3-5 to all transfers of conventional arms within the scope of this Treaty to those not party to this Treaty.


Article 24
Relationship with other instruments

  1. States Parties shall have the right to enter into agreements on the trade in conventional arms with regards to the international trade in conventional arms, provided that those agreements are compatible with their obligations under this Treaty and do not undermine the objects and purposes of this Treaty.


Article 25
Depositary and Authentic Texts

  1. The Secretary-General of the United Nations is the Depositary of this Treaty.
  2. The original text of this Treaty, of which the Arabic, Chinese, English, Russian and Spanish texts are equally authentic.



VIDEO: NFA’s Sheldon Clare on the UN ATT

Friday, July 13th, 2012

Original Story Via:  Sun News Canada

Global Gun Grab: Sheldon Clare from the Canadian National Firearms Association (NFA) talks about the UN’s infatuation with getting it wrong when it comes to guns.

For more information on IAPCAR member NFA visit

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”untitled.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”] [/kml_flashembed]


UN ATT Chairman’s Paper

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Their official UN ATT proposal: Chair Paper 3 July 2012

Proposal does include civilian firearms and ammunition, not limited to tanks, missiles, bombs, jets, and helicopters.

More info available at the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty Website:


DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations’ small arms control initiatives

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations’ small arms control initiative

By Jeff Moran

Next month diplomats from the world over will converge at the United Nations in New York to formally negotiate a legally binding Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). This is the culmination of over a decade of humanitarian advocacy and pre‐negotiations inside and outside the United Nations. It’s part of a larger global effort kick‐started in 2001 with the passage of a non‐legally binding resolution by the UN General Assembly. This resolution was called the “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (PoA).(1) This led to the creation of many initiatives, the most visible and contentious of which has been the ATT.

The ATT process formally got underway with two subsequent UN resolutions lead by the United Kingdom and is still Chaired by Argentine Ambassador Roberto Moritán. In 2006, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 61/89 entitled “Towards an arms trade treaty: establishing common international standards for the import, export and transfer of conventional arms.”(2) This resolution enabled the UK and like‐minded countries to assemble experts to assess the feasibility of formally launching an ATT negotiation process. Then, in 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 64/48, entitled “The Arms Trade Treaty,” which established a schedule for pre‐negotiation meetings (known as Preparatory Committees, or PrepComs) resulting in a final Diplomatic Conference in July 2012.(3)

The goal of the ATT is to “to elaborate a legally binding instrument on the highest possible common international standards for the transfer of conventional arms.”(4) The scope is likely to include everything from helicopters to hand grenades, from tanks to target pistols and ammunition. It is hoped by humanitarians that a legally binding UN ATT championed by like‐minded states could be shaped to complement the merely politically‐binding 2001 UN PoA.

While all this treaty advocacy was going on, many of the same actors adopted a more discreet approach to binding international law for small arms and ammunition. Rather than just pursue their ambitious goals through a treaty out in the open, they also quietly started developing small arms control standards and customs. An example of this is the UN CASA (Coordinating Action on Small Arms) project, which is overseen by the UN’s Office of Disarmament Affairs.(5) UN CASA is euphemistically described as the “small arms coordination mechanism within the UN” to “frame the small arms issue in all its aspects, making use of development, crime, terrorism, human rights, gender, youth, health and humanitarian insights.”(6) In practice this organization is like a lawmaking committee or agency, but not nearly as accountable.

In 2008, CASA launched what they themselves described as “an ambitious initiative to develop a set of International Small Arms Control Standards (ISACS).”(7) UN CASA’s ISACS project includes eighteen mostly small and developing countries (none of them permanent security council members), fifteen international, regional and sub‐regional organizations, 33 humanitarian civil society groups, 23 other UN bodies, and just one Belgian firearms company, and one Italian national sporting arms and ammunition industry association.(8)

Ultimately, UN CASA’s ISACS initiative will eventually result in customary international law. Customary international law is the result of international administrative rule making which acquires the same weight as treaty law over time. States can be bound by customary international law regardless of whether the states have codified these laws domestically. Along with general principles of law and treaties, customary law is considered by the International Court of Justice, jurists, the United Nations, and its member states to be among the primary sources of international law.(9)

Truth be told, the UN’s PoA, the ATT, and CASA ISACS are predicated on false assumptions regarding small arms and ammunition. The two most important of which I will discuss here. Both of these assumptions are generally false in view of recent statistical studies and published scholarship.

The first assumption is that proliferation of small arms is a universal threat to human security, or, alternatively, that greater availability of small arms means more gun deaths in a given society. This is best quoted by the Geneva‐based Small Arms Survey (SAS), a special interest research group funded by various United Nations organizations, and other countries advocating stricter small arms controls.(10) The SAS officially states that the driving assumption behind all their research is the unqualified universal idea that “proliferation of small arms and light weapons represents a grave threat to human security.”(11) In fact, Nicholas Florquin, a senior researcher at SAS, started his talk during a two day seminar on Small Arms and Human Security in November 2011 with a stronger statement that, “proliferation of small arms causes problems” for humanity. (12)

Clearly, the small arms situation in some places may indeed be threatening to human security. But proliferation, i.e. the distribution of arms or expanding private ownership of arms, is not intrinsically a bad thing for everyone everywhere, especially in an ordered society. Proliferation, in fact, can be a force for good even in a disordered societal situation.

The American experience alone invalidates the global causative relationship between small arms proliferation and human insecurity. For example, trend data over the past nearly 20 years shows the US has been experiencing a phenomenal 35% decline in the number of gun deaths, even more in per‐capita terms.(13) This is part of a long term general trend in lower criminality. Over the same period firearms‐related suicides per 100,000 people declined by nearly 20%, the population grew over 20%, gun availability spiked (firearms sales boomed while statistically insignificant numbers of guns were bought back or otherwise destroyed), and, in 2011, indicators of national gun ownership rates increased to their highest level since 1993.(14,15) In other words, what we see in the US is the flipside of the assumption, that proliferation of small arms coincides with less gun violence. While this situation doesn’t necessarily mean more guns causes less gun violence, it does mean that the “more guns means more violence” assumption is simply not valid.

The French experience arming revolutionaries abroad invalidates the moral aspect of this first assumption, that proliferation is intrinsically bad. In fact, France alone has shown there can be a democratic and human rights upside of small arms proliferation. Have humanitarian campaigners forgotten that France armed liberty‐seeking American revolutionaries against colonial Britain? Are they denying that France also armed liberty‐seeking Libyan revolutionaries last year, and, ultimately, facilitated the demise of a regional dictator and notorious human rights abuser? These experiences prove even legally questionable state‐sponsored small arms proliferation to “insurgents” and “revolutionaries” can actually be a good thing for some societies and their local humanity.

The second assumption is that there is a plague of international illegal weapons trafficking threatening humanity everywhere. In fact, Rachel Stohl, the long‐time private consultant and insider working directly for Ambassador Moritán managing the ATT processes, has even published that “Without a doubt, it is the illegal arms trade and its various actors, agents, causes and consequences that capture our attention and motivate our action.”(16)

New research suggests the problem of illicit international trade in arms is not nearly as bad as first hypothesized over 10 years ago. Humanitarian campaigners’ evidence about the vast size, global scope, and cataclysmic impact of international illicit trafficking simply does not exist. Granted, it’s hard to quantify such illegal activity. Nontheless, the assertion that illicit international small arms trafficking is a major problem for the world has in fact been disproven over 10 years of progressively improved knowledge on the topic by academics and specialist researchers.(17)

To this day, however, the UN still claims on its Office of Disarmament Affairs website that international trafficking is a “worldwide scourge,” and that it “wreaks havoc everywhere.”(18) Campaigners, and their UN organizational sympathizers, must embrace the truth and acknowledge that the world is NOT actually suffering from a scourge of illegal international arms trafficking everywhere. At best, some failed or fragile states, conflict or post‐conflict regions may be suffering from illegal trafficking, but even this is of dubious importance ranked against other concerns like local diversion of small arms from government arsenals. Deaths and violence by small arms and light weapons are, on the whole, symptomatic of more local causes rooted within societies, and not cross‐border transfers.

The inconvenient truth today for humanitarian campaigners for international small arms controls is that for most countries around the globe, even for most developing or fragile states, a combination of deficient domestic regulation of legal firearms possession with theft, and loss or corrupt sale from official inventories is a more serious problem than illicit trafficking across borders.(19) The much touted scourge of illicit trade in small arms must be recognized, therefore, as hyperbolic humanitarian catastrophizing, or as we say in business, “marketing hype.”

In conclusion, while hyping of the size, scope, and impact of the illicit aspects of the arms trade was a de facto condition for first building consensus and momentum for the PoA, the ATT, and programs like CASA ISACS, continuing to do so presents serious reputational risk.(20) Continuing to assert that proliferation of small arms in society is intrinsically a bad thing for humanity presents serious reputational risk as well. Ultimately, such apparent dishonestly in the pursuit of otherwise admirable humanitarian goals raises questions about hidden agendas, institutional credibility, integrity, and organizational subject matter expertise. If the UN and humanitarian organizations really want to promote human security around the globe, honesty is still the best policy.



Jeff Moran, a Principal at TSM Worldwide LLC, is a business consultant specializing in the international defense & security industry. He studies negotiations & policy‐making at the Executive Masters Program of the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Previously Mr. Moran was a strategic marketing leader for a multi‐billion dollar unit of a public defense & aerospace company, a military diplomat, and a nationally ranked competitive rifle shooter. Jeff Moran has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School and a BSFS degree from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service

© 2012. Jeff Moran and TSM Worldwide LLC. All Rights Reserved. Distribution and republication are authorized when Jeff Moran and URL are referenced.‐humanitarianism/  DISHONEST HUMANITARIANISM? The invalid assumptions behind the United Nations small arms control initiatives.



1 http://www.poa‐

2 http://daccess‐dds‐

3 http://daccess‐dds‐

4 Ibid.

5 http://www.poa‐, http://www.un‐

6 http://www.poa‐

7 http://www.un‐casa‐

8 http://www.un‐casa‐


10 Small Arms Survey, established in 1999, is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and by sustained contributions from the Governments of Canada, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The Survey is also grateful for past and current project support received from the Governments of Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States, as well as from different United Nations agencies, programs, and institutes.


12 November 4, 2011. This author was a note‐taker and participant in this seminar, which was hosted by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.




16 Rachel Stohl and Susan Grillot. The International Arms Trade. Polity Press: 2009. P. 93

17 Owen Greene and Nicholas Marsh, eds. Small Arms, Crime and Conflict: Global Governance and the Threat of Armed Violence. Routledge: 2012. P. 90.


19 Owen Greene and Nicholas Marsh, eds. P. 91.

20 Anna Stavrianakis. Taking Aim At the Arms Trade: NGOs, global civil society, and the other world military order. Zed Publishing Ltd: 2010. P. 143‐4S


IAPCAR Featured in July Gun Trade World

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Click here to view article:  IAPCAR GunTradeWorld Article


Arms Trade Treaty Risks Increasing the Threat of Armed Terrorism

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Report VIA:  The Heritage Foundation

June 5, 2012

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) will be negotiated at a conference held July 2–27 in New York. The ATT purports to seek, in part, to reduce the ability of terrorists to acquire conventional weapons. But as the U.N. has not defined terrorism, it is at best unclear how the ATT will achieve this aim. Moreover, if the U.N. negotiations follow precedent, the ATT will include a clause that legitimates the supply of arms to terrorists.

Terrorism Frequently Cited as a Reason to Negotiate an ATT

The ATT has never focused exclusively on terrorism, but the U.N. General Assembly and influential U.N. member states have frequently asserted that one reason to negotiate an ATT is to reduce terrorists’ ability to acquire conventional weapons. For example, the most recent substantive resolution in the U.N. General Assembly on the ATT, Resolution 64/48, adopted on January 12, 2010, states that “problems relating to the unregulated trade in conventional weapons…can fuel instability, transnational organized crime and terrorism.” In his April 16, 2012, statement of “Positions for the United States in the Upcoming Arms Trade Treaty Conference,” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Countryman said that an ATT would “help prevent the acquisition of arms by terrorists and criminals.”

The U.N. Has Never Defined Terrorism

It would, therefore, be logical to assume that the U.N. has a definition of terrorism that will apply in the context of the ATT. But the U.N. has never adopted a definition of terrorism.

In the run-up to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “called again for the creation of an international antiterror accord,” which “has been stymied by disagreements over what acts and which groups should be labeled as terroristic.” The Chairman of the U.N. Counterterrorism Implementation Task Force, Robert Orr, noted, “Legally, international law covers almost everything that you would want it to cover…. [but] if someone is accusing someone else of engaging in terrorist activities, there’s no clinical definition of whether they are or not.”[1] The ATT cannot prevent nations from arming terrorists if nations do not agree on who the terrorists are, or on what constitutes terrorism.

U.N. Security Council Has Already Addressed This Question

The U.N.’s inability to define terrorism has not prevented it from taking action in the past. U.N. Security Council Resolution 1373, passed unanimously on September 28, 2001, in the wake of 9/11, already requires all U.N. members to take wide-ranging actions against terrorism, including “eliminating the supply of weapons to terrorists.” The council is supposedly responsible for maintaining international peace and security, and, under Chapter 5 of the U.N. Charter, has the power to back up its resolutions with armed force. The ATT, by contrast, will be based on national implementation and will not fall under Chapter 5. It will have less authority than Resolution 1373, and yet it is supposed to succeed where that resolution has palpably failed.

Relevant U.N. Declarations Regularly Legitimate Terrorism

At best, then, the ATT would have no effect on terrorism. But it could easily increase the risk of armed terrorism. U.N. declarations regularly contain a clause to the effect that the U.N. recognizes:

the right of self-determination of all peoples, taking into account the particular situation of peoples under colonial or other forms of alien domination or foreign occupation, and…the rights of peoples to take legitimate action in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations to realize their inalienable right of self-determination.

This quotation comes from the Chairman’s Draft Paper, the closest equivalent to a draft ATT currently available.[2] But it is also part of many other U.N. declarations. For example, the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, produced by the U.N. World Conference on Human Rights in 1993, contains a nearly identical statement.[3] As it is also included in the ATT’s precursor, the 2001 U.N. “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,” the precedent for its incorporation into the ATT has been clearly established.[4]

Those new to the U.N. system may not realize the meaning of this clause. It was originally intended by African nationalists to refer to the European colonial empires, and by Islamic nations to refer to the Palestinians (“peoples under…foreign occupation”). The African context has faded, but the coded reference to Israel—and to India, because of its dispute with Pakistan over Kashmir—has endured. In recent years, the clause has also come to be understood as a reference to the U.S. and allied presence in Iraq and Afghanistan. The entire clause, therefore, recognizes the supposed right of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, and other terrorist organizations—in the name of pursuing the “inalienable right of self-determination”—to attack Israel, India, the U.S., and its allies.

ATT Risks Becoming a “Get Out of Jail Free” Card for Terrorism’s Backers

An ATT that contains this clause would give any nation that wishes to assist a terrorist organization a “get out of jail free” card. If confronted by the U.S. with the claim that their supply of weapons to terrorists constituted a violation of the ATT, they could simply reply that the ATT had recognized the right of all peoples to realize their self-determination, and that the terrorists in question represented peoples who were engaged in an armed struggle with a nation that did not respect this right. This is why the U.N. has never been able to define terrorism: Too many U.N. member states argue that what the U.S. describes as terrorism is a legitimate struggle for self-determination.

Efforts to define terrorism have been blocked by the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which contains 56 U.N. member states and has successfully prevented the development of any definition that would apply, for example, to the terrorist organizations that attack Israel. The OIC Charter, adopted in 2008, notes that it is dedicated to supporting “the struggle of the Palestinian people, who are presently under foreign occupation.”[5] This is the same phrase that appears regularly in U.N. declarations. Since the ATT is centrally concerned with the transfer of conventional arms, it is particularly important that it does not legitimate the supply of weapons to terrorists. This will be difficult to achieve: The ATT’s supporters want it to be a universal treaty, i.e., one signed and ratified by all U.N. member states, but is unlikely that the OIC members will agree to any ATT that does not include this clause.

What the U.S. Should Do

The U.S. should never sign, and the Senate should never ratify, a treaty containing a clause that legitimates terrorism. In the July negotiations, this should be a red line, and the U.S. should publicly state that it will break consensus on the adoption of the treaty text if any such clause—including one similar to the standard U.N. declaration—appears in it.

The U.S. should also state that an ATT that does not define terrorism cannot hope to have any effect on the ability of terrorists to acquire conventional weapons. It should announce that the only definition of terrorism it can accept is one that is fully compatible with U.S. law, which states that terrorism is “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”[6] If those who claim to support the ATT in the name of its impact on terrorism cannot accept the need for it to define terrorism, or resist a definition that is compatible with U.S. law, the treaty is not worth negotiating.

Ted R. Bromund, PhD, is Senior Research Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, a division of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies, at The Heritage Foundation.

[1]“U.N. Chief Urges Creation of International Pact Against Terrorism,” Global Security Newswire, September 9, 2011, (accessed June 4, 2012).

[2]“Report of the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty,” U.N. General Assembly, March 7, 2012, (accessed June 4, 2012).

[3]“Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action,” U.N. General Assembly, July 12, 1993, (accessed June 4, 2012).

[4]“Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects,” United Nations, 2001, (accessed June 4, 2012). For more on the program, see Ted R. Bromund and David Kopel, “As the U.N.’s Arms Trade Treaty Process Begins, U.N.’s ‘Programme of Action’ on Small Arms Shows Its Dangers,” Heritage Foundation WebMemo No. 2969,

[5]Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, “OIC Charter,” March 14, 2008, (accessed June 4, 2012). See also the definition offered by the OIC in 2002, in “Report of the Ad Hoc Committee Established by General Assembly Resolution 51/210 of 17 December 1996,” United Nations, 2002.

[6]“Terrorism Definitions,” National Counterterrorism Center, August 27, 2010, (accessed June 4, 2012).

UN Arms Trade Treaty may put Taiwan at risk

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012


LOOPHOLES: Academics speculated that China might use the UN Arms Trade Treaty to claim that the US sale of weapons to Taiwan violated the treaty’s terms.

Washington-based academics are warning US President Barack Obama not to sign the UN Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) because it could make it more difficult to sell weapons to Taiwan.

The treaty is to be negotiated next month in New York.

“The US is obligated by the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act [TRA] to make available the hardware and services necessary for Taiwan’s defense,” Heritage Foundation Research Fellows Ted Bromund and Dean Cheng (成斌) wrote.

In a paper published on Friday, Bromund and Cheng said that because Taiwan is not a UN member state — and is not recognized by a majority of UN members — the ATT would not recognize its right to buy or import arms.

“The ATT thus provides the basis for a Chinese argument that US sales of arms to Taiwan would circumvent the PRC’s [People’s Republic of China] import control system, violate China’s territorial integrity, and thus violate the treaty,” Bromund and Cheng wrote.

They said the ATT would “very likely” establish a series of criteria that treaty signatories are required to apply to proposed arms transfers. One of these criteria is likely to be that arms transfers should not seriously undermine peace and security or provoke, prolong or aggravate internal, regional, subregional or international instability.

“Since the Chinese Civil War has never been formally concluded, a state of war still exists between Taiwan and the PRC,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They said that this criteria offers the PRC a third argument that the US weapons sales or transfers to Taiwan would violate the terms of the ATT.

Bromund and Cheng said that the ATT poses three distinct threats to the legal obligation of the US to provide for the defense of Taiwan, or to the ability of Taiwan to provide for its own defense.

“A US administration that earnestly wished to fulfill its obligations under the TRA would likely do so, regardless of the ATT,” the academics said.

However, they said a US administration that believed US sales to Taiwan endangered US relations with the PRC, or did not want to sell arms to Taiwan for some other reason, would be able to cite the ATT as a reason not to proceed with those sales.

“Even if the US does not sign or ratify the ATT, US legal scholars who interpret it as customary international law could use it to argue that the US should not proceed with a proposed sale,” Bromund and Cheng said.

They conclude: “The ATT can only raise yet another hurdle to US arms sales to Taiwan.”

Arms sales, like international relations as a whole, are always a matter for judgement. In next month’s negotiations, the US should make it clear that it will not accept any treaty that would impinge on its ability to apply that judgement to its legal obligation to provide for the defense of Taiwan, they said.

“Elected officials have the broader responsibility to make it clear that they recognize the importance of the US commitment to Taiwan, and to stand by that commitment in word and deed,” Bromund and Cheng said.

In Taipei, Director-General of the Department of North American Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bruce Linghu (令狐榮達) said the ministry is aware of the proposed UN treaty and would keep abreast of any developments.

Issues related to the proposed UN treaty have not been placed on the agenda between Taiwan and the US, but the ministry will look into the matter, Linghu said.


The Right to Bear Arms is a Human Right

Friday, April 20th, 2012

by Newt Gingrich

Original Story VIA: Human Events

At the United Nations, the governments (and the dictatorships) of the world are conspiring to deny their people a means to defend their families and their liberty.

The Small Arms Treaty and the U.N.’s project on International Small Arms Control Standards seek to impose global restrictions on gun ownership that would apply to Americans and the citizens of every country that ratified the agreements. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has pledged to support the treaty, an excuse for governments everywhere to empower themselves and limit their citizens instead of the other way around.

As long as we’re limited to fighting over the Left’s gun control agenda we’re debating on their terms. We have to go on offense.

The Constitution does not give us the right to bear arms. It says the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. We already have the right, because it doesn’t come from government—it comes from God.
Our founders understood this right is essential to the defense of liberty. It was a lesson they learned firsthand at the Battles of Lexington and Concord, 237 years ago this week. As David Hackett Fischer’s Paul Revere’s Ride recounts, in order to quench the beginnings of the American Revolution, British soldiers marched to confiscate gunpowder and other militia supplies, an act that they hoped would incapacitate the colonial rebels. Thus, it was in defense of the right to bear arms as a means of securing the other liberties that the first battle of the American Revolution was fought.

As the Second Amendment implies, the right to bear arms isn’t given to us by the government, and it isn’t just an American right. It is a human right. As a fundamental component of self-defense, the right to bear arms is intimately tied to those universal truths expressed in our Declaration of Independence—that all men have rights to life and liberty, with which they are endowed by their Creator. And they have not just a right but a duty to throw off despotic government.

These truths are universal. The Second Amendment is an amendment for all mankind.

Every person on the planet has the right to defend themselves from those who would oppress them, exploit them, harm them, or kill them.

Far fewer women would be raped, far fewer children would be killed, far fewer towns would be destroyed, and far fewer dictators would survive if people everywhere on the planet had this God-given right to bear arms recognized. Mass killings and rapes like those that took place in Darfur might have been prevented if the people had the right and the means to defend themselves. When citizens have the power to defend themselves against a violent and tyrannical regime, governments think twice about trampling the lives and liberty of the people.

The United Nations has an extensive Declaration of Human Rights, including the right to join a labor union and the right to social services and security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood or old age.

Nowhere does it provide for the right to keep and bear arms that in many places around the world is so critical to self-defense. And the Small Arms Treaty is a deliberate attempt to restrict these human rights.

I believe the United States should submit to the U.N. a treaty that extends the right to bear arms as a human right to every person on the planet.

It is critical not just for those living under oppressive regimes, but for the many people who live in conditions in which the government cannot secure their safety. From dangerous neighborhoods even here in the United States to lawless regions of the world run by gangs and warlords, firearms are often the only means of personal security.

When criminals have weapons, taking away the right to bear arms is nothing less than eliminating the right to self-defense. Only the elites, who’ve never had to live in a dangerous place or fear for their own lives, could be so confident that denying ordinary citizens the right to bear arms would make everyone safer.

It isn’t enough to watch people move from one dictatorship to another, nations lurching from disaster to disaster. In submitting a treaty to the U.N. guaranteeing that right, America can represent its trust in the basic decency of millions of people around the world and our belief that the God-given rights in the Declaration of Independence apply to them, too. We can let them know that if they had a government that recognized their inherent rights; a government that understood that they were a citizens, not subjects; a government that understood it is government which is to be limited, not people, they too would the chance to pursue happiness and live in safety.

That’s the message our president and secretary of state should be standing up for, not a document designed for the protection of dictators.