Thank you for stopping by for a visit. You are invited to read and comment on anything posted on this blog. I advocate the maximum amount of Personal and Economic Liberty, consistent with the defense of individual rights. I am fiscally conservative yet socially tolerant, I favor lower taxes, free trade, individual rights, strong national defense and limited government. I subscribe to the Freedom Fighters Creed: I am an American Patriot, defender of the Constitution, First Principles and Essential Liberty.

I believe that buried deep down inside every Conservative you'll find a Libertarian - And Inside Every Liberal Is A Totalitarian Screaming To Get Out.

"One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors" - Plato

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

U.S. Must Stand Its Ground on the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty

The final Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) for the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) was held last week. The purpose of this PrepCom was to adopt rules of procedure for the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which will be held in New York July 2–27. This conference is intended to complete the negotiation of the ATT and thus open the treaty for signature and ratification. The outcome of the PrepCom makes it even more vital for the U.S. to establish its red lines and stand its ground before and during the July conference.

The Conference Will Make Decisions on the Basis of Consensus

When the Obama Administration announced in 2009 that it would support the negotiation of an ATT, it did so with an important caveat: The treaty conference had to operate “under the rule of consensus decision-making,” meaning that a formal objection from any national representative to the chair on any matter of substance prevents agreement. But the U.N.’s draft rules of procedure allowed two-thirds majority voting on all matters of substance except the adoption of the final treaty text, as well as on amendments to the rules themselves. This opened the way for the July conference to amend the rules by a two-thirds majority and then to adopt the treaty by a similar majority, over any U.S. objection.

When the PrepCom considered the draft rules of procedure, the U.S. and a number of other nations urged that all matters of substance at the July conference be subject to a strict consensus requirement, while other delegations—including Mexico—supported the U.N.’s weaker proposals. In the end, the PrepCom adopted rules that require the July conference to “take its decisions, and consider the text of the Treaty, by consensus.” In other words, the U.S. will not be limited to an up-or-down vote on the final treaty text. Instead, it will have the opportunity throughout the July conference to object to and block progress on any portion of the ATT that it finds unsatisfactory. CONTINUE READING

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