UN fails to agree on Arms Trade Treaty, opts for possible vote by the end of the year

Madison Ruppert, Contributor
Activist Post

Thankfully, it appears that the controversial United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has been stopped in its tracks, at least for now.

Negotiations have been held between 170 countries from July 2 to July 27, 2012 and yet they were not even able to make a decision on a draft version of the treaty which some say could have threatened the Second Amendment.

However, the treaty, which needed to be adopted by consensus (meaning it would only take one country to veto the deal), has not been shot down completely.

There is still the possibility of further discussions and a draft arms trade treaty very well could be brought before the 193-nation UN General Assembly.

Indeed, some diplomats are clearly confident that this treaty will be put in place, essentially saying it is just a matter of time until it happens.

“We feel that we could have agreed (a treaty). It is disappointing that more time is needed. But an arms-trade treaty is coming – not today – but soon. We’ve taken a big step forward,” said a spokesperson for the British delegation.

Anti-gun ownership activists and their friends in the mainstream media regularly cite various statistics surrounding armed violence, like Michelle Nichols of Reuters who writes:

One person every minute dies from armed violence around the world, and arms control activists say a convention is needed to prevent illicitly traded guns from pouring into conflict zones and fueling wars and atrocities.

However, the problem is that this view is incredibly myopic and ignores the fact that guns aren’t actually responsible for as much death as we might think.

For instance, in the United States in 2006, there were 42,642 reported road traffic fatalities according to the US DOT/NHTSA Fatality Analysis Reporting System, defined as died within 30 days of the crash.

Meanwhile, in 2005 there were 10,100 homicides committed using firearms in the United States according to FBI statistics.

It seems to me that if these so-called arms control activists are really concerned about human life they would be out crusading for safer cars around the world.

Obviously they are not doing anything of the sort since people believe for some reason that the bigger threat to human life around the world is the right to bear arms.

Despite many UN members states being in favor of the treaty, especially Western nations, there were some strong opponents in the mix as well including Algeria, Egypt, Iran, North Korea and Syria.

Yet, according to Reuters:

arms-control activists blamed the United States and Russia for the inability to reach a decision on Friday, as both countries said there was not enough time left for them to clarify and resolve issues they had with the draft treaty.

“Moving forward, President Obama must show the political courage required to make a strong treaty that contains strong rules on human rights a reality,” said Scott Stedjan, a senior policy advisor with Oxfam America.

Here Stedjan is reflecting the strange and increasingly common perspective which holds that the president should take unilateral action on matters without consulting the public or the public’s representatives.

While UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed his disappointment with the failure to come to an agreement, he said:

There is already considerable common ground and states can build on the hard work that has been done during these negotiations.

Clearly the notion that the treaty will move forward eventually and come into action is a popular one.

Oxfam has been a major proponent of the treaty, with the head of arms control at Oxfam, Anna Macdonald, making some heated statements about the treaty’s failure.

“Today was the day for political courage – not delays and dithering,” said Macdonald. “Some 50,000 people lost their lives through armed violence during the course of these month-long negotiations. The out-of-control arms trade must – and will – be stopped.”

It seems that Macdonald is also part of the group which is absolutely certain that the ATT will be approved eventually.

While the United Nations and proponents of the treaty insist that it will not endanger legal domestic gun ownership in places like the United States, I personally do not trust them to hold to that.

Did I forget anything or miss any errors? Would you like to make me aware of a story or subject to cover? Or perhaps you want to bring your writing to a wider audience? Feel free to contact me at admin@EndtheLie.com with your concerns, tips, questions, original writings, insults or just about anything that may strike your fancy.

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on Orion Talk Radio from 8 pm — 10 pm Pacific, which you can find HERE.  If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

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