In the last two weeks of June, the United Nations held another review conference on its efforts to counter what it considers illicit dealing in small arms. The U.S. played the game well. But unfortunately, you can’t beat a cheater.
In theory, this U.N. program might be a modestly useful way to promote cooperation against the illicit international trade in small arms.
In practice, as even the world body has agreed, it does nothing very useful, mostly because most nations at the U.N. are too incompetent, or too ill-willed, to follow through on their commitments.
In 2001, the U.N. began what it calls the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects. Participants mercifully abbreviate this program as the PoA.
The real point of the PoA isn’t to do useful things, which is why I’ve called for the U.S. to quit it. The program exists to virtue-signal, to provide funds for the s nongovernmental organizations that cluster around it, and to allow U.N. delegations to spend a pleasant week or two in New York City every couple of years.
As one delegation put it, the point of the PoA is to keep the party going.
And, by the by, it’s there to serve as a melting pot for every bad, ill-informed, and impractical idea that anyone has about firearms. Those behind it hope that the U.N. program someday will be accepted as the basis for how to implement any treaty that mentions small arms. In other words, they hope to use it as a way to lever all their bad ideas into legally binding form.
Although the U.S. has participated in the PoA since 2001, it has done so on the basis of strict red lines set out by John Bolton, then serving as a State Department undersecretary and now President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.
One of these red lines was that ammunition was to be kept out of the U.N. program on small arms. . Participants discussed ammunition in 2001, and agreed that trying to number, trace, and record bullets–which is what we do with firearms–was wildly impractical.
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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