US (Lamely) Excuses No-Show at UN Arms Treaty Signing

by Peter Spiro

Here’s the official explanation: the US had yet to “satisfactorily complete” the “process of conforming the official translations” of the agreement. Via Twitter, FP’s David Bosco sees a back-up excuse once the analysts at State finish reading the French version:

Bosco is almost certainly on the money predicting that when the US does sign on, it will be late on a Friday afternoon in summer.

I don’t understand this. The treaty wouldn’t require any changes in US law, much less trample on any Second Amendment rights. Can’t the Administration stand up to the NRA on this front, at least for the purely symbolic exercise of the treaty signing?

If Obama wanted to put his recently aggressive interpretations of executive branch power to work, he might even think of acceding to the convention as a sole executive agreement. (Before you laugh, remember that he has that in mind for the more consequential Anti-Counterfeiting Agreement, as Oona Hathaway describes here.) The US absence yesterday at the UN bodes ill for any second-term progress on any of the human rights treaty fronts.

One Response

  1. Very true…. And the treaty ain’t that complex…..

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