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Monday, July 10, 2006
U.N. gun confab ends in frustration
Small arms conference fails to agree on final document
Posted: July 10, 2006
1:00 a.m. Eastern
Editor's note: The United Nations Small Arms Review Conference concluded its two-week conference Friday. Jerome R. Corsi attended on behalf of WorldNetDaily and files this report.
By Jerome R. Corsi
© 2006 WorldNetDaily.com
NEW YORK – On the entrance path to the United Nations, it's hard to miss the large statue of a handgun whose barrel has been twisted into a knot – symbolizing eloquently the U.N.'s attitude toward the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
However, in opening the U.N. Small Arms Review Conference, Secretary-General Kofi Annan took pains to claim the conference's purpose was not to trump the Second Amendment with a U.N. international declaration with which the United States would have to comply.
"Let me note that this Review Conference is not negotiating a 'global gun ban,'" Annan insisted in a written statement, "nor do we wish to deny law-abiding citizens their right to bear arms in accordance with their natural laws."
Despite its being couched in United Nations' "bureaucratese," some experienced U.N. observers took Annan's statement as just further confirmation of the conference's true purpose – to abrogate the Second Amendment.
Indeed, the position of the United States was made unequivocally clear by Robert G. Joseph, undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, in his June 27 speech to the General Assembly on the second day of the small arms conference:
The U.S. Constitution guarantees the rights of our citizens to keep and bear arms, and there will be no infringement of those rights. The United States will not agree to any provisions restricting civilian possession, use or legal trade of firearms inconsistent with our laws and practices. Many millions of American citizens enjoy hunting and the full range of firearm sports, and our work will not affect their rights and opportunities. As an officer of the executive branch of my government, I took an oath to protect the Constitution – a duty that is an honor to uphold.
Most of the conference consisted of two weeks of member states making proclamations in the General Assembly, almost completely intended as public posturing. Indeed, some of the most elaborate statements were carefully crafted by experienced public relations wordsmiths from the very states most active in profiting from and engaging in the true worldwide trade in illicit weapons.
But the real work went on behind the scenes, as conference participants labored to craft technical provisions whose ultimate impact would be to chip away at Second Amendment freedoms, while making equally sure no weapons get in the hands of oppressed peoples who might overthrow the corrupt, dictatorial regimes of the U.N. member states the technocrats were paid to protect.
During those backroom conferences closed to public view, technocrats spend countless hours arguing over drafts of conference resolutions whose true intent often belies the official U.N.-style language in which the resolutions themselves are drafted. Working papers typically are submitted by the gun-control-advocating NGOs (non-governmental organizations) who appoint themselves to participate as "expert advisers" – even though their true purpose remains the advancing of their anti-gun political agenda.
Largely due to U.S. unwillingness to compromise on Second Amendment issues, the conference ended without agreement on a final document. The final press release from the conference noted that Finland's speaker, on behalf of the European Union, expressed extreme disappointment, deploring "the lack of progress on the priority areas."
Even though the 2006 meeting ended in a technical failure to get a final document, the U.N. resolved to hold more meetings to advance the agenda of international gun control. Undeterred, Canada called for "an informal intercessional meeting of States to discuss concrete measures to accelerate implementation" to be held in Geneva in the spring or autumn of 2007.
Success in blocking any one United Nations small arms conference from abrogating the Second Amendment can at best be looked at as a U.S. holding action. The 2006 event was itself a follow-on conference to the previous conference on small arms held by the U.N. in 2001, and more attempts at global gun control will follow.
WND sought but was unable obtain an estimate of the expense involved in having multiple representatives of the U.N. members, plus a score of NGOs and their elaborate staffs, attend the two-week conference.
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