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  • Commentary posted September 16, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. Want to know what UN thinks of 'democracy'? Just look at its Arms Trade Treaty

    As the United Nations starts to celebrate its 70th anniversary, it’s showing Americans the kind of openness it really believes in. The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), a controversial effort that is highly sensitive in the U.S. due to Second Amendment concerns and worries about its impact on U.S. foreign policy, is nearing the fifty ratifications it needs to come into…

  • Commentary posted September 10, 2014 by Anthony B. Kim, Brett D. Schaefer Why are we aiding countries that oppose U.S. priorities at the United Nations?

    Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick was frustrated. Countries happily took American foreign aid, but then blithely opposed U.S. initiatives and priorities in the United Nations. They took U.S. aid for granted because previous opposition hadn’t affected U.S. aid decisions and, instead, yielded to pressure from other countries to present regional solidarity and overwhelmingly…

  • Issue Brief posted July 23, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Ambassador Terry Miller U.N. Repeating Past Mistakes in New Sustainable Development Goals

    The United Nation General Assembly is poised to adopt a new set of development criteria called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) this September.[1] The SDGs are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that expire at the end of 2015. Like the MDGs, the SDGs will involve a number of objectives that will be used by the U.N. to guide and measure…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. At the U.N., An Ever So Small Win Against Gun Control

    If you’ve never attended what’s commonly described as a debate at the United Nations, you might believe that the U.N. actually proceeds by debate. You would be wrong. Much of what happens is cut and dried well in advance. This week’s “Programme of Action” meeting on the illicit small-arms trade, for example — the PoA I began describing on the Corner yesterday — published…

  • Commentary posted July 15, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. At NGO Day at the U.N. Programme of Action, Forthright Talk from Canada

    Today’s meeting of the U.N.’s Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA) focused on statements by non-governmental organizations. As far as the conservative organizations go, the direct impact of these is minimal: most everyone else in the room is on the other team. But these statements do serve the vital purpose of reminding even the most committed U.N. gun-controllers…

  • Commentary posted July 2, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. At the Close of the U.N.’s Programme of Action, Wins—and a Few Losses—For the U.S.

    The U.N. Programme of Action on Small Arms and Light Weapons (PoA), which I’ve been covered for the Corner over the past week, wrapped up on Friday afternoon with a consensus outcome — i.e., one that’s unanimously tolerated, if not unanimously liked. In the field of firearms, nothing that the U.N. does can be genuinely good for the U.S., but as these things go, the PoA…

  • Commentary posted July 2, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. The U.N.’s Unique Species of Hypocrisy, Arms-Trafficking Edition

    It would be a wearying task to catalog every kind of hypocrisy on display at this week’s meeting of the U.N.’s Programme of Action on Small Arms — the PoA, where the main issues I set out for the Corner yesterday continue to be a focus of discussion. But the main principal species of lies, evasions, and question-begging at Turtle Bay are worth recording, precisely because…

  • Backgrounder posted June 26, 2014 by Steven Groves Accession to Convention on the Law of the Sea Unnecessary to Advance Arctic Interests

    Much has been said in recent years about a “race” or “scramble” to secure resources in the Arctic Ocean as polar ice recedes, inevitably leading to conflict in the region. But reality paints a very different picture. Over the past decades, Arctic nations have worked together to advance their shared goals for the region, and relations among the United States and other…

  • Commentary posted June 19, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. On Firearms, the U.S. Needs Allies at the U.N.

    The topic has shifted at this week’s meeting of the U.N.’s Programme of Action on Small Arms (PoA). The focus on Wednesday was on the provision of foreign aid — undoubtedly a major reason why many nations are in the room. As the discussion unfolds, it’s hard to ignore just how isolated the U.S. is at the U.N. on firearms issues, and, on a related issue, just how little…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. The U.N.’s Biennial Surreptitious Gun-Control Conference Begins

    The “Programme of Action” — which starts its fifth biennial meeting in New York today — is a classic U.N. institution, in that it manages to combine a complete lack of substantive accomplishments with sinister intentions. Commonly and mercifully abbreviated as the PoA, it’s properly the “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small…

  • Issue Brief posted June 13, 2014 by Theodore R. Bromund, Ph.D. U.S. Participation in the U.N.’s “Programme of Action” on Small Arms and Light Weapons Is Not in the National Interest

    The fifth biennial meeting of the U.N. “Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects” (PoA) will be held on June 16–20, 2014. The PoA includes a range of commitments on which participating nations have agreed to report. It is not a treaty but, in theory, a mechanism for encouraging voluntary…

  • Issue Brief posted April 30, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer, Steven Groves, James Phillips Palestinian Intent to Accede to 15 Treaties and U.S. Response

    President Mahmoud Abbas announced on April 1 that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will seek to join 15 international conventions and treaties. This is a new facet of the existing Palestinian policy of seeking international recognition by other governments and membership in international organizations to bolster claims of statehood absent a negotiated peace treaty with…

  • Issue Brief posted March 24, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer 11 Issues for Congress in the President’s FY 2015 International Affairs Budget Request

    President Barack Obama released his fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget proposal on March 4, 2014. Although much of the budget reflects long-standing programmatic and budgetary practice, there are 11 specific issues that Congress should address. The President’s FY 2015 budget request for International Affairs (IA) totals $50.01 billion, including a base budget of $44.1 billion…

  • Issue Brief posted March 11, 2014 by Steven Groves, Brett D. Schaefer Human Rights Committee’s Review of U.S. Record: Things to Watch For

    On March 13–14, a U.S. delegation will defend America’s human rights record before the Human Rights Committee (HRC), the treaty body that monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation should expect harsh criticism from the HRC, whose members regularly accuse America of committing gross violations of human rights.…

  • Issue Brief posted February 26, 2014 by Brett D. Schaefer U.S. Should Demand Increased Transparency and Accountability as U.N. Revenues Rise

    United Nations system revenues nearly tripled between 2002 and 2012 from nearly $15 billion to $41.5 billion. Cumulatively, the U.N. received more than $312 billion over that period. The U.S. has been and remains the U.N. system’s largest contributor, providing approximately one-fifth of total contributions on average annually over that period. Incomplete data make a…