Saturday, July 08, 2006

UN Small Arms Conference a Failure. GOOD!!

The UN's inability to do anything has a few benefits. One of them is this:

A U.N. meeting meant to expand a five-year-old crackdown on the illicit global trade in small arms ended in chaos on Friday as delegates ran out of time without reaching agreement on a plan for future action.

Rebecca Peters of the London-based International Action Network on Small Arms accused governments of letting a few states "hold them all hostage and to derail any plans which might have brought any improvements in this global crisis."

...The conference was called to update a 2001 action plan against illegal small arms, which as defined by the United Nations range from pistols and rifles to grenades, mortars and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.

But two weeks of negotiations and speeches came to naught

There's some irony to the fact that major opponents of UN action included Red China, which derives a great deal of its income from selling light arms (think Norinco.)

The US position was sensible: Washington was willing to endorse a set of global principles aimed at keeping small arms out of the hands of groups intent on human rights abuse, genocide or breaking U.N. arms embargoes

Of course, since "groups intent on human rights abuse" include a LOT of Governments, Washington's position was unpopular...

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