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Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D., is the Margaret Thatcher senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation. Read his research.
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.
Theory - UN - Program - Way - Cooperation
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.
UN - Programme - Action - Prevent - Combat
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.
Delegation - Point - PoA - Party
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.
US - PoA
Although the U.S. has participated in the PoA since 2001, it has...
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