The United Nations Small Arms Review Conference, which was derided by the National Rifle Association and other groups as an attempt to seize Americans’ guns, ended Friday in failure, with some member states complaining that others blocked a consensus on control of illegal trade in small arms.
Some delegates said the process went into “meltdown” at the end, while others said the conference simply didn’t have enough time to reach a consensus.
For the conference to adopt an official position required agreement of all of the parties involved on all of the points to be in the official position, and some states did not agree.
Rebecca Peters of the London-based International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) 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.”
IANSA identified the main players blocking agreement as Cuba, India, Iran, Pakistan and Russia. Other gun control activists named China, Egypt and Venezuela as well. — Reuters
But there was a bright side for those who do want to grab your guns. “This conference was a success in that it brought great international attention to the issue,” Chairman Prasad Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka said.
The conference follows a five year old action program which calls for UN member states to reduce the illegal trafficking in small arms and to seize them from those “not legally entitled to hold them.”
Gun control advocates see this as a minor setback and plan to continue to push onward.
“You had a few governments that were holding out and not compromising,” said Nicholas Marsh, with the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo, and an adviser to the Norwegian delegation.
Despite the failure, delegates planned to raise many of the same issues in the U.N. disarmament committee — where consensus is not needed for agreement — to begin preparing a treaty that would make law out of many of the global principles supported by non-governmental groups. — Associated Press
There’s sure to be more to come in this ongoing story. In the meantime, keep your guns clean and close at hand.