Well that didn’t take long. We predicted the UN global arms treaty would fail, and it did:
Negotiators at the United Nations failed to meet a Friday deadline to complete a new treaty aimed at regulating the estimated $60 billion global arms trade business, as major weapons exporting nations, including the United States, said more time was needed to finalize an agreement.The negotiators adjourned after having met for the past four weeks with the goal of completing an agreement that proponents said would have severely restricted the cross-border flow of weapons and ammunition that has helped to fuel armed conflicts and mass killings around the world. Approval by all 193 members of the United Nations was required.“There is no consensus and the meeting is over,” said Ewen Buchanan, a spokesman for the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs, which sponsored the negotiation conference on the treaty.
Opposition from the NRA and other groups led 51 U.S. senators to sign a letter urging the president not to sign the treaty. Since 67 senators are needed for ratification, the treaty in its current form would have been D.O.A. in the Senate.The treaty process, however, isn’t quite pining for the fjords just yet. According to sources quoted by the New York Times, negotiations will continue behind the scenes, followed by a vote in the UN General Assembly in a couple of months.What needs to happen next time around is that groups like the NRA and other opponents should be consulted early in the formation of U.S. government negotiating positions. You need buy in from key groups at a very early stage, or you’re likely just wasting everyone’s time.The State Department is very professional when it comes to negotiating with foreigners. Now somebody in our government needs to learn how to negotiate with Americans.