As U.N. Arms Trade Treaty Opens for Signature, Opposition Rises on Hill

By Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.

Arms Trade Treaty
Arms Trade Treaty
The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation
The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation

Washington, DC –-(  The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) opens for national signature today, and has already been signed by at least 55 nations.

The U.S. has announced that it will sign the ATT in the near future, once all foreign language translations are satisfactorily completed, which will happen by August 28, 2013, for the Russian language text.

The treaty will come into force 90 days after it is ratified by the 50th signatory. That is likely to happen by early 2014, if not sooner.

The ATT is badly flawed in substance, and the way it was adopted in the U.N. General Assembly and the speed of the U.S. review process of the treaty poses further serious problems. In part for those reasons, the treaty has drawn considerable skepticism on the Hill. A Concurrent Resolution offered by Senator Jerry Moran (R–KS) and Representative Mike Kelly (R–PA) has 35 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate and 144 in the House.

Kelly has also released a Dear Colleagues letter opposing the ATT, with 129 co-signatories. Finally, Kelly has the support of 50 of his colleagues for an amendment to the fiscal year 2014 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill that would ban funding for the ATT.

Of course, these actions follow up on many previous expressions of concern, from both the Senate and the House, and the strength of the opposition in the Senate is sufficient to prevent the ATT’s ratification. But in the context of the opening of the treaty for signature, another point is particularly important: Any nation that signs and fully ratifies the ATT is making a national commitment that applies to itself alone.

The treaty advocates will argue that the treaty—by entering into force, or simply by coming into existence—is customary international law, and therefore binding on the U.S. The Concurrent Resolution strongly opposes this interpretation, and the Dear Colleagues letter similarly rejects any “effort to treat [the ATT] as internationally or domestically binding upon the United States.”

As the ATT moves from negotiation to signature, and then on to implementation, the leadership that Moran and Kelly have shown will only grow in importance in the months and years to come.

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About Ted R. Bromund, Ph.D.:
Ted R. Bromund studies and writes on British foreign and security policies and Anglo-American relations as senior research fellow in The Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom. He also explains why America must defend and advance its unique leadership role in the world. Visit: to read more.

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I dont know if that african born scum will sign or not,and really dont give a damn.It would never pass the senate. That said,I still think them blue helmets would make prime targets.


The un is UN american UN elected UN welcome. I will never accept the un as legitimate or legal. Its time to quit wasting money funding these asshats.


I’m with you Buck. WE didn’t vote for anything. WE won’t obey the laws. Screw the UN and everyone else. We will fight them. I don’t shoot at paper anymore. Just horn my hunting skills with my military and wait for the revolution. We have all the odds on our side.


This filthy, usurper evidently has no Dam regard for OUR republican form of government. Its time to send him back to Kenya, where is lame ass belongs.


I will obey nor follow any more violations of the second amendment regardless of the source of their bulls–t , not the supreme kangaroo court , not the white house communist administration , not the senate , not congress , and most especially not the new world orders united nations clowns .