UN Arms Trade Treaty Saga Continues Despite Blatant World Failures

Opinion by Gary Mauser, Alan J. Chwick & Joanne Eisen

Russian Bear
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United Nations – -(AmmoLand.com)-The 2022 meeting of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the Eighth Conference of States Parties (CSP/CSP 8), has come and gone with very little fanfare. The diplomats arrogantly ignored all COVID-19 restrictions to hold in-person meetings. Despite being shadowed by negative factors, such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the ATT proponents claimed another successful year.

Ignoring this 800 Pound Gorilla in the room, the diplomats believed the ATT had been so successful they deserved a Ninth Conference at a future date where they can stay at a fancy resort.

However, the very philosophy of the ATT, that disarmament is a path of progress to a peaceful globe, had gone up in smoke with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because the ATT had so obviously failed to keep Ukraine safe from Russia, the diplomats tried desperately to ignore such an embarrassing Gorilla in the room. But the Russian invasion betrayed the Russian and U.S. promises made in 1994 to provide security for a disarmed Ukraine and dismayed the “true believers” in the ATT. Ukraine is now paying the price of trusting the 1994 promises, and thus the ATT. See Brookings Edu for more details on the Trilateral Process.

Peace through disarmament, the same promises made to signatories of the Treaty, has been shown to be nothing more than a cruel deception. The Russian invasion demonstrated that no State participating in the ATT could ever trust the Treaty to protect them. Clearly, ATT officials could not determine any country’s requirements for weapons, nor could ATT officials even keep the State secrets that the ATT demands signatories reveal. After the ATT’s failure to protect the Ukraine, no State could believe that they would gain security through promising to abandon control of their own armaments and putting them under ATT control.

Promises Made, and Promises Kept – We Think Not!

In addition to the Gorilla, there were two Elephants also lurking in the ATT meeting room. Delegates tried to ignore that another failure was signaled by the theme of this year’s meeting, “a close examination of post shipment controls that would help prevent diversion into the illegal Black Market.”

Diversion is a key ATT term, but Black Markets are impossible to avoid. Nations who signed the Treaty promised to prevent arms from being diverted “to the illicit market and for unauthorized use.” The ATT President’s CSP 8 working paper reminds members, “By joining the ATT, States Parties have committed to take effective measures to address this risk and prevent diversion.”

Brian Wood and Paul Holtom, disarmament researchers, make it very clear that “ATT STATES parties have accepted particular obligations to prevent, detect, eradicate and address the diversion of conventional arms already transferred, through their national control systems as well as through international cooperation in accordance with international law.”

Note the relevant words, “obligations to prevent, detect, eradicate and address,” diversion. States have signed on to do the impossible. Under the pleasant rhetoric of the term ‘diversion,’ the fact is that participating States have promised to control the Black Market in illicit weapons. Yet, when has any Black Market ever been controlled? How often do States control porous borders and corrupt officials? The second Elephant in the room rises: many member states lack the ABILITY to honor this commitment, so they require financial and technical aid.

Throughout history, for thousands of years and across various cultures, humans have defied governments and formed Black Markets.

When there is a demand for desired controlled goods and services, a market is formed where one can find those goods and services. Even when regimes are willing to take harsh, totalitarian measures, controlling such markets remain impossible. Black Market participants have a tremendous financial advantage by participating, which is quite capitalist. By definition, Black Markets are criminal, and if they become powerful enough, such markets can even topple regimes.

In an atmosphere of growing world pessimism, the diplomats went to work to make the Treaty appear to work better by diplomatically telling each other that they were making actual progress. Academics like Wood and Holtom thought they had already figured out how to control the Black Market by adding post-arrival inspections to arms transfers. At the CSP 8 Conference, the focus was specifically on inspections at the final arrival location of the transferred weapons.

For example, part of the obligation to prevent diversion would be to create a system of controls verifying that arms had arrived at their final destination without being ‘diverted.’ These extra activities would control the arms diversion problem. The States Parties only needed to follow rational, practical directions provided to participating countries in order to create and improve post-shipment inspections, and the job would be done – the illegal arms market would quit working.

There are many teaching documents created, such as the Annex D of the Chair’s draft report, CSP 4. SIPRI had provided a guide for Post-Shippment On-Site Inspections And Stockpile Manasgement Assistance, suggesting, for example, “prohibitions on activities like sketching, note taking or photography within military facilities,” or calling on “more senior officials” for help. There was also a Good Practice Guide On Post-Shipment On-Site Inspections Of Military Materiel created about the benefits of these post-transfer inspections, which would determine if diversion had taken place.

But the Elephant remains standing, as many States do not presently have the TECHNICAL ABILITY to accomplish these tasks. These States need to ‘build capacity’, using DONATED FUNDING, to follow the directions of the academic arms control planners. Based on decades of such aid to their disarmament attempts, it’s an assumption that poor States expect. In an atmosphere of gentle bullying by disarmament proponents, funding always sweetens the mess. ‘Capacity Building’ always requires a funding Elephant. Perhaps this is why the bullies are hired as consultants?

As the meeting progressed, it became apparent that the finances of the ATT were in shambles. Too many States were in arrears. Small, poor states needed help to implement new policies and new patterns of behavior. The CSP 8 was not fully paid up. They were half a million behind. One might be surprised that it was only a missing half million in a world awash with donor funding, a very small sum. But there it was.

Dumisani Dladla, Head of the Secretariat, says, “The ATT is building an annual deficit of 7% average, and liquidity challenges will materialize in the medium term.” We, the authors, hope that the funding will NOT become available, but it probably will. The lack of funding is a huge hindrance to the smooth functioning of the diplomats.

On the conference’s final day, a minor but significant financial crisis developed regarding the Voluntary Trust Fund (VTF), which had been formed separately from the main funding of the ATT to help fund teaching projects. It had received 11 million dollars to help countries with capacity building; however, many poor States are in arrears and might not be eligible for the VTF funding, as per Paragraph 31 of the Final Report.

An NRA-ILA article, by James Baranowski, Director of International Affairs, Executive Secretary – World Forum on Shooting Activities, suggested that a consensus agreement of 100% could not be reached regarding whether or not these poor States could then receive aid.

As the meeting was about to end, Paragraph 31 of the Final Report had not been agreed to by consensus, and consensus is a key factor in the trust nations have within the ATT. This is because it means that all nations, large or small, can claim veto power they require to protect themselves.

Eventually, by the end of the last day, consensus was achieved, and Paragraph 31 of the Final Report noted that the Selection Committee would be guided by the VTF Terms of Reference. That is, available funds would become available to countries who were in arrears.

Even though there were many concerns, and Paragraph 27 of the Final Report underscored “concern for the low rate of compliance with the reporting obligations,” and Paragraph 35 had “deep concerns about the unpaid contributions,” the diplomats and proponents of the eventual global disarmament committee could claim success.

Now, we must ask, what does this tell us about the future? Realistically, a number of vulnerable nations will not be able to comply with the false message of safety through partial, unilateral, disarmament. Trusting the ATT for protection will cause regimes to fall. Families of regime leaders will be in danger. The foolish posturing of disarmament proponents is an unacceptable path that ignores the reality on the ground of present-day human behavior. At some point, an adult in the room needs to stop the foolish dream of peace through disarmament.

As the partial unilateral disarmament behavior of Ukraine has shown, that disarmament leads to instability and human carnage.

In the aftermath of the CSP 8, at the recent meeting of the General Assembly, on 4 October 2022, the President of the General Assembly acknowledged that states realize that “they must invest in defense now because war and annexing the land of one’s neighbor had apparently returned to the tool-box of settling disputes.” Quiet amazingly, as major world disputes rage and the Arms Trade Treaty fails its participants, all the while, the President of the General Assembly tells the States to continue investing time and waste money.

The present attempt at a global path to peace by the ATT does not look promising. The Arms Trade Treaty has no chance of success, and no one is seriously attempting to find an effective, if elusive, path to that peace because of the emotional commitment to disarmament.

The weapons control fantasy is so compelling for the advocates, that it blocks their understanding of pure evil. Until they face and control that evil, they cannot make or keep promises of State security, or global peace for Earth’s people.

About The Authors

Gary Mauser is a professor emeritus at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Check out his blog at JusticeForGunowners.ca for more information.

Alan J Chwick has been involved with firearms much of his life and is the Retired Managing Coach of the Freeport NY Junior Marksmanship Club. He has escaped New York State to South Carolina and is an SC FFL Dealer & Gunsmith (Everything22andMore.com). [email protected] | Twitter/TruthSocial: @E22andMore

Joanne D Eisen, DDS (Ret.), practiced dentistry on Long Island, NY. She has collaborated and written on firearm politics for the past 40+ years. She, too, escaped New York State, but to Virginia. [email protected]

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“Peace through disarmament” bulls#$t! Peace through superior firepower!


Umm, let’s see now; who was the guy in charge of the arms diversion in Afghanistan ? FJB ring a bell ?


To keep the peace, prepare for war.


A Gladius in a competent hand can in fact ensure peace!


si vis pacum Parabellum
pray for peace prepare for war!

Wild Bill

Yes “Is vis pacum, para bellum.” If you want peace, prepare for war.


Over time, even the Roman’s forgot.

Wild Bill

Yes, and now the Roman Empire is just … well … Italy.


Yeah, but, having been stationed in Aviano, I do enjoy a good lemoncello, especially those from the Amalfi Coast.

Wild Bill

Sounds good! Do they deliver or is that a “flight training mission”?


There may have been times in my career where the bombay was loaded with enough cases of alcohol that we couldn’t take on a full load of fuel… I was once on an EC-130H that was so loaded to the rafters that we had to make two extra refueling stops to get back across the Atlantic and home.

A good Commader always knows when to turn their head and let their people blow off a little steam lest their finely honed knife corrode down to nothing.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tackleberry
Wild Bill

Was that one of the Pelosi flights?


You believe that we gave any of that up to a politician?

Wild Bill

Well, the legendary Pelosi booze junkets did fit, but when you put it that way … ahh … no, I don’t believe so.


Internationally as well as domestically only those who intend to follow the rules will comply, those intent on ignoring them won’t. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.


“Wide is the gate and easy is the path that leadeth unto destruction, and many there are that go therein.”

Dubi Loo

These authors lost me as soon as they wrote; “The diplomats arrogantly ignored all COVID-19 restrictions to hold in-person meetings.”


I believe it was either Stalin or Mau that stated: “Power comes through the end of a gun.” Thus, I look at the history of both Russia and China and I see that MILLIONS of THEIR OWN People were SLAUGHTERED by the “government”. I look at current history and I see Putin AND Xi have declared themselves to be DICTATORS FOR LIFE! I look at America and I see a REGIME that want to appoint a DICTATOR. OH! THE FOLLY OF MEN who DEMAND power over his countrymen!

Wild Bill

And starved. Don’t forget that Stalin and Mao both used denial of food as a weapon.
Yes, Mao said All power comes from the barrel of a gun.

Rebel VA

The power that comes from the barrel of the gun is what allowed the bastards to deny food to the people without repercussions!


stalin and his cronies shot and killed more people than all known wars


Between the founding of the USSR in 1917 and the death of Stalin in 1953, between 47 million and 53 million men, women, and children, were exterminated, and that does not include the 20 million dead from world war II. Mao Zhedong however, has both Lennon and Stalin beat: from the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1948-49, until the time of his demise in 1976, Chairman Mao was responsible for the extermination of between 60 to 100 million men, women, and children. 20 million of that number was during the 10 years of the Cultural Revolution. Human… Read more »


If you ever watch a herd of buffalo or zebra, you kill one in their midst and the others will just go back to eating or whatever they were doing. You can do this repeatedly until you spook the herd and they move off. But the lesson is that they don’t care about others around them until they are personally threatened. Even then the herd usually fail to rally against predators andwill accept the loss of those that are picked off. People are very much the same in that they’ll deny what is happening until it comes for them. It… Read more »


You should read up on the Chinese war on sparrows. The people knowingly and willingly worked toward their own famine in the name of Communism. They just assumed the party knew best and would take care of them afterwards.

Last edited 1 month ago by Tackleberry

Why so negative on Peace Through Disarmament? The Treaty of Versailles disarmed the Germans in 1919 and they have hardly bothered anyone since then.

Last edited 1 month ago by DIYinSTL
Wild Bill

Most humorous.


A truly superb article, providing clear understanding of the abject stupidity of international professional paper pushers; these people have an ardent desire for utter destruction, because of their total disconnection from the real world.

Cheers from the oil patch in Central Wyoming

Last edited 1 month ago by Neanderthal75