United Nations treaties, much like U.S. legislation, belie their intent when all one looks at is the title or even the stated objective. To really grasp their full intent, it’s incumbent to read the entire treaty in order to not be among the gullible who swallow the superficial explanation. Such is the case with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) treaty, which failed ratification in the U.S. Senate last week.
The CRPD seems ostensibly to be one of those “feel good” measures, based on its summary. Its stated intent is to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity” If that’s all the measure did, it would’ve been unanimously approved. However, the objective, along with the title, is as deceptive as the Affordable Care Act, which as we increasingly learn is neither affordable, nor will it provide quality care. It’s legislative deception at its finest. And as with the ACA, the “devil’s in the details” with the CRPD.
The CRPD has fifty Articles and nearly 200 requirements. Many of the requirements are controversial and have little if anything to do with advancing “rights” of the disabled, but address issues like abortion, forced contraception, limiting freedom of speech, restricting freedom of press, altering Social Security benefits, and circumventing parental rights. Walter Olson of the Cato Institute indicates, from a thorough study of the treaty, that “Families, parents, states, Congress, and students all stand to lose some independence” if the CRPD was ratified.
These issues are difficult enough to deal with in the context of our highly polarized political environment and Congress; yet inexplicably, there were 61 U.S. Senators willing to abdicate domestic control over such issues, turning them over to an unelected bureaucracy of the UN.
And that’s precisely what would have occurred had the treaty been ratified. Article VI of the U.S. Constitution states: “and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land.” So the bedeviled details of the CRPD would trump federal statute. And true to form, for the colluders in the UN, they even included a clause that would debilitate our 10th Amendment of state’s rights. Article 4, Section 5 of the CRPD declares: “The provisions of the present Convention shall extend to all parts of federal states without any limitations or exceptions.”
Succinctly, the U.S. would have surrendered our sovereignty on all issues addressed in the treaty had the Senate foolishly ratified it. Sen. James Risch (R-ID) clearly understood what was at stake when he explained after the vote: “I have been outspoken and critical of the ballooning reach of the United Nations into every aspect of our lives. At the end of the day, this is a matter of national sovereignty for the United States and every other country in the world.”
If we, as a nation, ever wanted to make changes to our own Americans with Disabilities Act or any other related federal laws, of which there are half a dozen, we would be unable to do so had the treaty been ratified. All changes to our own code on these subjects would’ve been impossible, for the treaty would have transferred jurisdiction on such matters to an unelected, bureaucratic body in the United Nations. Our sovereignty on all related maters would have been forfeited and ceded to the UN.
And this is by design; for we see it in all such treaties crafted by the United Nations. The UN Arms Trade Treaty, ostensibly drawn up to curtail terrorist acquisition of small arms, is an only slightly masqueraded attempt at identification, control, and regulation of small arms and munitions in every member state. A month-long effort in July to frame the treaty to the liking of all UN members failed. But within hours of Obama’s reelection last month, the administration changed its tone and promised unequivocal support for the measure.
The UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty, which was in its most recent incarnation ratified by the UN in 1994, has never had enough votes in the U.S. Senate to make our country beholden to it. That treaty essentially transfers legal ownership and sovereignty over the world’s oceans and seas to the UN, which then has all rights to royalties and ownership of offshore drilling operations among other provisions. It also has backdoor provisions for enforcing carbon emissions.
The UN Internet Regulation Treaty, currently being drafted at a conference in Dubai, is nothing short of a power and censorship grab by the United Nations, as was revealed just this week. According to Terry Kramer, the U.S. ambassador to the World Conference on International Telecommunications, the treaty has morphed into an attempt to extend internet governance to the UN, grant the UN taxing authority over transnational internet ventures, and control content. Gratefully, it appears that the U.S. will not sign onto this latest UN power grab.
The United Nations has no reservation in purloining the rights of sovereign states and their citizens. As with any legislation, at any level, we mustn’t be lulled into complacency based on the titles or stated objectives from anything emanating from the UN. The devil is indeed in the details, and there was a lot of the devil in the CRPD.
AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.