Previous Post
Next Post


Donald A. Mahley
U.S. Ambassador
U.S. Representative to the Arms Trade Treaty ConferenceUN Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty
New York City
July 12, 2012

I thank you Mr. President,

It gives me great pleasure to address this gathering on behalf of the United States. Mr. President, the enormous energy, diplomatic skill, and patience that you have demonstrated in leading us up to this point is indeed extraordinary, and I pledge the United States will continue to work closely with you and our colleagues around the room to achieve the consensus on an effective arms treaty in order, as Secretary Clinton clearly stated, “to ensure that all countries can be held to standards that will actually improve the global situation by denying arms to those who would abuse them.” . . .

We seek a treaty that establishes high international standards for controlling the transfer of arms on par with current best practices. A key benefit of having such standards will be to reduce illicit arms trafficking. The international community as a whole suffers from illicit trafficking, which arms repressive regimes, criminal syndicates, and insurgent groups and terrorist organizations, and weakens legitimate governments and the rule of law. So the international community must create additional barriers to the illicit and irresponsible international transfer of arms to those who have little regard for the most fundamental standards of decency and civilization.

In this regard, Mr. President, the U.S. must underscore its objection and formally express our strong condemnation of the selection of Iran to the ceremonial role of one of the fourteen vice presidents of this conference. Iran’s longstanding record of weapons proliferation, illicit nuclear activities, and gross human rights abuses properly disqualifies it from serving in any such position in the United Nations. At a time when Iran is violating UN Security Council obligations, including by helping rearm Hezbollah in Lebanon and providing weapons to the Asad regime to use to slaughter its own people, this selection makes a mockery of this conference’s underlying purposes and undermines the credibility of the United Nations. Furthermore, we note that according to media reports, Iran has misrepresented its ceremonial role at the Conference by implying it secured its election on the basis of their record on international peace and security. The United States rejects the legitimacy of Iran’s claimed capacity to play a credible role in this Conference.

As we work toward making illicit trade in conventional arms more difficult, we also work toward strengthening the legal basis for legitimate arms trade. Lawfully conducted international transfers of arms managed according to transparent national control practices are vital to maintaining good governance, protecting citizens, and upholding international security consistent with the United Nations Charter. The Arms Trade Treaty should not in any way handicap the legitimate right of self-defense. Acting together, we can strengthen international peace and security and the rule of law by requiring universal establishment of responsible national standards for the arms trade.

Of course, states are already obligated under international law to abide by United Nations Security Council arms embargos; the Arms Trade Treaty should explicitly reinforce this fundamental obligation. In addition, exporting governments should be obliged to weigh carefully whether a potential recipient of conventional arms is going to use or divert supplied arms for criminal or other unacceptable or inhumane purposes. That is why the United States supports establishing additional criteria that each government must consider carefully before authorizing the export of conventional arms, to ensure that international transfers even to legitimate end users are not made capriciously, without deliberation, or contrary to longstanding international principles. In order for the Arms Trade Treaty to be effective, it is important that it covers the widest range of conventional weapons as is practical, from small arms to aircraft carriers.

Today, just over one-quarter of UN members have developed and implemented legal controls regarding their international arms trade. Our common goal is to have a treaty at the end of this month that will require states parties to regulate their international arms trade according to high standards, in accordance with their own constitutional and legal structures.

Moreover, we must acknowledge and respect that this negotiation is not an attempt to intrude, either in principle or process, into states’ internal activities, laws, or practices concerning the domestic possession, use, or movement of arms. Rather, this treaty will regulate only the international arms trade. Any attempt to include provisions in the treaty that would interfere with each state’s sovereign control over the domestic use or movement of arms is clearly outside the scope of our mandate.

I think we all recognize the enormous diplomatic task the Conference has set for itself: concluding an effective ATT by the end of this month in negotiation by consensus with potentially all 193 member states of the United Nations. So we have a lot of work remaining in front of us, and the United States looks forward to working with all of you to end up negotiating a treaty that raises international standards and curbs illicit arms transfers while preserving national prerogatives with regard to the legitimate arms trade.

Thank you, Mr. President.

[Click here for the State Department website]

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. GEE!!!! I guess he has not heard of (illegal) Fast & Furious, where they did not run Background checks on the Cartel Representatives….
    Are we the “Legal” gun owners STUPID or not….

  2. To those that think this won’t have any effect on the US arms market at all, I’ll simply ask you this :

    Do you have any Surplus soviet weapons? Do you have any current weapons manufactured outside of the US? Have you ever purchased any ammunition from a company that operates outside of the US (Sellier & Bellot, Tula, Magtech).

    If these products were to cease being imported to the US due to restrictions in the Arms Trade Treaty (or have their costs rise due to additional beaurocracies navigated), do you not think there would be an effect on the market cost of these items? Even if you do not buy their brand of product, would not a drastic reduction of productin the market, or large-scale shift in prices effect products you do buy?

    Even if the ATT does not directly damage our second amendment rights, it could very well harm how easy it is to excercise them due to increased market costs.

    Just a though

    • If this does pass the Senate (not likely in its current wording), anyone interested in going into ammo manufacturing with me? I have to agree, the wording makes it seem like the costs associated with importing would increase due to more bureaucratic BS having to be navigated.

    • This is my worry as well, (for now) I am not so worried about the Blue Helmits trying to take away my guns but I would be worried that under this treaty as a minimum any foreign made gun(SIG, Glock, most AK’s, H&K’s etc) or Ammuniton (Tul, Wolf, S&B) would skyrocket in cost and be more difficult to come by. Mind you, people like SIG , H&K etc would probably start just building the entire guns here in the US it would have to drive up the cost to the end user.

      • On the plus side, one of the unintended consequences of this crap treaty would be the establishment of US-located factories by all of those arms and ammo makers. Since the US domestic market continues to be the world’s largest for civilian firearms and ammo, more foreign makers will be “exporting jobs” INTO the US. This is what Glock, H&K, Taurus, and many others did when the US tightened restrictions on importation of small handguns and the so-called “assault weapons”. Lots of foreign-owned firms opened factories in the US.

        That should get the anti-gunners knickers in a twist.

    • The goal is to raise the rest of the world to the standards already in place in the US. It would not add any additional regulations that we do not already use.

  3. “by denying arms to those who (we think) would abuse them.”

    As defined by Big Sis .. ?

    • Seeing how the UN agrees with the Brady Campaign Against Gun Ownership that anyone who’s not a Government employee is is a murdering psychopath, I’m sure they can easily use that line to ban civilian ownership of weapons.

  4. blah blah blah…more governmint smoke and mirrors. If this anti-freedom and anti-citizen treaty does eventually restrict imports and exports then we can expect foreign firms to open new gun manufacturing plants in the USA to take advantage of American buyers and as a positive side effect providing jobs and local revenue. If they can’t get the go ahead to open new plants here then firms like Ruger will do even better than they are now at least domestically. A concern that I have is the gubermint somehow making it more difficult to buy ammo and re-load.

  5. When politicians speak, all I hear is that “wah wah” voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher. We know their intent, we know their endgame, we know they’re lying.

    • How? How do you know? Seriously. I hear this kind of argument and I wonder if people just see what they want to see regardless of the actual facts.

      • Quite simple, really. Just look at the records of those that support this “treaty”.

        BHO = known hater of the 2nd Amendment with a solid and indisputable anti-fireams rights record that goes back decades.

        Hillary Rodham Clinton – former co-president and organizer of the “Million Mom March”

        Michael “Shorty” Bloomberg – cofounder of “Mayors Against Illegal Guns”. Enemy of the 2nd Amendment. Wants “New York-style” “gun control” everywhere in the U. S.

        Sarah Brady – mentally ill cofounder of the Brady Bunch. Can’t understand that guns, being inanimate objects incapable of independent thought of action, DO NOT COMMIT CRIMES, criminals do.

        I could go on for volumes, but you get my point – “gun control” has been, is, and ever shall be of absolutely no value as a crime-fighting tool.

  6. WTF!!!! I ran given a high seat the counsel?
    I so hope this doesn’t get pushed through before November..

  7. While I’m not sure I totally disagree with many of the people here, I do think many of these worries may unfounded. If the treaty seeks to get more countries on board with international arms trade policies, then I am not sure there is a problem. Most of the countries in which good firearms are made are already on board, and their prices haven’t skyrocketed (Glock, FN, H&K, Sig, S&W, Ruger, you don’t generally see terrorists wielding these) other than the current rise due to high demand. I think you all need to take a chill pill until we see where this goes. If my gun costs $50 more, that stinks, but I can live with it. If the police show up at my door to confiscate my firearms…then we have a serious disagreement. This statement was well worded, and I’m proud that the US called out the UN on the Iran situation. Its absolute BS that Iran has ANY part in this.

    • Agreed. Its just another joke in the string of things the UN does to discredit themselves. Hmmm, who could we possibly pick for this special counsel who is an authority on morally and peacefully transferring weapons internationally? If your first choice is Iran, what does that say about you…

    • This treaty is pointless and will do less than nothing to curb the murder and oppression by tyrants and will most likely help to disarm regular citizens of other countries. The biggest fail of this whole thing is something you brought up…

      “Most of the countries in which good firearms are made are already on board, and their prices haven’t skyrocketed (Glock, FN, H&K, Sig, S&W, Ruger, you don’t generally see terrorists wielding these)”

      The point being that the weapons you see being used by military AND civilians fighting against them are almost exclusively made by Russia and China…. I highly doubt they will both be a part of this treaty…. end result the treaty is pointless and will only do harm.

      • The point is that there is currently no international law governing the flow of small arms, except for the frameworks some countries have mutually agreed to use. But some States don’t opt in, and sell boat loads of AKs to other States. Some then hand them out like candy to the radicals shooting at our troops in Afghanistan.

        If there were a treaty with the force of international law, we could actually take action against those that put guns in the hands of tyrants and terrorists.

        People here hate Fast & Furious for letting a few guns make it into the hands of drug gangs, but when the UN tries to plug the leak of tens to hundreds of thousands of guns from flowing through an unregulated pipeline into the hands of jihadists and narco-terrorists, then suddenly its a bad thing.

        So which is it? Do you want an unregulated flow of AKs for bad guys, or do you want the holes plugged?

        • This will not stop the flow of AK’s because the countries that make them will never agree to this treaty, China could give two shits about international law. China or Russia will simply fly them to Iran, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, or Tajikstan because chances are that one of these countries will not sign it either or simply look the other way or even help sneek them in so more Americans can die (Iran, Pakistan)

        • and who’s going to enforce violations of this international law if china or russia ignores it? the un. remind me how this works, but don’t china and russia have veto power in the un. this is another one of those laws like the washington naval treaties. only the honest people will try to follow it.

        • This is such a goddamn stupid post.

          “People here hate Fast & Furious for letting a few guns make it into the hands of drug gangs, but when the UN tries to plug the leak of tens to hundreds of thousands of guns from flowing through an unregulated pipeline into the hands of jihadists and narco-terrorists, then suddenly its a bad thing.”

          The issue of guns making it into the hands of drug gangs was not the main problem many had with F&F. Certainly, it wasn’t a good thing that they acquired more weaponry but that’s really a minor detail. They’re already getting plenty of guns from South America. Guns aren’t the problem, though. It’s the idiotic drug war that’s the cause of all of this.

          The main issue many had with F&F was the ATF (an incompetent, corrupt, sometimes murderous organization that essentially makes gun laws via fiat) telling FFLs to break the ****ing laws they’re supposed to be enforcing just so they can try to make a big case and pat themselves on the back. While they were doing this they were circulating internal memos that pretty much said ‘Oh, hey, we can use this to justify long gun registration in the border states!’

          Those few things are just the tip of the damn iceberg. Wise the **** up.

          And stop with the appeals to patriotism. In your case, patriotism really is the last resort of a scoundrel. You make me want to barf.

  8. I’ll support additional firearms and ammunition regulation as soon as Obama creates a healthcare plan that doesn’t increase the national deficit!

    • I will NEVER support “additional firearms and ammunition regulations.” EVER. I just think that most of the worry over the UN arms treaty is spurred by ignorant rumors. As of right now, there is little to get all “up in arms” for.

  9. I would support this treaty if it did what they say it is supposed to do. “Bring a already existing standard to all 193 nations.” I don’t see this happening so I can’t support this treaty. I wish our Polico’s would open their eyes and see the wolf in sheep’s clothing this treaty can be and put a stop to it. I don’t see that happening either.
    So I will just keep prep’in for Dec 21st…….

    • I see it happening. Read the docs here, in particular the Chairman’s Draft Papers. The goal is exactly what Mr. Mahley stated.

  10. Just saw the post and haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I knew that you’d have your daily defense of the ATT at some point today, Rob! 🙂

    Are you sure you’re not trying to get a job doing PR for the UN / White House and using these posts as your portfolio of your work for how you can promote their message to the unwashed masses? 😉

  11. The U.N. has become a collection of shakedown artists who do nothing more than attempt to extract more graft from Western Democracies for Third World petty dictators and elite families with major banks skimming a cut off the top.
    The U.S. should stop our contributions to ALL agencies operating under the oversight of the U.N., rescind diplomatic status of all representatives, employees or agents of any kind involved with the U.N. and make clear we will no longer abide by or pay any attention to any agreement, treaty, or resolution of the U.N.
    We need to quit stabbing our friends in the back and quit sucking up to our enemies.

      • If third world dictators obeyed international law and if Russia and China gave a **** about such idiotic things it might have a small effect.

        Newsflash: they don’t and this is an entirely pointless exercise.

      • It would do as much good as a no firearms sign at a school, bank, or grocery store. In other words it doesnt mean jack to anyone that doesnt want to abide by it and is up to no good..
        It would be trying to implement gun control on a global level. And we jnow how well gun control works right?

  12. Anyone who thinks that the U.N. does anything good also believes in the Easter Bunny. Smoke and mirrors, they hate the United States and will attempt any back door move they can to undermine us.

    • WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA, just a cotton pickin minute. Am I reading this right? The Easter Bunny isn’t real???????????????????? Next you will be saying that there is no Santa Clause? And if that were to be true, then where do all those neat presents I get each Dec. 25th, come from???????As far as the U.N. is concerned, they do a marvelous job at doing what they do best. That is Efffffing things up.

      Does any one here remember a little place called Rwanda? How about Rhodesia? Better yet, the Belgium Congo. Let’s not forget Korea. How can any one say they don’t do what is expected of them? NOTHING USEFUL! Now lets get back to this Easter Bunny thing….

  13. Just a small point to make – wasn’t the Tea Party and other “Patriot groups” called or listed as Home Grown Terrorist once? Didn’t Janet N. make that comment? And I did read – “keep guns out of the hand of Terrorist” didn’t I ?
    Not sayin I don’t trust the U.N. or our own liberal “Progressive’s” – NOT! Do I think this will work against us gun owners – other than already causing a run on all things gun related? Hopefully, not it my lifetime. Eventually – yes, just might take them awhile. Like it did General Fabian. Then again – it sure is helping the NRA recruit – and that’s not a bad thing.

  14. Don’t worry Paul – there is still an Easter Bunny ! He left my wife an M&P9c in the egg basket this year;>) SO don’t any of you dis the Easter Bunny – cause she’s been practicing, and she IS ACCURATE ! (No it doesn’t have pink grips)
    Now if you all would help on depleting the coyote population, the Easter Bunny would be most appreciative! So pleas don’t ban the 5.56mm – OK

  15. If Iran should be disqualified for those reasons, why should the US not be disqualified for Fast & Furious and similar operations?

  16. Next to Witholder, Barry, and Napolitano, Hildabeast is the next biggest Marxist/Communist in charge of our country. Would anyone believe anything these criminals utter? If they are for it we must be against it. Arms flow are already controlled strictly controlled between governments and other governments and private citizens. Now just who would obey this treaty if signed and ratified? Only the US incolving its private citizens. Just like criiminals and gun control laws only the lawless dictators and tyrants will have guns anyway they want. Their peope will have none.

Comments are closed.