As France, the UK, and other nations gathered to sign the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in New York, the U.S. was not among them.
Although it was widely believed that Obama would add his name to treaty when other Western allies gathered to sign it on June 3, Sec. of State John Kerry now says that Obama will sign the treaty once “the process of confirming the official translations” has had time to be “satisfactorily” completed.
From the time the U.N. General Assembly passed the ATT on April 2 till now, there has been a growing chorus of opposition to signing on to the document. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) pushed through an amendment opposing the treaty in the senate, effectively ending any chance for a resolution of ratification at this time. The NRA ran a campaign against it, encouraging its 5 million members to contact their Senators and the administration and ask that the treaty be opposed. And just last week, according to Fox News, 130 members of Congress signed a letter to Obama, asking him not to sign the treaty.
As Bloomberg News reports, even with the signatures the treaty has no force until 50 of the signatory nations ratify it. For the U.S. alone, if Obama does sign it as Kerry says he will, the ratification process is anticipated to “take [up to] 10 to 15 years.”
This is because a successful resolution of ratification requires two-thirds of U.S. Senators to support it, and Sen. Inhofe has already demonstrated that this won’t be happening any time soon.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins