The Acts of the Democracies




The USA and International Treaties

In April, the USA fails to be reelected to the United Nations Human Rights Commission, after years of withholding dues to the UN (including current dues of $ 244 million) - and after having forced the UN to lower its share of the UN budget from 25% to 22%. In the Human Rights Commission, the USA stands virtually alone in opposing resolutions supporting lower-cost access to HIV / AIDS drugs, acknowledging a basic human right to adequate food, and calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.

The USA refuses to participate in talks sponsored by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in France during May. This was to discuss ways to crack down on off-shore and other tax and money-laundering havens.

In July, the USA is the only nation to oppose the United Nations Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms.

The USA disavows the Land Mine Treaty, banning land mines, signed in 1997 by 122 countries. The USA rejects the treaty along with Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Vietnam, Egypt, and Turkey.

The USA refuses to allow biological inspections on its own territories in defiance of the 1972 Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention, ratified by 144 countries including the USA. At Geneva (in Switzerland) in November, USA Undersecretary of State, John Bolton stated that "the protocol is dead," at the same time accusing Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Libya, Sudan, and Syria of violating the Convention but offering no specific allegations or supporting evidence.

In December, the USA unilaterally withdraws from the Intercontinental Balistic Missile Treaty signed in 1972. This is the first time in the nuclear era that the USA has renounced a major arms control accord.

The USA becomes one of only 13 countries to reject the the Comprehensive [Nuclear] Test Ban Treaty. This treaty had been signed by 164 countries in 1996 and ratified by 89.

Rupert Cornwall from the UK newspaper, The Independent, describes the USA as "again riding roughshod over international deals it does not like."

Madeleine Albright, former USA Secretary of State to the United Nations put it thus: "[The USA will] behave, with others, multilaterally when we can and unilaterally as we must."

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