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Senate to Vote on UN Treaty, GOP and Critics Slam Threat to U.S.

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Alex Newman
New American
December 3, 2012

The U.S. Senate is set to vote on the ratification of a deeply controversial United Nations treaty on disabled people, dubbed the UN “Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” (UN CRPD), which critics say represents a serious threat to American sovereignty and certain unalienable rights. After voting to consider the agreement in late November during the lame-duck session despite furious protests, a vote on whether or not to formally ratify the planetary disability scheme has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 4.

The Obama administration, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), and an array of UN-supporting Democrat senators have expressed strong backing for the widely criticized treaty, which claims the definition of disability is “evolving.” So far, however, Republicans have largely refused to support the controversial agreement, with some 36 GOP Senators signing a letter in September blasting the consideration of any treaties at all during the post-election session.

Those Republican opponents have immense support from a broad and diverse coalition of liberty-minded organizations. More than a dozen heavyweight non-profit groups have blasted the latest UN treaty, expressing concerns about everything from the continued erosion of national sovereignty and the ongoing usurpation of illegitimate power by the scandal-plagued UN, to the implications of the global agreement for home education, the right to life, and more.

Analysts point out that the United States already has among the most robust protections for handicapped citizens anywhere in the world. They say the idea that Americans need orders from the UN on this issue or any other matter is preposterous, to say the least. Instead, more than a few critics have complained, the UN CRPD, like other global treaties, is simply another power grab by planetary bureaucrats hoping to gradually increase their control over domestic law and policy in as many fields and nations as possible.

The agreement, for instance, purports to grant governments broad and dangerously vague powers to intrude on family life, supposedly to ensure that parents of disabled children are being cared for according to the UN’s dictates. Of course, the U.S. Constitution does not grant the federal government any such authorities, so the treaty would appear to be unconstitutional on its face, according to experts. Still, with Washington, D.C.’s reputation for brazenly ignoring constitutional limitations, activists say it is crucial to oppose the UN CRPD.

The UN treaty also demands that national authorities submit reports to an international so-called “committee of experts.” American analysts and critics have warned that ratification of the agreement would result in the U.S. government deferring to an unaccountable international body in Geneva. And like virtually all UN entities, like the global organization itself, the committee would almost certainly be composed largely of mass-murdering regimes and brutal dictatorships, many of which despise freedom, America, and the West in general.

In the Senate, Republican opponents slammed the UN’s continued efforts to seize control over policy, saying the United States is already the gold standard when it comes to protecting the rights of the disabled. Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), a popular and respected conservative who has been a leader on protecting the rights of Americans, played a key role in killing the UN CRPD in September, when Democrats tried to sneak it through by abusing Senate rules on unanimous consent. Now he plans to help sink it again.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

“It undermines U.S. sovereignty, and it tries to internationalize domestic policy. I’m uncomfortable with that,” Sen. Lee said about the treaty, highlighting troubling language that would seek to make government and politicians the arbiter of what is in thesupposed “best interest” of children. ”The problem with that is that it takes away rights that belong to parents, and it threatens to potentially put the government in charge of decisions that ought to be made by the family and not by the government.”

That is one of the reasons homeschooling families and advocates have been helping to lead the charge to defeat the controversial UN treaty. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) and other influential groups, for example, have warned that the agreement could be a serious threat to homeschoolers — especially if the children have some sort of disability.

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris, who testified against the treaty before the Senate, pointed out that the Swedish and German governments have both ratified UN agreements, yet they still viciously persecute homeschoolers. He warned that ratification of the disabilities treaty could eventually lead to serious problems for American parents, too.

“I urge you to call all of the other senators yet again and urge them to change their minds and support the principle that Americans should make the law for America,” said Farris, who also serves as president of the pro-family rights group ParentalRights.org. “We absolutely have to keep the pressure on the Senate. The other side needs to change three votes to win. We need to keep up our defense of freedom because no one else will.”

Another one of the most contentious issues surrounding the treaty is a section dealing with abortion. Pro-life groups are up in arms about the purported treaty requirement that governments guarantee “reproductive health” access, long understood and even admitted to be just a more politically palatable term covering everything from tax-funded contraception and sterilization to abortion.

Family Research Council chief Tony Perkins, for example, cited Article 25 of the agreement purporting to mandate “free or affordable” access to “sexual and reproductive health,” as well as so-called “population-based” programs. “Translation: the global community could force America to sanction sterilization or abortion for the disabled–at taxpayer expense,” Perkins warned, pointing to a failed effort by GOP senators to prevent the imposition of pro-abortion policies on treaty signatories.

Proponents of the global agreement have been busy explaining that ratification would not mandate many changes to U.S. federal statutes because the treaty is supposedly based largely on the 1990 “Americans with Disabilities Act” (ADA). If that were truly the case, however, critics say it would be a bizarre decision by the Obama administration and Democrats in the Senate to squander so much political capital on a treaty that would essentially do nothing.

The UN CRPD was adopted by the global organization, known to opponents as the “dictators club,” in 2006. Since then, almost 120 other governments and dictatorships have ratified the scheme, including some of the most oppressive regimes on Earth — communist Cuba, Islamist Iran, communist China, Islamist Saudi Arabia, and more.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, ordered disgraced U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to sign the federal government up for the effort in 2009. Now, the president and UN-loving federal officials, like with a wide range of other controversial global agreements, have been frantically lobbying the Senate to ratify it for reasons that are not entirely clear. They see the lame-duck session as a prime opportunity to ram the deals through, analysts say.

According to dubious claims made by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee and is one of the chief advocates for the agreement, the treaty might be able to help disabled veterans in other countries, for instance. Dismissing the serious concerns of opponents that ratification would be another blow to American sovereignty, Kerry noted that if the U.S. government were to join the disability regime, the effect “will echo around the world.”

A two-thirds Senate majority vote is needed to ratify the agreement, and analysts say the vote will almost certainly be decided by a razor-thin margin. As such, liberty-minded activists, advocates of national sovereignty, the sanctity of life, parental rights, and more, are urging concerned Americans to urgently contact their senators and demand that they stand up for the United States and refuse to ratify the UN CRPD — or any other treaty purporting to cede any more authority to the scandalous global organization. Instead, critics say it is time for the U.S. government to withdraw from the UN altogether.

(To contact your senators in opposition to ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,click here.)

Alex Newman, a foreign correspondent for The New American, is currently based in Europe. He can be reached atanewman@thenewamerican.com.

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This article was posted: Monday, December 3, 2012 at 6:16 am





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