Saturday, July 08, 2006

U.N. Conference on Gun Control - Pt 2

The following are the highlights (and lowlights) from the second week of the "U.N. Conference to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects." (For a review of week one, click here.)

Day Five, Friday, June 30: Non-governmental organizations (NGO's) made statements to the meeting. Mary Leigh Blek of the so-called "Million Mom March" made an emotional anti-gun speech to the delegates. Pro-gun groups also made presentations. Japan made an extensive presentation on gun destruction programs. Other countries continued to push the idea of international regulation of ammunition and additional U.N. meetings until at least 2012.

Day Six, Monday, July 3: Innumerable speeches and very little action. The President of the Conference, Ambassador Kariyawasam, from Sri Lanka, released another draft version of the Conference report. The draft again pushes international regulation of ammunition and again proposes U.N. meetings on small arms up to and including 2012. After substantial pressure from NRA, the Conference did not meet on July 4!

Day Seven, Wednesday, July 5: The issue of U.N. regulation of civilian firearms raised its ugly head again. The move was led by Mexico, Colombia, and, of all countries, Canada. Many observers were chagrined that the Canadian delegation would take such an anti-gun stand since there is a new Conservative government in Toronto. Canadian disarmament bureaucrats seemed to be running the delegation. The U.S. held firm on the issue of civilian firearms. The meeting bogged down with little or no resolution of major issues and temporarily adjourned at 6:00 p.m., with an arrangement to come back at 8:00 p.m., and work into the night.

Day Eight, Thursday, July 6: Delegates again agreed to meet in an 8:00 p.m. evening session, with some saying that if agreement could not be reached, the Conference would be deadlocked. The concept of U.N. regulation of civilian firearms seems to refuse to die, even though the U.S. is adamantly holding the line on the issue. The last hours of the Conference were looked upon as the most dangerous time by NRA's team, which closely followed the evening's events.

Day Nine, Friday, July 7: Closing sessions; no action to report -- thank goodness.

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