UN Disabilities treaty

You misunderstand. The treaty is to elevate the rest of the world to America’s standards.

Put in place by a Republican president, by the way. This is good for Americans because they travel in other countries.

Our ratifying the treaty is a good idea, because the UN is asking countries to walk our line, but we are unwilling to endorse that idea.

These concepts are simple.

ITR champion and smiling bandit do you have even a clue as to how treaties actually work? Because even a cursory glance at your posts give the impression that you do not. smiling bandit Treaties are agreements between nation states and no ratifying a treaty does not make it part of applicable law, unless the treaty is self executing. ITR champion; its a basic tenet of international law that treaties do not (with some rare exceptions) create rights and obligations for individuals, treaties have horizontal effect, meaning that they can create obligations between nation states.

We have basically reached the point where there are 20-to-30 GOP senators that will literally vote against any UN treaty, and most other international ones. This was made excessively clear with the NewSTART treaty (which only got 13 GOP yes votes, and 26 no’s), and confirmed when they turned their back on Bob Dole himself to vote against this one.

If there were actually any substantive concerns, as opposed to the tried and true UN = godless commie, the concerns could have been handled by way of reservations.

I have already quoted parts of the treaty to demonstrate that it calls for agreement on quite a lot of law, bureaucracy, and expense that the United States does not currently have. Therefore it does not exist solely to elevate the rest of the world to America’s standards. Most of the treaty is about creating new standards that the United States does not currently have.

It is true that the United States could thereby pledge to do what the treaty says, and then promptly ignore it and not pass the law, create the bureaucracies, and spend the money that we’d just promised to pass, create, and spend. But as smiling bandit pointed out, that would just make us look stupid. Better not to sign the treaty than to sign it and ignore it.

See above. This treaty pledges us to make changes to our internal laws and government. It can’t be enforced, but why sign a treaty that we intend to ignore?

Out of curiosity, have any of those folks in favor of the treaty actually read it, or is bothering to read treaties before signing them another sign of Republican insanity?


The treaty charges us to do things we already do.

Are you aware of the ADA?

The part you quoted is something we already have. We have the best awareness programs in the world, basically. This treaty is encouraging other nations to adopt ADA-like standards.

You can see just part of the bureaucracy already created via the ADA and other legislation here: https://www.disability.gov/

It also charges us to do things that we don’t already do. A great many substantial, expensive, intrusive, and pointless things. I’ve point this out twice already.

I have read it
What you quoted

Now I am a lawyer, and I must admit that I do not see anything there which as you state “pledges us to make changes to our internal laws and government”. . All it says that the state parties should promote various aspects of disbilitiy right. None of that in any way compels anyone to issue any legislation whatsoever. An annual message by Obama and the odd White House function would suffice.


That may or may not be true depending on how you interpret the treaty. The language of this treaty, like everything produced by the UN and everything produced by bureaucrats everywhere, is deliberately chosen to be vague and ambiguous. It means nothing specific so that government officials can decide, at any particular time, that it means anything they want it to mean and change its meaning whenever they feel it’s convenient. To take the part I quoted earlier as an example:

Initiating and maintaining effective public awareness campaigns designed:
To nurture receptiveness to the rights of persons with disabilities;
To promote positive perceptions and greater social awareness towards persons with disabilities;
To promote recognition of the skills, merits and abilities of persons with disabilities, and of their contributions to the workplace and the labour market;
Fostering at all levels of the education system, including in all children from an early age, an attitude of respect for the rights of persons with disabilities;
Encouraging all organs of the media to portray persons with disabilities in a manner consistent with the purpose of the present Convention;
Promoting awareness-training programmes regarding persons with disabilities and the rights of persons with disabilities.

Every clause here is written to lack a specific meaning. To start off with, is maintaining a single government website sufficient to fulfill “initiating and maintaining effective public awareness campaigns”? It could be if you want it to be; alternately it could fail to be.

But that’s the point, ITR. The treaty isn’t aimed at the US - it’s aimed at countries that currently don’t do a damn thing for people with disabilities, much less have robust legislation (the ADA) and a bureaucratic infrastructure for promoting awareness and prosecuting abuses.

Also note that your list is a list of “measures to this end” - it’s not a list you have to check every box of, just a demonstration of things that could be done to promote the goal of raising awareness.

Is it bureaucratic pablum? Perhaps. But stating broad guidelines that all signatory nations agree on is sort of the point of treaty-making. And if the current GOP can’t sign off on one as benign as this, one which we already implement basically 100%, then I’m hard-pressed to think of a UN treaty they will back. But then again, maybe that’s the point.

ETA: Here’s the website for the ADA: http://www.ada.gov/. I think you’ll agree it more than meets the requirements of the provision you quoted.

Right. It’s vague to allow signatories lots of wiggle room so they can implement what they feel comfortable doing. It’s not vague so that UN troops can come in and start forcing home-schoolers to build wheelchair ramps.

We would sign it to pressure other countries to follow suit and do more for their own disabled citizens. The fact that we currently comply with the provisions (and then some!) is all the more reason to sign it – we can set an example for the rest of the world and zero additional cost.

But this makes it sound like an incredible waste of time…if it’s so intentionally vague (meaning it “has no teeth”), then many of these countries will simply do nothing! Why bother? If the US already implements these “requirements”, then who are we to demand as a signatory that other nations must as well?

Damn those UN troops sound scary. I bet our troops are shaking in their foreign made boots.

You aren’t thinking about this right.

We have become an exemplar in the treatment of the disabled. The UN wants other countries to follow. This creates the treaty, for other nations to meet our very high standards.

But we don’t endorse the attempt to help disabled people across the world, because Republicans in the Senate are such cowards that they fear misinformed fools in the homeschool movement.

That’s it. This is a simple treaty. It isn’t a scheme. This is just, “Hey, everyone, do a good job like the US has done!” and Republicans are so insane that we can’t stamp it with a “Yeah, do like us!”

No, I get it. The fact that it’s utterly unenforceable and that many of these other nations either hate us or could give a shit about their disabled citizens just seems to me to be a big waste of time.

“Oh yeah, let’s emulate the US!”

No, the big waste of time is a hysterical tantrum based on delusional homeschooler conspiracy theories.

This has no teeth for us, because we already do it. Don’t you think China ratifying this is a good thing?

Do you give a shit that there are disabled people in non US countries? If so, don’t you see this as a good thing? Don’t you think that a country that ratifies this will be compelled to do something about it?

You do understand how the UN works, right?

I’d be interested to know if there are any toothless, waste of time, UN treaties the Republicans *did *sign off on.

I’m serious. Are there any?

There’s someone here who doesn’t understand how treaties work, and it’s not us, pal. In the United States a ratified treaty is Federal Law, and pre-empts (at the time of ratification) any preceding law short of the Constitution itself. Well, more or less - it’s a ridiculously complex area of law. There are some loopholes which may mean it’s either not enforcable or not valid as law, but it’s not really something I feel the need

In short, if that was the diplomatic intent, then the President was (and is) welcome to sign it as a public relations excercise. The very fact that it was submitted to the Senate implies on the face that this was not the intent.

International law doesn’t mean jack here (or anywhere). The law of the United States does.

No. It’s a meaningless excercise in diplomacy for its own sake.

No, bro, you got me. I just hate disabled people. That’s the only possible rational motivation here.

Or - maybe, just maybe - it’s a meaningless excercise in diplomacy for its own sake.

No. It’s a meaningless excercise in diplomacy for its own sake.