I remember right before the Nov. elections the woman who was responsible for taking away the guns in Canada and I believe Australia and maybe Ireland, was having a conference here in America talking about gun control, about getting rid of our second amendment.
these gun haters do not like Bush. this is from the UN affiliatied International Campaign to Band Landmines ( a cover for small arms confiscation)
it does me good to see how much they dislike Bush policy
Author/Origin: Jody Williams williamsSPAMFLTER@SPATMFLTERicbl.org
(Monday 16 July 2001 Washington, DC)
Hello to everyone in the ICBL.
It has been a very long time since I have written to everyone, but the latest from the Bush administration is just too disturbing to ignore.
As we have talked about many times, a big concern to many of us in the ICBL -- and some of our government friends who really do care about the civil society-government partnership that we have forged -- has always been that some governments would try to make sure that that model was not replicated to resolve other issues -- such as child soldiers, small arms/light weapons control, the establishment of an International Criminal Court, to name just a few.
I guess it should be of little surprise given the arrogant isolationism of this new administration and its hostility to almost every international treaty whether already negotiated or in the process of negotiation that the US government just this past week at the United Nations attacked the very model that we established with the ICBL.
As you all now, there is a three-week conference underway at the UN to try to deal with the proliferation of light arms and small weapons. You might have read the news reports of the USs very hostile position toward the conference. There were articles about it in the Washington Post and opinion pieces in the New York Times to name just a couple, this past week. But what I had not seen mentioned was that the US was not only hostile to the negotiations it is also trying to block the open participation of citizens in the discussions.
In case you haven't seen it, John R. Bolton, Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security, addressed the Plenary Session of the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons for the U.S. And he said:
We do not support the promotion of international advocacy activity by international or non-governmental organizations, particularly when those political or policy views advocated are not consistent with the views of all member states. What individual governments do in this regard is for them to decide, but we do not regard the international governmental support of particular political viewpoints to be consistent with democratic principles. Accordingly, the provisions of the draft Program that contemplate such activity should be modified or eliminated. (If you wish to read the entire address it can be found at: http://www.state.gov/t/us/rm/2001/index.cfm?docid=4038)
In other words, Bolton and the Bush administration are saying that NGOs should not be allowed to express views on issues under negotiation -- particularly, as Mr. Bolton notes in so many words, if such views "offend" any single country (such as the U.S., for example). The administration is trying to re-establish the tyranny of consensus that we were able to avoid in the Ottawa Process and with government-civil society partnership in that process . And he is saying that the rules of procedure of the negotiations should be changed to silence our voices.
In so many words, the Bush administration is saying that having a point of view and expressing it is not consistent with democratic principles. Am I alone in feeling that Ive fallen through the looking glass and the jabberwocky is talking gibberish?
We all know that what we have achieved in the ICBL is much more than the eventual elimination of landmines. It is the model itself and the empowerment that we all have gotten by working together for a common goal -- even if we don't always agree on every detail of how to get there. As we all know, the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) is about a whole lot more than just landmines. Even if we only were able to get rid of this indiscriminate weapon and help landmine survivors around the world, it would be a significant contribution to a better world. But, the Campaign has done so much more than that and has become a powerful example of what ordinary citizens can do when they work together and express their views. For that, in part, we received the Nobel Peace Prize.
You might recall that in its announcement of the 1997 award, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, among other things, that the ICBL, in making up a network through which it has been possible to express and mediate a broad wave of popular commitment in an unprecedented way.....has grown into a convincing example of an effective policy for peace." In concluding, the Nobel Committee noted that as a model for similar processes in the future, it could prove of decisive importance to the international effort for disarmament and peace."
Apparently, the Bush administration recognizes that our model could prove of decisive importance and wants to stop it now. I hope many if not all of you share my outrage at this attempt to take away our voices -- and that you will let your governments know that you are outraged that the 'world's greatest democracy' is behaving in such an undemocratic fashion.
Thanks for taking the time to read this.