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Kerry Tries to Convince Senate that UN Treaty Won’t Affect U.S. Sovereignty

Pushing for ratification of disabilities treaty: “I am still convinced that we give up nothing, but we get everything in return,”

by
Rodrigo Sermeño

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December 1, 2013 - 11:48 pm
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WASHINGTON – Secretary of State John Kerry vowed in a hearing before the congressional recess to work with senators on caveats to a stalled United Nations disabilities pact, as some concern about threats to U.S. sovereignty remains among Republicans.

“We want senators to feel comfortable so we’re prepared to address legitimate concerns,” Kerry told the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. “We want to act in good faith…so you’re not feeling like you’re entering into a quicksand deal.”

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) opened for signature in 2007 and came into effect in May 2009 after 20 parties had ratified it. As of October 2013, it has 158 signatories. The U.S. has signed the convention, but a Senate vote last year failed to ratify it.

The treaty aims to promote and ensure the enjoyment of equal rights by people with disabilities.

The CRPD has received support from numerous U.S. business groups and companies, including Coca Cola, DirectTV, and the Consumer Electronics Association, and religious and nonprofit groups such as the Red Cross and the National Federation of the Blind.

The treaty must secure a two-thirds majority for Senate passage. In December 2012, the CRPD fell five votes short as only 61 senators voted in favor and 38 senators – all Republicans – voted against it.

Thursday’s hearing was the second on the CRPD in the current Congress. If the treaty passes, it will only be with some clauses that stipulate how the treaty will influence American law. Like other international human rights treaties that the U.S. has ratified, it will be “non-self executing,” meaning Congress would have to pass separate laws to give it effect.

“Nothing can change unless the United States Senate were to re-ratify whatever suggestion the United States Senate might engage in subsequently,” Kerry said.

One of Kerry’s last actions as chairman of the committee was to push for ratification of the pact.

“I am still convinced that we give up nothing, but we get everything in return,” he said.

Instead, he said, the treaty would give the U.S. influence to get other countries to raise themselves to the standards the United States set forward in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Opponents of ratification worry it could affect Americans’ ability to home-school their children.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) led a campaign against the treaty last Congress. He warned the agreement could lead to the government, rather than parents, determining the best interest of disabled children. Opponents also argue the treaty could result in more abortions by granting the disabled equal access to reproductive care.

Others, like the Heritage Foundation, oppose the pact because they say it will do nothing to advance American interests internationally.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) asked if the treaty creates a right to abortion, specifically under Article 25, which deals with access to health care and sexual and reproductive health.

Kerry responded the committee has already worked on some “RUDs” – which stand for “reservations, understandings, or declarations” in international law jargon – last year that make sure the convention does not include any language regarding medical procedures.

“Nothing in Article 25 or anywhere else in this treaty creates a right to abortion. That is a domestic legal issue and nothing in this treaty changes that,” he said.

Kerry also said the treaty would not have any effects on the ability of parents to home-school their children.

“U.S. ratification of this treaty will have absolutely no impact on parental rights, home-schooling, or any other aspect of U.S. law,” he said.

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Top Rated Comments   
Get the USA out of the UN, and Kick the UN out of the USA, that collection of despots and dictators surely should NOT have ANY sway over the USA!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't need to read the entire article (I did) to know where I stand on this issue - if Lurch is for it I'm against it. I trust him (and his boss) about as far as I can throw a 300 pound cannon ball.



47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
America gains nothing by signing this and potentially gives up another piece of U.S. sovereignty for the pleasure of saying "we care". We already care. There is nothing gained and another risk of losing a lot. Do NOT ratify this treaty.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (25)
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47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
we already know it is bad and guts the 2nd amendment. hitlery put that in there when she was sos. and its always the small print that contains the really bad stuff, so there's no telling what other marxist/socialist type crap it contains.

you know, we pay for most of the u.n. isn't that actually paying your enemies to try to destroy you? like giving billion$ to iran? that'll get them over that cash flow problem they had in finishing those (non-mil) nuclear weapons they have promised not to use against Israel and us. oh wait, they promised TO use them against ...
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
If the treaty gives up nothing, then why ratify? Seems pointless...... IS pointless.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
One wonders what in the hell these people are thinking?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
More treason by the Obama administration. The deal with Iran, that is nothing but capitulation to their goals, the expansion of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the continued advance of their agenda by forcing Syria's current government out through lies and propaganda. And the UN is at the fore of yet another effort to eliminate firearms form the citizens of the USA after Obama's and the democrats failed attempts.
it is far past the time to say enough and remove the current administration for it's illegal actions.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry has signed the small arms treaty from the UN that only needs to be ratified by the Senate to become binding on America. If ratified, this will eventually gut the Second Amendment. Talk about sovereignty! Kerry is an American hating socialists in our midst. His talk of not affecting our sovereignty parrots Kennedys telling us in 1965 that his immigration law would not change the status quo in America. Ha!! Look at us now. People are flowing into America from all sources faster than we can count them. Fie on all the socialists. Lets get rid of them!!!
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
No treaties signed by the Tyrant should be approved while he is in office. No bill should be passed that can be interpreted by the Tyrant. Nothing done until he is impeached and kicked out of office. Lying to the people, betraying our people in Benghazi, cheating with the IRS in the 2012 election, modifying immigration laws to give amnesty to illegals, granting states waivers to the work requirements of the welfare to work law, providing guns to a terrorist organization in Mexico are all crimes worth of Obama's impeachment.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Many liberty movement activists have noted recently that there has been a surge in media propaganda aimed at painting the survival, preparedness and liberty cultures as “fringe,” “reactionary,” “extremist,” “conspiracy-minded,” etc. National Geographic’s television show “Doomsday Preppers” appears to have been designed specifically to seek out the worst possible representatives of the movement and parade their failings like a carnival sideshow.
Although I would be labeled as such myself, I do, and I'm sure others like me answer to a higher power. God tells us in Ezekiel 33 that if those of us who know the truth don't sound the trumpet to those who either don't know the realities of today or don't want to know, that He will hold us accountable for their blood. I guess it's part of redeeming the time we have left until SHTF.
I cannot imagine a punishment more severe than to spend the majority of one’s years as a slave without even knowing it: knowing it's the Socialist legacy they are leaving their loved ones. I cannot imagine an existence more deserving of pity and remorse than that of the sheeple.
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
Kerry is a liar and a traitor. Why would anyone trust him?
47 weeks ago
47 weeks ago Link To Comment
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