U.S. Participation in the U.N.’s “Programme of Action” on Small Arms and Light Weapons Is Not in the National Interest
by Ted R. Bromund
The Heritage Foundation
June 13, 2014
The United Nations’ Programme of Action (PoA) on small arms is becoming a mechanism for promoting norms on gun control through the United Nations system. The United States has nothing to gain and much to lose from continuing to participate in it. Though its failure to produce a single substantial achievement may make it appear harmless, the PoA is nonetheless a stewing pot for all U.N. activities related to the control of small arms. To gun-control activists, the Programme is an ideal venue for advancing national guidelines, standards, and best practices that can then be asserted to be necessary parts of other, unrelated U.N. instruments, such as the Arms Trade Treaty and International Small Arms Control Standards. The United States should cease lending credibility to a U.N. institution that does not deserve it, should reject any efforts to transform the PoA into a legally binding treaty, withdraw from it, and propose the elimination of the U.N. mandate for its existence.