On Sat, 04 Dec 2021 19:20:35 +0000, Jethro_uk wrote:
> I don't read much news these days, so must have missed the bit where the
> US signed an international treaty on internal gun control that the UK
> could harangue them about.
> Maybe you'd be so kind as to post a cite. Just so I know we are
> comparing apples and apples.
Here is a few other though:
One of the dangerous consequences of violating the Iran deal is a loss of
credibility for the US, say critics of Donald Trump’s decision including
former president Barack Obama. Iran and all other parties have respected
the deal’s terms, they point out, making the US look like an unreliable
Well, the US is an unreliable international partner—and it has long been
one, even before the current administration pulled out from the Trans-
Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Paris agreement on climate change, and
threatened to end NAFTA. History is dotted with treaties that the US has
signed but not ratified, signed and then unsigned, and even refused to
sign after pushing everyone else to sign.
Capriciousness about international treaties is an old US tradition. It
starts with the country’s very creation: hundreds of treaties signed with
Native American tribes that were either broken, or not ratified. Today,
the US is one of the countries to have ratified the fewest number of
international human rights treaties—of the 18 agreements passed by the UN,
America has only ratified five.
Treaties between the US and American Indian Nations (1722-1869)
According to the US national archives, 374 treaties (pdf, p.4) signed
between the US and Native American Tribes from 1772 to 1867 were ratified.
Of these, many were not respected: Only one article of the Pickering
Treaty, or Treaty of Canadaigua of 1794, for instance, has been observed.
Many others (18 in California alone, signed during the Gold Rush) were not
even ratified. These include Treaty K, or the California Treaty, which
promised reservations to American Indians within the state.
Treaty of Versailles, 1919
President Woodrow Wilson was a promoter and negotiator of the treaty that
ended World War I. The agreement was signed between the Allied Powers and
Germany; commenting on the US’s role in brokering the deal, Wilson
famously said, “At last the world knows America as the savior of the
However, the president encountered strong and growing opposition to the
treaty in Congress, and the US never ratified the Treaty of Versailles. In
fact, the US didn’t formally end its war against Germany and the former
Austro-Hungarian empire until 1921.
International Labor Convention, 1949
The oldest treaty currently pending ratification in the Senate is an
international recognition of the freedom of association and protection of
the right to organize. The agreement was signed by 154 countries,
including the US, and entered in full effect in 1950. However, the US
never ratified it (pdf).
Geneva Agreement, 1954
The Conference of Geneva in 1954 was called to put a final end to the
Korean War and First Indochina War. The treaty was signed by Vietnam,
France, China, the USSR, and the UK. Although the US participated in the
conference and negotiations, it eventually refused to sign. However, it
did agree to respect the ceasefire.
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR),
Building onto the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the ICESCR
expands the notion of basic rights beyond civil and political provisions.
The agreement has been ratified by 166 countries. The US has signed, but
has not ratified, the covenant.
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discriminations Against
Women (CEDAW), 1979
By signing CEDAW in 1980, the US become one of 156 signatories of a
landmark agreement to end gender discrimination. Shortly after signing,
then-president Jimmy Carter submitted the agreement for ratification to
the Senate. It’s still waiting.
The Law of the Sea, 1982
The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) was held in Jamaica
between 1973 and 1982. It established a set of rules and responsibilities
governing the way countries and international bodies act in international
waters. For instance, UNCLOS details the requirements of search and rescue
at sea. In 1994, the US signed the agreement. However, it did not ratify
Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989
The CRC is a landmark human rights document for several reasons. It’s the
first defining agreement on the rights of children, and it incorporate a
wide range of rights (education, health, justice) for minors. It achieved
broad support very quickly, with near-unanimous ratification across the
The US signed the agreement in 1995. It is the only country that has not
Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty, 1996
Although the treaty banning nuclear testing was adopted by the UN Assembly
General in 1996, and has been ratified by 166 countries, the agreement is
not yet into effect due to eight key countries who have not yet ratified
it. The US, which signed in 1996, is one of them—the others are China,
Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, North Korea, and Pakistan.
Mine-Ban Treaty, or Ottawa Treaty, 1997
The mine ban’s goal is to eliminate anti-person mines, prohibiting their
production, stockpiling, or use. The US is one of 33 states (including
Russia, India, and China) that have signed but not ratified the treaty.
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, 1998
The Rome treaty establishing an international criminal court was
negotiated by 148 countries. Of them, 120 approved of the final draft in
1998 (pdf), seven opposed it, and 21 abstained from voting.
Bill Clinton signed the agreement in 2000 but delayed submitting it to the
Senate for ratification, on the grounds that the US needed to observe how
the tribunal worked. Two years later, after the treaty had come into full
effect and been ratified by 60 countries, George W Bush informed the
United Nations that the US no longer intended to submit the agreement to
the Senate for ratification at all.
Kyoto Protocol, 1997
Though the US signed the agreement limiting carbon emissions, it never
intended to ratify it. The US is one of just four UN member states that
have not enforced the agreement, with Andorra, Canada, and South Sudan.
Paris Climate Accord, 2015
The Paris deal to mitigate climate change by reducing emissions was signed
by 195 member states in 2015, and became effective the following year.
President Trump withdrew from the agreement on June 1, 2017. However, the
US is still bound to follow the Paris deal’s requirements until 2020.
Several more international treaties are pending ratification from the US
Senate, for a total of 45 between 1949 and 2017. The US is also notably
absent from signing prominent international treaties including the Mine
Ban Treaty, the Convention Against Torture, and on the Rights of Persons