U.N. Disabilities Treaty Undermines U.S. Sovereignty

The United Nations Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) would deliver a blow to United States sovereignty and federalism and would do nothing to help those who suffer from disabilities in the United States.  The United States is already the world leader in protecting people with disabilities.  What’s more, other countries can feel free to sign the treaty; their involvement is not contingent in any way on whether the United States signs the treaty or not.

Yet the liberals – Republicans and Democrats alike – in Congress are trying to subject our country — in which disabled Americans’ rights already receive robust protections under the law, which are enforced by a wide range of state and federal agencies — to the whims of some board of “experts” in Geneva, Switzerland.  Today at noon, the U.S. Senate will decide whether or not to ratify the treaty.

Playing on emotions, liberals in the media have tried to portray conservatives as behind the times compared to countries like China, Russia, Iran, Cuba, Syria, and Saudi Arabia who are signatories of the disabilities treaty.  They say, “we don’t actually have to do anything except say we like the treaty — and then wait for other signatories around the world to catch up to the United States’ laws.”

Not so fast!

America would be bound by this treaty, but certain other countries do not have the best track record of abiding by treaties.  America still believes in the rule of law; other countries do not.  (New START comes to mind.)  Take China, for example, which has failed to abide by the Law of the Sea Treaty, even though, (gasp) they signed it.

Heritage’s Steve Groves explains:

Other nationsincluding many that are party to the treatyregularly violate customary international maritime law (and the provisions of LOST) by making excessive claims about the extent of their territorial waters.”

Acknowledging the hard facts and historical evidence makes the mistake of relying on U.N. treaties (that are regularly violated by countries that are party to those treaties) very clear.

More importantly, regarding the Disabilities Treaty, Groves explains:

The U.S. Congress, American civil society, and special interest groups are far better positioned to conduct such reviews than a committee of disability experts from Bangladesh, China, Qatar, and Tunisia, which are current members of the CRPD Committee.”

Liberal politicians can’t put forth a coherent argument for why we should sign the treaty.  And when there is no rational, reasonable cause for it, they are forced to rely on raw emotion.  Senator John Kerry (D-MA) said that the proposal simply “raises the international standard to our level without requiring us to go further.”

Then why should we ratify it?

We shouldn’t.  It simply doesn’t make sense to ratify a treaty that yields authority to some unaccountable board of experts across the Atlantic and does absolutely nothing to improve the rights of Americans with disabilities.

Kerry says that travel abroad will be made easier for veterans with disabilities, but Steve Groves explains that this is totally “non sequitur, and it has nothing to do with the treaty at all.”

There is no good argument to ratify the U.N. Disabilities Treaty, but there is long list of reasons to oppose it.

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