The administration recently released its Treaty Priority List, designating the treaties for which it supports – and those for which it does not support – Senate action. As is to be expected, the news is mixed.
Encouragingly, the U.S.-U.K. Defense Trade Cooperation Treaty, and its U.S.-Australia counterpart, is on the list. Dr. Liam Fox, the British Shadow Secretary of State for Defense, will be holding an event in support of the U.S.-U.K. treaty in Washington later this month. I have written at some length on this Treaty, which enjoys
bipartisan British backing. Also, interestingly, the administration is not backing the Protocol II additions to the Geneva Convention, which would scupper their plans for the GITMO detainees.
Of course, the news is hardly all good. The administration supports the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Inter-American Convention Against the Illicit Manufacturing of and Trafficking in Firearms, Ammunition, Explosives, and other Related Materials, and the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, among others.
And the “others” list is extensive, running from a tax treaty with Malta to the “Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade,” to the “Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels.” Take a moment to cast your eye across the List and see if there’s anything worrying, or encouraging, coming along in your areas of interest.
To my mind, there’s one real surprise: the absence of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child from the List. As I pointed out in March, this looked to be an administration priority. It was certainly a priority of Sen. Boxer (D-CA). But it’s gone by the boards, not only unsupported by the administration but not even mentioned by it. Along with the defense trade treaties and the refusal to back the Protocol II additions, this is encouraging stuff from the State Department. Sure, it’s worse than it should be, but it’s better than I expected.