Commentary and Newsletters

Anne Bayefsky

Palestinians Attempt to Hijack Another UN Arms Control Conference

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Fresh from derailing the adoption of the comprehensive convention against terrorism at this past fall's General Assembly, the Palestinian UN delegation is seeking to hijack another UN arms control conference. This time it is the five-year review conference "to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects." The conference is scheduled for the last week of June.

The preparatory meeting for the conference is taking place now until January 20, 2006 at UN Headquarters. The UN bills the meeting as an opportunity to improve the implementation of an instrument which represents "a watershed for global efforts to promote disarmament and arms control, further international peace and stability and advance human security and sustainable development, as well as respect for human rights and humanitarian principles."

And the contribution of the Palestinian delegation? Claims of entitlement to engage in terrorism and more justifications for violence. In the words of the Palestinian Observer, on January 12th: "The plan of action and its implementation mechanisms must not adversely affect the rights of peoples to self-determination and self-defense." Taking aim at Americans, as well as Israelis, he continued: "perpetual conflict that has been imposed on Palestinian people in particular, and the Middle East in general due to the presence of belligerent occupation...makes the region susceptible to illicit trade of small arms and light weapons." The contribution of the League of Arab States was more of the same.