SurvivalBlog Insider Report from the UN Small Arms and Light Weapons Conference

My experience at the UN’s Conference on Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) was very informative. To begin, it is important to note that the idea behind this conference is a follow-up on the 2001 conference’s Program of Action (POA). This being the case, the 2001 conference, like this one, is about Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons – not about Legal Small Arms (not about civilian possession or ownership). Basically put, the 2006 Conference was to Implement the 2001 POA – not add to it or subtract from it – as agreed in 2001 by all signatories (the U.S. position on this is to implement 2001 not change it)
Regarding the conference’s emphasis on “illicit” Small Arms, Kofi Annan himself made this emphatically clear in his introductory speech on Monday morning, stating for all countries present, and repeating this at least twice, that the conference has nothing to do with legal civilian possession and ownership of firearms.
Despite Annan’s comments several countries chose to state in their position statements (made mostly Monday and Tuesday) that the civilian ownership of firearms (and Toy Guns too!) should be included in the UN’s 2006 SALW agenda (POA) equating civilian ownership essentially to the world-wide problem of SALW in the hands of despots, thugs and criminals!
However, most other countries gave rather non-descript position statements, being basically politically centrist boilerplate – but importantly not mentioning civilian ownership.
Canada’s statement was essentially quite intelligent and reasonable mentioning specifically as it did see civilian ownership/use of firearms as a reasonable activity. Australia’s position was wholly meek, pandering to the non-civilian possession component – lauding their strides in civilian buy-back programs (the same “programs” which Canada slammed as expensive and useless).
The highlight of the meetings came on Tuesday when the U.S. [delegate] spoke. Simply put it was the best speech – a classic plain-speaking American no nonsense speech, pro-civilian ownership, no one will tell the U.S. what to do with its Constitution etc etc. The tone left little to misunderstand the U.S. position or that the U.S. is in charge – you’d have loved it.
Pro-gun groups spoke on Friday and were well represented: SAAMI [Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers Institute, Inc.] and MLRA [Muzzle Loading Rifle Assn.] to name two of many others from U.S., New Zealand, South Africa, and Switzerland, etc. – The NGO Insider