The Honorable Susan E. Rice
United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations
United States Mission to the United Nations
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Dear Ambassador Rice:
I write today concerning the United Nations (U.N.) Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty being held this month in New York City. I have already expressed my concerns and objections over the danger that the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty poses to our sovereignty and to our Second Amendment rights. I now write to voice my strong concern over the recent inclusion of Iran as a member of the Conference's Bureau/General Committee, and the failure of the United States to exercise its right to block this action.
On July 3, 2012, the members of the Conference unanimously supported Iran's bid for membership on the Conference's Bureau/General Committee. The Conference supported Iran's inclusion in the Bureau/General Committee despite both Iran's continued pursuit of a nuclear weapons program in defiance of numerous U.N. Security Council Resolutions and a recent U.N. report detailing Iran's central role in enabling the continuing massacre of Syrian civilians by Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Situations such as these are not without precedent. Just last year, North Korea ascended to the presidency of the U.N.-backed Conference on Disarmament, and recent reports have indicated that Syria is actively pursuing membership on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Given this recent history, the possibility of Syria joining such a body at a time when it is slaughtering thousands of its own citizens does not appear as implausible as it should.
It is my understanding that the United States had the opportunity to oppose Iran's membership. If this is true, it is particularly troubling that Iran faced no opposition. As Iran becomes increasingly isolated on the international stage a unanimous vote in favor of its membership on an international panel legitimizes the regime. The United States must vocally lead the opposition to any attempt by Iran to use an international body to further its aims. I am requesting a full explanation as to why the United States did not oppose Iran's membership on the Bureau/General Committee of the U.N. Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, and a commitment that the United States will do all that it can to oppose Syria's membership on the U.N. Human Rights Council.
My constituents regularly voice their concerns that their tax dollars go toward supporting the United Nations, an organization that many of them see as operating in direct opposition to U.S. interests. As a member of the United Nations and as a permanent member of the Security Council, our resolve must be the catalyst for the United Nations to assert itself as a positive force in unifying the world community against tyranny, terrorism and totalitarianism. I look forward to your response and look forward to sharing it with my constituents.