Monday, December 24, 2007

'Tis the season

My first Christmas with this blog, so here's something sort of seasonal:

And here is a bit of necessary explication: I want the government to give me more presents. Thanks, Prof. Althouse; and Merry Christmas to all.


Mimi said...

I wonder if Hillary knows why the hell the United States is "not a party to CEDAW convention", you know the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women?

Hector Owen said...

Interesting question. According to this, the US signed the convention [full text] back in July 1980. That would have been Jimmy Carter. Getting a President's signature on something is easier than getting the Senate to ratify it. Once something like this is ratified by the Senate, it takes on the force of a treaty, which is incorporated into Federal law. The US tends to take treaties seriously, unlike most other countries. Look at the lists of States Parties at the previous link and here. You'll see that among the multitude of countries that are parties to the convention are a number which have signed with "declarations or reservations," such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahamas, and others. I suspect that quite a few more have signed without stating their reservations, but simply have no intentions of doing anything about the convention. On the Reports page, many have not submitted the "required" reports.

State Department Legal Adviser John Bellinger said this, back in June 2007:

"Similarly, in the case of the Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), we have not been persuaded that the binding international obligations contained in that treaty would add anything to the measures we take domestically. Our law is already highly protective of women's rights. In addition to a constitutional guarantee of equal protection, we have robust federal anti-discrimination laws and the recently reauthorized Violence Against Women Act. Further, the United States is a world leader in promoting women's rights and participation in the political process. We have spent billions of dollars in foreign aid to improve women's political participation, economic status, education, health care, and legal rights. Indeed, our levels of direct assistance for women around the world have increased substantially over the past four years. It cannot seriously be maintained that our decision not to push for ratification of this treaty reflects a lack of respect for, or attention to, women's rights."

Excerpted from a speech on the United States and International Law. Read the whole thing, if you have time.

A treaty amounts to giving up some sovereignty. For the US to give up sovereignty to such countries as North Korea, Cuba, Kuwait, and Zimbabwe, seems like a bad idea to me. We can do better without being supervised by those who do not do so well.