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TOPIC: United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Response Received 12-13-2012 @ 4:54p.p.
Thank you for contacting me regarding changes to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Nearly two years ago, I ran for the United States Senate because our nation faced many serious challenges. What I found in Washington was a political establishment more concerned about the politics of re-election than solving real problems. The U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is a perfect example of this.
Protecting the rights and freedoms of the disabled is a worthy goal. But I voted against the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities because it is another example of legislation that sounds good but accomplishes little, if anything.
The United Nations has a long history of corruption, mismanagement and appeasement of regimes that are determined to develop weapons of mass destruction, limit freedom and commit genocide. These are indisputable facts. Before signing on to another U.N.-sponsored treaty, we should examine the failure of that organization to effectively address significant matters of human rights and international security.
The United Nations has repeatedly failed to enforce its own agreements. It has failed to take steps to prevent its own "peacekeepers" from allowing - and sometimes committing - violent crimes such as human trafficking and rape. Our representative to the Human Rights Commission continues to call on the U.N. to take action on female mutilation, protection of minority populations and many other abuses. Yet on many of these issues, the United Nations has done virtually nothing.
Why would we enable the very human rights abusers - too often with an anti-American agenda - to dictate guidelines and policy to the people of the United States? We should not agree to any treaty that could require American municipalities to subject themselves to an unelected group of United Nations bureaucrats.
Advocates for the treaty have done little to explain how it benefits the American people. The Americans with Disabilities Act is already the world's model for expanding access and protecting rights. Its existence encourages other nations to enact reforms such as the ADA. Our protections are a model because of the prestige of the United States as the world's foremost protector of human rights. They gain nothing from being associated with the United Nations, and linking our law with this treaty diminishes its standing in the world.
Instead of wasting time voting on nice sounding treaties and other feel-good pieces of legislation, the U.S. Senate should begin to seriously address the fiscal challenges facing America. A good place to start would be to pass a budget for the first time in more than three years.
Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts. It is important for me to hear the views and concerns of the people I serve. Since taking office, I have received over 600,000 pieces of correspondence and have had over 200,000 participants in live forums and telephone town hall meetings. Please feel free to contact me in the future if I can further assist you or your family. It is an honor representing you and the good people of Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate.
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