- The Washington Times - Monday, September 21, 2009

In her column “Fumbling jobs issue will lose Reagan Democrats” (Nation, Wednesday), Phyllis Schlafly claims U.N. treaties such as the Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) invade U.S. sovereignty by establishing compliance-monitoring committees.

The fact is that the treaty-monitoring bodies set up under the CRC and CEDAW have no enforcement authority and can make only non-binding advisory recommendations. The United States aspires to be a global leader on human rights and holds others to high standards. We should be willing to accept recommendations on applying those standards to ourselves.

For UNCLOS, no committee is tasked with monitoring compliance. Far from undermining U.S. sovereignty, ratification actually would enhance it by strengthening and codifying U.S. jurisdiction over extensive marine areas and keeping straits and ocean passageways open to our Navy. As a leading maritime power, we stand to gain more from ratification than arguably any other nation.

The United States stands virtually alone in its failure to ratify these important treaties. This undercuts American interests because instead of constraining our freedom of action, ratifying these treaties would extend the influence of our values and increase the predictability and stability of international arrangements that serve our interests.


President and CEO

United Nations Association of the USA


Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women

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