Thanks to Heritage Action activists and their diligent involvement in the political process, American sovereignty was protected from a misguided and unnecessary treaty. The United States Senate voted against ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which would have given an unaccountable "committee of experts" in Geneva, Switzerland authority to make decisions that would affect Americans.
Our activists' calls in opposition to the treaty, combined with excellent work by our government relations team, led to a victory for all Americans, especially those with disabilities.
As Senators were deliberating, they were inundated with pressure from the left to adopt a treaty that would have been corrosive to our sovereignty and federalism. But thanks to you, our activists, those were not the only voices the Senators heard.
Conservatives across America called their Senators and followed up by giving Heritage Action over one-thousand detailed call reports. All this resulted from just one action alert e-mail from us. The swift action was a testament to your readiness and commitment to the conservative cause.
The call reports helped our team in Washington to determine which Senators were on the fence and which ones needed more convincing. With this knowledge in hand, our government relations team had critical conversations with influential staffers.
All of these efforts came together at the right time, as well. Monday and Tuesday night, immediately before the vote, we were successful in swaying several Senators whose staff said they were undecided.
This treaty would have done nothing to improve the rights of persons with disabilities or to advance our national interests, and, in fact, it would have infringed upon the rights of parents to make decisions about their own children. It would have created a "committee of experts" who would have had the authority to propose their own arbitrary standards, which our courts could have enforced. As world leaders in protecting the rights of persons with disabilities, such a committee is not only unnecessary but would also be a detriment to our sovereignty.
According to Heritage's Steven Groves, human rights committees created by U.N. treaties have a bad track record of making demands that "fall well outside the scope of the subject matter of the treaty and that conflict with the legal, social, economic, and cultural traditions and norms" of the countries that are signatories of the treaty.
More importantly, "this has especially been the case with the United States." The ratification of this treaty would have been a rueful error.
Thanks to our activists and their commitment to conservative principles, our sovereignty and federalism were protected. This was a key victory for conservatives and for our whole country. You can count on us to remain vigilant and continue to the fight against other, similarly corrosive treaties in the future.