In what amounts to a clear violation of the United States-United Nations Treaty of 1947, the Trump administration is denying visas to same-sex domestic partners of UN diplomats and staff. The U.S. is also requiring UN personnel in same-sex partnerships to get married or face the cancellation of current U.S. visas for domestic partners. For foreign diplomats being assigned to the UN and hoping to obtain visas for their same-sex partners, the U.S. is requiring them to get married before issuing visas. However, some of those affected by the U.S. visa ban live in countries where same-sex or even opposite sex domestic partnerships are illegal.
Holders of U.S. G-4 diplomatic non-immigrant visas at the UN who are affected by the new policy are required to get married before the end of this year or leave the country. Same-sex marriages are legal in less than 30 member-states of the UN. The U.S. policy change affects around ten UN employees in New York. With such an insignificant number of spouses of UN employees subject to deportation, the new policy appears to be a manifestation of a combination of Trump anti-immigration adviser Stephen Miller working hand-in-glove with the anti-gay rights Christian fundamentalist secretary of state, Mike Pompeo.
Just as Trump is seeking to take control of the two co-equal branches of the federal government, the Congress and the Supreme Court, and make them rubber stamps for his fascistic polices, he is trying to make the UN a political arm of his administration.
The 1947 US-UN treaty, titled the “Agreement Between the United Nations and the United States of America Regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations,” is being violated by the new U.S. policy. That treaty, which is U.S. law, requires the facilitation of travel for delegations of UN member states and official observers to and from the UN headquarters in New York. The law applies to diplomats working at Permanent Missions to the UN and UN personnel at UN headquarters.
The Trump administration does not have the right to tamper with the law unless it abrogates the entire 1947 treaty, which would likely force the UN to move its headquarters out of the United States. Kicking the UN out of New York and withdrawing the U.S. from membership has long been the goal of many right-wingers, going as far back as the 1950s and the John Birch Society. That cause has been taken up by the alt-right “Freedom Caucus” in Congress. In 2017, Representative Mike Rogers (R-AL) sponsored the American Sovereignty Restoration Act, which would abrogate the United Nations Participation Act of 1945, cut off all U.S. funding for the UN, and expel UN headquarters from U.S. soil.
The Trump administration may be intent on such a withdrawal, as seen by its leaving the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in October 2017 and the UN Human Rights Council in July 2018. Trump also cut off over $100 million in U.S. financial assistance to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine.
Over the past several years, the UN has been subjected to an intense propaganda blitz in the United States in a campaign funded by pro-Israeli billionaires like Sheldon Adelson. The Trump administration has adopted, as U.S. policy, the anti-UN stances of Adelson and the Israeli government.
Under Pompeo, the State Department has halted all attempts aimed at U.S. final ratification of several international treaties and conventions, including the Mine Ban Treaty, Law of the Sea Treaty, the Conventions Against Torture, Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Rights of the Child, and Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.
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Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).