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Obama Pledge On Treaties A Complex Undertaking

Publication Date: 
December 01, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Bob Egelko

The San Francisco Chronicle quotes Professor Allen Weiner in a story about Obama's pledge to restore credibility for the United States by promoting human rights treaties:

The United States has interpreted other human rights accords to make them consistent with its laws, said Allen Weiner, a former State Department attorney who now teaches international law at Stanford.

"As a domestic law matter, it's utterly symbolic" but nevertheless important, Weiner said of the women's rights treaty. "It's a commitment we're making to an international human rights regime."

Ratification "makes us somewhat more credible" to the rest of the world, Weiner said. As long as the United States is unwilling to join a widely accepted agreement on women's rights, he said, "it's difficult to demand that fundamentalist Islamic societies change their treatment of women."