Beveridge & Diamond

Russell LaMotte Quoted on Treaties Cited by President-Elect Obama

San Francisco Chronicle, December 1, 2008

In a front page article in the San Francisco Chronicle on treaties that President-elect Obama has cited, B&D attorney, K. Russell LaMotte, was quoted.

Excerpted from the article, "Obama pledge on treaties a complex undertaking":

Obama cited three treaties he would concentrate on ratifying: the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Last December, Obama cited a fourth treaty that he said he would sign and ask the Senate to ratify, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Missing from his to-do list, at least so far, are the International Criminal Court - which could subject U.S. officials and military personnel to prosecution - and treaties banning land mines and cluster bombs. All three would face Defense Department resistance, and Obama has said he would consult with military commanders before deciding whether to ask the Senate to ratify the International Criminal Court.

Although the treaties Obama has endorsed may be less controversial, "I don't see any really easy wins on the list," said K. Russell Lamotte, a former State Department attorney now in private practice in Washington, D.C.

Climate pact toughest

Most difficult of all, he said, may be the negotiation and ratification of a post-Kyoto climate change agreement.

Now that a U.S. administration is willing to take part in the talks, Lamotte said, Obama must decide what emissions limits to accept, how to pay for them during a period of economic convulsion, and how to bring key players such as China and India on board - and then present the final product to most of the same senators who killed a modest global-warming bill earlier this year.

"It's a very daunting process," Lamotte said.

The full article is obtainable at: