THE RISE OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE
Groupe de Trois Femmes by L Toffoli
"The world can therefore seize the opportunity (Persian Gulf crisis) to fulfill the long-held
promise of a New World Order where diverse nations are drawn together in
common cause to achieve the universal aspirations of mankind."
George H.W. Bush
The Final March (1990s)
A decade of world conferences and international commissions in the 1980s proved to be only practice sessions for the world conferences and UN commissions of the 1990s, beginning with the World Summit for Children in New York City in 1990. The Convention on the Rights of Child was adopted by the UN General Assembly on November 20, 1989, and the Summit was designed to promote the Convention for acceptance by the world. The Convention's preamble says"Recalling that in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations has proclaimed that childhood is entitled to special care and assistance," and the Convention designates the UN to guarantee that "special care" and deter-mine what "assistance" is needed. The Convention grants to children the right to express their own views freely in all matters (Article 12.1); the right to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas of all kinds (Article 13.1); the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 14.1); the right to freedom of association and peaceful assembly (Article 15.1); and the right to privacy in the family, home, or correspondence (Article 16.1).67
Many Americans believe that children have no such rights until they have been earned through the painful process of growing up, and then it is the parent"s rightful privilege to grant those rights to the child. Ratification of the Convention would be tantamount to the U.S. government giving the UN the authority to grant those rights to children, and the authority to guarantee and enforce those rights, even when parents disagree. In fact, the Convention would establish the authority, if not the mechanism, for the UN to establish the criteria for child rearing, including education, sex education, religion, and even leisure-time activities. There is nothing in the Convention to preclude the UN from requiring all children to attend state-run schools from nursery school to high school, and taking children completely away from the influence of the family.
From New York to Rio (1992)
A heat wave and an extended period of drought the last few years of the decade gave credence to a coordinated media campaign of global environmental disaster. The Union of Concerned Scientists published a "Warning to Humanity" which said"A great change in our stewardship of the earth and the life on it is required if vast human misery is to be avoided and our global home on this planet is not to be irretrievably mutilated."68 The annual "State of the Planet" report, issued by the WorldWatch Institute, predicted progressively worsening environmental disasters. And the mainstream media joined the campaign to convince the world that the planet was on the brink of collapse
Charles Alexander, Time magazine: "As the science editor at Time, I would freely admit that on this issue [the environment] we have crossed the boundary from news reporting to advocacy;"
Barbara Pyle, CNN environmental director: "I do have an ax to grind . . . . I want to be the little subversive person in television;"
Dianne Dumanoski, Boston Globe environmental reporter: "There is no such thing as objective reporting . . . I’ve become even more crafty about finding the voices to say the things I think are true. That is my subversive mission;"
Bernard Goldberg, CBS 48 Hours: "We in the press like to say we"re honest brokers of information, and it"s just not true. The press does have an agenda.69
To this mix of extravagant propaganda, then-Senator Al Gore added his best-selling book, Earth in the Balance Ecology and the Human Spirit. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring thirty years earlier, what Gore's book lacked in scientific accuracy was more than compensated for by an abundance of emotion. He called for a tax on fossil fuels. He called for a "global program to accomplish the strategic goal of completely eliminating the internal combustion engine over say, a twenty-five year period."70 And he called for the reorganization of society:
"I have come to believe that we must take bold and unequivocal action we must make the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization . . . . Adopting a central organizing principle -- one agreed to voluntarily -- means embarking on an all out effort to use every policy and program, every law and institution, every treaty and alliance, every tactic and strategy, every plan and course of action -- to use. In short every means to halt the destruction of the environment and to preserve and nurture our ecological system."71
Despite significant, legitimate objections from the scientific community, which were ignored by the media and ridiculed by environmental organizations, the public perception of impending environmental disaster was successfully blamed on exploding human population; human-caused global warming; and human-caused loss of biological diversity. The stage was set for the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) scheduled to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. No previous UN conference had ever received such planning and promotion. Maurice Strong was named to head the conference, which was dubbed "Earth Summit II." He had chaired the first "Earth Summit" in 1972 and had participated in every environmental commission and conference since. (Strong became Chairman of the Board of WRI in 1994). To guide the agenda for the conference, UNEP and its NGO partners published two major documents Caring for the Earth, (1991 via UNEP/IUCN/WWF), and Global Biodiversity Strategy, (1992 via UNEP/IUCN/WWF/WRI). These documents contained the material from which the revolutionary UNCED documents would be produced.
The NGO community, coordinated through the IUCN and the WRI publication Networking, used the igc.apc.org computer networks extensively to funnel information to and from the UNCED agenda planners, and to plan the NGO Forum. UNCED provided an opportunity for the NGOs to perfect the lobbying process. With the blessings of and assistance from the UNEP, the NGOs scheduled a "Forum" the week immediately preceding the official conference. Nearly 8,000 NGOs were officially certified to participate in the UNCED Forum, and another 4,000 NGOs were observers, swelling the total attendance at UNCED to more than 40,000 people -- the largest environmental gathering the world has ever known. UNCED may be recorded in history as the most significant event the world has ever known; it was the watershed event that began the final march to global governance.
Agenda 21, the underlying conference document, was a distillation of the UNEP/IUCN/WWF/WRI documents. It consisted of 294 pages and 115 specific program recommendations. Agenda 21 was further distilled into another document called The Rio Declaration which was a succinct statement of 27 principles on which the recommendations were based, and which would guide the global environmental agenda. Two major international treaties had also been prepared for presentation at UNCED the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
In the summer of 1992, President George Bush faced a difficult reelection campaign. He expressed little interest in the Rio conference and was savagely ridiculed by then-Senator Al Gore and his own EPA Administrator, William Reilly, who publicly urged Bush to attend. Bush relented and was one of more than 100 heads of state that adopted the UNCED documents. Bush, however, did not sign the Convention on Biological Diversity due to ambiguities relating to the transfer of technology. He told the conference audience
"Our efforts to protect biodiversity itself will exceed the requirements of the treaty. But that proposed agreement threatens to retard biotechnology and undermine the protection of ideas, . . . it is never easy to stand alone on principle, but sometimes leadership requires that you do. And now is such a time."72
Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration are not binding documents. They are "soft law" documents which are the foundation for future binding documents such as the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. These two treaties contained important new features that are not present in the hundreds of other international treaties that the U.S. has ratified. These treaties do not allow any reservations or exceptions. Other treaties provide for parties to specify particular reservations or exceptions to which they are not bound. The UNCED treaties require all-or-nothing participation. The UNCED treaties created a "Conference of the Parties" (COP) which is a permanent body of delegates which has the authority to adopt "protocols," or regulations, through which to implement and administer the treaty. The UNCED treaties were non-specific. The treaties were actually a list of goals and objectives; the COP was created to develop the protocols necessary to achieve the objectives -- after the treaties had been ratified.
The Framework Convention on Climate Change, for example, binds participating nations to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000; the COP develops the protocols necessary to achieve that goal, and the member nations are legally obligated to comply. The Convention on Biological Diversity requires the creation of "a system of protected areas." The COP will adopt protocols to define what is an acceptable system of protected areas long after the treaty has been ratified. The binding treaties are written in language that appears to pursue environmental objectives however, the principles upon which the treaties are based (The Rio Declaration) are in fact a refined re-statement of the principles for social change developed by the various socialist-dominated commission of the 1980s.
Principle 1 "Human beings are at the center of concerns for sustainable development . . . ;"
Principle 2 "National sovereignty is subject to international law . . . ;"
Principle 3 "The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations;" social change is clearly the first objective of the Declaration.73 Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, who attended the conference, reported
"The objective, clearly enunciated by the leaders of UNCED, is to bring about a change in the present system of independent nations. The future is to be World Government with central planning by the United Nations. Fear of environmental crises -- whether real or not -- is expected to lead to compliance."74
To assure that the COPs of the respective treaties were properly guided in their discussions of the protocols necessary for implementation, the UNEP/IUCN/WWF/WRI partnership launched a Global Biodiversity Assessment (GBA). Robert T. Watson, NASA chemist and co-chair of UNEP"s Ozone Panel, was chosen to chair the project. IUCN"s Jeffrey McNeely was selected to produce the important section on "Human Influences on Biodiversity," and WRI"s Kenton Miller coordinated the critical section on "Measures for the Conservation of Biodiversity and Sustainable use of Its Components." The work was begun before the treaty had been ratified by a single nation, and involved more than 2000 scientists and activists from around the world.75 UNCED adjourned and the thousands of NGO representatives went home to begin the campaign to ratify the treaties and implement Agenda 21 and the principles of the Rio Declaration.
A Chicago Tribune article by Jon Margolis, September 30, 1994, said that the Global Biodiversity Assessment was a process that had just begun, that no document existed. A participant in the GBA process had secretly photocopied several hundred pages of the peer-review draft of the document. Summaries of the draft documents were prepared and provided to every member of the U.S. Senate. The shocking details of the bizarre plan to transform societies was sufficient to block a ratification vote in the closing days of the 103rd Congress, despite the fact that the treaty had been approved by the Foreign Relations Committee by a vote of 16 to 3.
Agenda 21 called for each nation to create a plan for sustainable development consistent with the principles of the Rio Declaration. The UN created a new Commission on Sustainable Development, and Maurice Strong created a new NGO called Earth Council, based in Costa Rica, to coordinate NGO activity to implement the Rio Declaration principles through national Sustainable Development Programs. Earth Council has produced a directory listing more than 100 nations that have formal sustainable development plans under development. The UN created another program to "empower children" to help implement the sustainable development program"Rescue Mission Planet Earth." In a Rescue Mission newsletter Action Update, their work is described as getting governments together "who try to make the others feel guilty for not having done what they promised on Agenda 21."76
To implement Agenda 21 and the principles of the Rio Declaration in America, President Bill Clinton issued Executive Order No. 12852, June 29, 1993, which created the Presidents Council on Sustainable Development (PCS). Jonathan Lash, President of the World Resources Institute (WRI) was named as co-chair. Jay D. Hair, President of the IUCN, and former President of the National Wildlife Federation was one of eight NGO leaders appointed to the Council. Eleven government officials, along with the eight NGO leaders, easily dominated the discussions and produced a predictable report from the 28-member Council. Not surprisingly, the final report, Sustainable America A New Consensus, presents 154 action items to achieve 38 specific recommendations that are precisely the recommendations called for in Agenda 21.
The most casual reading of the PCS"s 16 "We Believe" statements, compared with the 27 principles of the Rio Declaration, reveals that the PCS has simply Americanized the Rio language to form the foundation for implementing the UN agenda in America. PCS Belief No. 10, for example"Economic growth,, environmental protection, and social equity are linked. We need to develop integrated policies to achieve these national goals" sounds very much like Rio Principle No. 3 "The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future generations."77 The PCS is Agenda 21 at work in America.
The PCS also provides a glimpse of the global governance process to come. Public policy is initiated by non-elected officials, massaged into specific proposals by an NGO-dominated "stake-holders council," written into regulations administratively by willing bureaucrats (who themselves, are frequently former NGO officials), or presented to Congress for approval -- along with the threat of retaliation at the ballot box from the millions of NGO members represented by the stakeholders council.
The UNCED and Agenda 21 covered an extremely wide range of issues that affect virtually every person on the planet. The purpose for the array of policy recommendations put forth for public consumption is, ostensibly, to protect the planet from inevitable destruction at the hands of greedy, uncaring, or unaware humans. At the core, however, the policies recommended are socialist policies, built on the assumption that government is sovereign and must manage the affairs of its citizens. Nothing in Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration, or the PCS recommendations even acknowledges the idea that humans are born free, and are sovereign over the governments they create. Nothing acknowledges the idea that government"s first responsibility is to protect the inherent freedom of its citizens, particularly, the freedom to own and use property. To the contrary, everything about the UNCED documents aims to limit human freedom and to restrict the use of private property until it can be placed in the public domain. As sweeping as the UNCED documents are, they are but the first step in the final march to global governance.
The IUCN held its triennial session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1993. Dr. Jay D. Hair assumed Presidency of the organization, as Shirdath Ramphal stepped down to devote more time to his position as co-chair of the UN-funded Commission on Global Governance. His parting message is illuminating
"Rio, for all its disappointments, set the seal on a new agenda for the world the agenda of sustainable development. It was not, of course, new for IUCN, which had blazed a trail for sustainable development since 1980 with the World Conservation Strategy. In the final analysis, it is a matter of equity. There are also other aspects to the claims of equity. If there are limits to the use of some resources, they must be fairly shared. Early users, who have prospered, must not pre-empt them but must begin to use less so that others may also progress. The rich must moderate their demands on resources so that the poor may raise theirs to levels that allow them a decent standard of living. Equity calls for no less. We need . . . to persuade others that, for the Earth"s sake consumption, must be better balanced between rich and poor."78
Equity, or wealth redistribution, is clearly the underlying purpose for "sustainable development," in the IUCN agenda. Its influence over UNEP activities and upon the global agenda cannot be overstated. Its membership includes 68 sovereign nations, 103 government agencies, and more than 640 NGOs. Among the government agencies listed as contributors in the 1993 Annual report are the U.S. Department of State; U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID); and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. State Department contributes more than $1 million per year to the IUCN.79
The IUCN evaluates every proposed World Heritage site and recommends to UNESCO whether or not it should be listed, or listed "in danger."80 George Frampton, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, asked UNESCO specifically to send a representative from IUCN to evaluate Yellowstone Park as a site "in danger" in 1995.81 On January 18, 1996, President Clinton issued Executive Order 12986, which says
"I hereby extend to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources the privileges and immunities that provide or pertain to immunity from suit."82
The IUCN is the driving force behind UNEP and the global environmental agenda. The Convention on Biological Diversity was developed and proposed by the IUCN in 1981 to the World Commission on Environment and Development.83 The IUCN is the architect and engineer designing the road to global governance.
From Rio to Vienna (1993)
The UN Conference on Human Rights was held in Vienna, June 1993. The primary objective of this conference was to promote the pending Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Few Americans have ever heard of such a treaty and would probably not object on the basis of the title alone. However, as is always the case, the devil is in the details. The treaty would "guarantee" the right to housing for women, the right to "choice," or abortion (Article 16e). Cecilia Acevedo Royals, President of the National Institute of Womanhood, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
"This Convention is deeply flawed. It will, in fact, harm women, men and children by establishing an international policy instrument that can be used as a weapon against the family, the institution of marriage, and cultural and religious values, and that can be turned into a tool for the societal control of women."84
While the Convention aims at guaranteeing certain "rights" to women, it would, in fact, give to the UN the power to enforce those rights. Instead of empowering women, it would, in fact, empower the state, the global state, the United Nations. The Convention has been ratified by 130 nations, though not by the United States. The Clinton Administration prodded State Department officials to urge Senate ratification.85
From Vienna to Uruguay (1994)
On April 15, The New York Times carried a full-page ad that hailed the World Trade Organization as "the third pillar of the new world order."86 The World Trade Organization (WTO) sailed through the Senate in the closing days of the 103rd Congress, handing over to the UN system the authority and the mechanism to impose and enforce its agenda on America. The WTO Charter requires "the optimal use of the world resources"" in accordance with the objective of sustainable development (Preamble). It requires the WTO to "make appropriate arrangement for effective cooperation" with NGOs and intergovernmental organizations (Article V). It requires member nations to change their laws to conform to the WTO each member shall ensure the conformity of its laws, regulations and administrative procedures with its obligations as provided in the annexed Agreements (Article XVI). Although the U.S. must pay a disproportionate share of the WTO cost, it has only one vote and no veto (Article IX).
The WTO may impose trade sanctions on a nation that it determines is not in compliance with any international treaty. It may impose sanctions, fines, and penalties on a nation, or on an industry. Members are bound by the dispute resolutions dictated by the WTO (Section 2, Annex 2). Bilateral trade deals must meet the approval of the WTO. Bilateral or multilateral trade agreements can be changed by a vote of the members of the WTO (Article X (4)). Article XVI says "No reservations may be made in respect to any provision of the Agreement."87
The WTO could not have survived without the U.S. The UN could not have controlled world trade without the WTO. But now the facility is in place and the bureaucracy is gearing up to become the first-line enforcement mechanism of global governance.
From Uruguay to Cairo (1994)
Population control has long been a high priority for the United Nations, though promoted for different reasons, by different names, at different times. Currently, the population explosion is cited as the underlying cause of the human impact on biodiversity and on climate change. Population control entered the UN agenda as a eugenics issue by virtue of Julian Huxley's involvement with British Population Investigation Commission and the Eugenics Society. In 1954, the Rome conference promoted the concept of fertility as an economic factor. By 1974, the Bucharest conference integrated population and development issues with the developed nations insisting that population reduction was essential to economic development. When the issue emerged at the Mexico City Conference, it appeared as a matter of "women's rights" and freedom of choice. In Cairo at the September International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), population control was seen by some to be a matter of "women's empowerment by the state"88 while others saw population control as an essential requirement of sustainable development initiatives.89 The Cairo "Programme of Action" said:
" . . . unsustainable consumption and production patterns are contributing to the unsustainable use of natural resources and environmental degradation as well as to...social inequities and poverty" (Chapter 3.1); and "Governments should establish the requisite internal institutional mechanisms . . . to ensure that population factors are appropriately addressed within the decision-making and administrative processes" (Chapter 3.7).90
The conference agenda focused on gender equality, the eradication of poverty, family in its various forms, children's rights and education as well as population policies, human rights, and sustainable development. Population control is critical to the overall global environmental agenda. The Global Biodiversity Assessment concludes that:
"A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 1 to 3 billion would be possible. An "agricultural world," in which most human beings are peasants, should be able to support 5 to 7 billion people . . . ."91
The cost of the various UN population programs discussed at the conference was estimated to be between $17 and $75 billion. The World Resources Institute (WRI) reported in the NGO Networker that Zero Population Growth was the NGO coordinating lobbying activities for the Cairo conference.92
From Cairo to Copenhagen (1995)
In Copenhagen, the UN's World Summit on Social Development was the occasion for advancing the road to global governance. The central theme of the conference was the "eradication of poverty." The agenda also included population policies, the reduction of consumption, and elevating NGO participation. More than anything else, the conference was about money, getting it to the UN, and increasing the power of the UN to collect it and spend it.
The conference proposed an international "20/20 Compact" which would require developing countries and aid donors to allocate 20 percent Official Development Assistance (OAD) to "human development priorities." Commitment 8 in the Draft Conference Document calls on nations to target .07 percent of Gross Domestic Product to Official Development Assistance.93
The conference was used by the UN-funded Commission on Global Governance to float a trial balloon global taxation. Buried in the UNDP's 1994 Human Development Report was an idea advanced by James Tobin calling for a "uniform international tax on international currency transactions." When the UNDP report was presented to the conference, it was heralded as the way to provide "substantial reliable funds for sustainable human development." Conference documents describe the proceeds from the tax as "immense, over $1.5 trillion per year (150 times the current total UN budget) to be devoted to international and humanitarian purposes and to be placed at the disposal of international institutions."94
Other global taxes were also proposed on international travel, telecommunications, and taxes on resource use -- especially energy resources.
Paragraph 75 of the conference document calls for the "strengthening of...non-government organizations . . . enabling them to participate actively in policy-making . . . involving these organizations in the design, implementation and evaluation of social development strategies and specific programmes." It was clear to Rita Joseph, who attended the conference for Population Research Institute, that:
"The thrust currently behind the latest declarations is to set up not only monitoring bodies, but enforcement agencies, to which individual and group petitions concerning perceived grievances may be mounted. There is a push on to expand international government so that it reaches right down to communities and homes, there to dabble in values reorientation."95
NGO lobbying activities for this conference were coordinated by the Overseas Development Council in Washington, DC., according to WRl's NGO Networker. (The editor of the NGO Networker, Sarah Burns, went to work for the UNDP in Washington as NGO Liaison in 1994).
New York, New York by James Blakeway
From Copenhagen to New York (1995)
The UN Commission on Sustainable Development held its third meeting in New York, April 1995. This was a Commission meeting rather than a World Conference. The pomp was not as pompous, but the circumstance was as significant as any UN meeting. The agenda focused on land degradation, desertification, forests and biodiversity; patterns of consumption, financial resources, and technology transfer. The Commission is said to be developing a new international Convention on Sustainable Development, but a new strategy is being used. Other Conventions have been developed through a long series of Commission meetings until they are complete. Then they are presented to the world at a World Conference, as was the case with the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Maurice Strong's strategy is to get individual nations to develop their own sustainable development plan, all of which are developed within the framework of Agenda 21, so that when the Convention on Sustainable Development is finally completed, most of the nations will already be doing what the Convention calls for. Until the Convention is complete and ratified, the sustainable development programs within individual nations will be authorized by national law. When the Convention is ratified, the programs will come under the authority -- and under the regulatory and enforcement procedures -- of the United Nations.
From New York to Beijing (1995)
All the pomp that was missing in New York was present in Beijing for the fourth World Women's Congress in September 1995, preceded by a week-long NGO Forum. The event was expected to produce a Platform for Action to guide national and international policy on women's issues into the 21st century. The event was the culmination of a "180-Day Local-to-Global-to-Local Women's Empowerment Campaign" organized by the NGO WEDO (Women for Environment and Development Organization).
WEDO's parent organization, Women U.S.A. Fund, Inc, is headed by Bella Abzug, Congresswomen Patsy Mink and Maxine Waters, and Gloria Steinem. Funding for the NGO comes from the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the Turner Foundation. The campaign featured the coordinated release of press kits to the media, boycotts, "take over the legislature for a day" rallies, forums, lunchtime workshops with fellow workers, and a "myriad of actions" all over the world. The purpose of the campaign was to focus public attention on the Beijing Conference, and more particularly, on WEDO's conference agenda.
WEDO called for the tracking of all national and international economic and development programs by social and gender impact studies; restrictions on economic growth in industrialized countries; the transfer of common property (water, forests, grazing lands and fishing waters) to international control; prohibiting ownership of such common property to national or international corporations; national and international strategies to alleviate women's poverty; remuneration for women's unpaid work (housekeeping, child rearing, etc.); taxes shifted from income to consumption; universal guaranteed income and payment for childcare and other socially productive activities; and a universal 50/50 program that would require all business and government entities to have a 50/50 men/women work force.96
The conference produced more hype, hoopla, and hyperbole than anything else. First there was a flap about having a World Conference on Women’s issues in a nation which so severely oppressed women. Then there was a flap about the facilities. Then there was a flap about the extreme security measures. Then there was Hillary Clinton, who put in a personal appearance. Of significance is the reappearance of the "Tobin Tax" as a recommended way to fund the extravagant programs demanded by the delegates. There reappeared new calls to elevate the status and authority of NGO’s in decision-making and in program administration. And there was a new idea advanced -- the FDR (not Franklin D. Roosevelt).
The FDR means "Family Dependency Ratio." The idea calls for extensive monitoring of the activities, consumption, and production of every member of every family to determine whether a family is a net "consumer" or "producer". This idea grew out of WEDO's demand to "value and remunerate" women for their unpaid work.97
Throughout the Conference, debate on the serious issues as well as the frivolous issues proceeded with virtually no challenge to the appropriateness of UN jurisdiction over a range of issues that should be at least national, if not extremely personal. Taxation, employment policies, and land use policies were all offered up to the UN. Delegates and the NGO lobbyists passed the stage of questioning the appropriateness of global governance; it is now a question of how much and how soon. There is no longer any discussion of freedom, property rights, or national sovereignty. The discussion centers around how best to get the wealth from developed countries into the UN for redistribution to the undeveloped countries. The documents coming from each of the successive World Conferences continue to reflect the assumption that government -- the United Nations Government -- should be sovereign, and that nation states are secondary, and individuals are cannon-fodder.
From Beijing to San Francisco (1995)
The Beijing Conference had hardly adjourned when Gorbachev's State of the World Forum convened in San Francisco, September 27, 1995. Though not an official UN function, the Forum was designed to advance global governance. Forum President and founder of the Christic Institute, Jim Garrison, told the San Francisco Weekly, "We are going to end up with world government . . . we have to govern and regulate human interaction."98 Gorbachev told the hand-picked audience of celebrities and dignitaries that "we are giving birth to the first Global Civilization." Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Advisor, told the audience that "regionalism" must precede world government. New-age guru, Sam Keen received enthusiastic applause for his pronouncement:
"If we cut the world's population by 90%, there won't be enough people left to do ecological damage."
The Forum's agenda called for the transfer of all armaments to the UN, the initiation of global taxation, stricter population control programs, and the elimination of nationalism and national borders. The highlight of the event was a joint presentation by Gorbachev, former President George Bush, and former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Gorbachev is the founding President of Green Cross and the Gorbachev Foundation. He along with Maurice Strong were regarded as candidates to replace Butrous Butrous-Ghali as Secretary-General of the United Nations at the expiration of Ghali's term December 31, 1996."99 However since UN rules have required that an African hold the position of Secretary-General for another term, Kofi Annan has assumed this position. Maurice Strong has been designated his "Senior Advisor" for restructuring the United Nations. On 16 July 1997, Kofi Annan released a report on UN "reform" plans. They coincide with the blueprint drawn in Our Global Neighborhood Report of the Commission on Global Governance. It is noteworthy that its lead author is Maurice Strong.
From San Francisco to Istanbul (1996)
Habitat II, the UN Conference on Human Settlements, convened in Istanbul in June 1996. Despite the fact that Habitat I called for the elimination of private property in 1976, the U.S. has contributed more than $32 million to its operations and sent an enthusiastic delegation to Istanbul to assure the Conference that America is supporting its objectives. The entire agenda was bathed in the ambiguous language of sustainable development. Two of the major issues to emerge through the noise of 4000 delegates and 25,000 NGO representatives, were(1) the right to housing, and (2) good governance.
Although at least three previous UN documents declare the right to housing, two of them have not been ratified by the U.S. Consequently, the universal right to housing is in question. Article 5 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination declares a right to housing. The U.S. has ratified that Convention. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Human Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which declare the right to housing, have not been ratified by the U.S. As the leader of one NGO, called the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, says "The right to housing is a powerful, mobilizing tool for women’s groups, street children and so on. Denying this right would be a great step backwards." 101 If housing is declared to be a universal right, then the UN would have the responsibility of guaranteeing and enforcing that right. And to have meaning, the UN would have to have the authority to collect the money necessary to provide universal housing.
Of more direct importance is the issue of "good governance." Throughout all the conferences of the 1990s, emphasis has been placed on expanding the role and functions of NGOs in the decision-making process and the management and administration of government programs at every level. Habitat II Director-General, Wally N'Dow, said
"The road to Istanbul has been marked by many innovations. One of seminal importance has been a pioneering change in the rules of procedure -- a change that was initiated during the preparatory process and subsequently endorsed by the General Assembly [Rule 61] in recognition of the important role of local authorities and NGOs. As a result, all the organizations and institutions of civil society will receive unparalleled recognition at a UN conference, nominating their representatives to participate in a formal session . . . . They speak for countless millions of men and women in the cities and towns across the planet, the true constituents of Habitat II."102
This rule change officially elevates NGOs to participatory status in the policy-making process of the United Nations. Policy making by individuals who have no direct or indirect accountability to the electorate is a foreign concept in America. It is common -- in fact expected -- in socialist countries. In America, if voters do not like the way America is being represented in the UN, voters can remove the President who appoints UN delegates and elect someone else who more accurately reflects American values. American voters cannot unelect representatives from the Sierra Club, or the president of a gay feminist NGO, or any other NGO who may be selected by their peers to make global policies which affect Americans.
Moreover, Rule 61 invites participation by local officials. Heretofore, the UN has served its member nations as represented by official delegates. This rule is the first step toward bypassing the official national government to extend UN influence, programs, and eventually money, regulations, and enforcement -- directly to the people within the nation. This is the essence of governance by civil society, orchestrated by the United Nations. This is the first wave of the reality of global governance.
From Istanbul to Geneva (1996)
The second meeting of The Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COPII-FCCC), convened in Geneva, Switzerland July 8-19, 1996. The treaty was presented in 1992 at the Rio "Earth Summit," and has now been ratified by 159 nations, including the U.S. The treaty requires participating Annex I (developed) nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000.
At COPI, however, meeting in Berlin in 1995, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) proposed that developed nations reduce emissions to a level 20%, less than 1990 levels. The COP did not adopt the proposal, but did adopt the "Berlin Mandate" which was an agreement to develop a legally binding Protocol by 1997. COPII was designed to negotiate The terms of the Protocol for adoption at COPlII in Kyoto, Japan in 1997.
To influence the proceedings, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its Second Assessment Report (SAR). For the first time, the official UN body claimed that ". . . the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." Although 100 scientists -- some of whom were participants in the IPCC process -- publicly objected to the report's findings in a statement called the "Leipzig Declaration," the Conference pushed forward toward a legally binding Protocol. The conference document, called the "Ministerial Declaration," endorses The SAR; declares that emissions will eventually have to be reduced by 50%; and calls on developed nations to initiate policies to reduce emissions within specific industries: energy, transportation, agriculture, forestry, waste management, and economic instruments.
From Geneva to Global Governance (1998)
When Shirdath Ramphal handed over the IUCN gavel to Jay Hair in 1993, he turned his attention to the Commission on Global Governance which he co-chaired along with Ingvar Carlsson, former Prime Minister of Sweden and then-Leader of the Social Democratic Party in Sweden. Like the Commissions of the 1980s (Brandt, Palme, MacBride, and Brundtland) it was an independent commission, meaning that it was not created by a resolution of the UN General Assembly. It operated officially as an NGO but, as a practical matter, it was an instrument of the United Nations. The Commission on Global Governance received the formal endorsement of Butrous-Butrous Ghali, UN Secretary-General, and funding from the United Nations Development Program. Nine nations and several private foundations also supplied funding. Oscar Arias, former President of Costa Rica was a member of the Commission. Arias won the Nobel Peace Prize for his "peace plan" which called on nations to direct disarmament savings to the UN's development programs.
Adele Simmons, President of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, was a member. Maurice Strong also served on the 28-member Commission.
Several of the Commission's ideas were advanced experimentally at the various world conferences during the early 1990s. They tested the waters particularly for the several global taxation ideas, and for their ideas about global governance through civil society. Their final report was released in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the United Nations in the fall of 1995, entitled Our Global Neighborhood The Report of the Commission on Global Governance.
The Commission recommended that
"the General Assembly should agree to hold a World Conference on Governance in 1998, with its decisions to be ratified and put into effect by 2000."103
Hereafter, numbers in parentheses indicate the reference page number in Our Global Neighborhood.
The Commission bases its recommendations on the belief that human activities have irreversible environmental impacts and that human activities need to be "managed" to keep the "adverse outcomes within prudent bounds" (p. 11). "Effective and equitable management calls for a systemic, long-term, global approach guided by the principle of sustainable development. Its universal application is a priority among the tasks of global governance" (p. 30).
The Commission is convinced that the world is ready to accept "a set of core values that can unite people of all cultural, political, religious, or philosophical backgrounds.... It is fundamentally important that governance should be underpinned by democracy at all levels and ultimately by the rule of enforceable law" (p.48). "Underpinned by democracy" has a totally different meaning to people who live in a socialist democratic nation, than to people who live in a "free" country such as America. Americans think of "democracy" as the process by which they elect the individuals to represent them in their exercise of the limited power that Americans have chosen to give to their government. In socialist nations, "democracy" means participating in the process by which the sovereign government decides how to manage its subjects.
The "core values" upon which global governance is to be based include liberty. But again, in America, liberty has a totally different meaning from what the Commission describes. "Liberty is threatened by deprivation, economic dislocation, oppression based on gender or sexual orientation, abuse of children, debt bondage, and other social and economic patterns." (p. 50) Americans realize that these conditions are only some of the inherent risks of being free. Liberty is the freedom to exercise individual ingenuity and apply individual energy to avoid the risks and rise above all other dangers.
The very fact that Americans, and others who live in free societies, have risen above these risks, creates an injustice in the world according to the Commission. "Although people are born into widely unequal economic and social circumstances, great disparities in their conditions or life chances are an affront to the human sense of justice. . . . A concern for equity is not tantamount to an insistence on equality, but it does call for deliberate efforts to reduce gross inequalities . . . and to promote a fairer sharing of resources" (p. 51). Mutual respect which is defined to be "tolerance," caring -- with a global reach -- and integrity, which is defined as supporting the program, round out the Commission's core values.
Voluntary acceptance of global governance is the preferred means of achieving it. Education programs to teach the "global ethic" have been underway by UNESCO and by UNEP for more than 20 years. That the U.S. government, through its representatives to the various UN agencies, has not already crushed this global governance agenda is a testament to the effectiveness of the UN's education program. But the Commission is not content to rely upon voluntary acceptance. An intricate maze of international, enforceable law is encircling the planet in the form of Conventions, Treaties, and Executive Agreements.
To implement, administer, and enforce global governance, the Commission has recommended a major restructuring of the UN system. The Commission recommends an "Assembly of the People" which "should consist of representatives of organizations accredited to the General Assembly as Civil Society Organizations . . . . A Forum of 300-600 organs of global civil society would be desirable and practicable" (p. 258-259). A new "Petitions Council" is recommended, to consist of five to seven representatives of "civil society," for the purpose of reviewing petitions from NGOs in the field to direct to the appropriate UN agency for enforcement action (p. 260).
A new Economic Security Council (ESC) would replace the existing Economic and Social Council. The new ESC would consist of no more than 23 members who would have responsibility for all international financial and development activities. The IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO – virtually all finance and development activities -- would be under the authority of this body. There would be no veto power by any nation, nor would there be permanent member status for any nation (p. 266f).
The existing Security Council would be restructured. Veto power of the five permanent members would be eliminated, as would permanent member status over time. With the Secretary-General's office expanded to include the function of Commander-in-Chief, the Security Council would oversee a new UN standing army, complete with support and transport car capabilities. (p. 100f) The Commission calls for an international convention on curtailment of the arms trade (p. 129), a demilitarization of international society, and disarming of civilians. (p. 131)
A new International Criminal Court would be created, complete with its own "independent prosecutor or a panel of prosecutors of the highest moral character." (p. 324) The International Court of Justice would become "compulsory" and it would issue binding verdicts in order to "strengthen international law." (p.308f)
To protect the environment:
"We propose that the Trusteeship Council . . . be given the mandate of exercising trusteeship over the global commons. The global commons include the atmosphere, outer space, the oceans beyond national jurisdiction, and the related environment and life-support systems that contribute to the support of human life. Its functions would include the administration of environmental treaties in such fields as climate change, biodiversity, outer space and the Law of the Sea. It would refer, as appropriate, any economic or security issues arising from these matters to the Economic Security Council or the Security Council." (p. 251f)
The Commission suggests that "the new Council "would benefit from contributions from civil society organizations. Of major significance is the expansion of the concept of security:
"All people, no less than all states, have a right to a secure existence, and all states have an obligation to protect those rights. (p. 84) Where people are subjected to massive suffering and distress, however, there is a need to weigh a state's right to autonomy against its people's right to security. (p. 71) We believe a global consensus exists today for a UN response on humanitarian grounds in cases of gross abuse of the security of people." (p. 89) The security of the people is challenged "from threats to the earth's life-support systems, extreme economic deprivation, the proliferation of conventional small arms, the terrorizing of civilian populations by domestic factions, and gross violations of human rights." (p. 79)
The Commission believes that the UN should protect the "security of the people" inside the borders of sovereign nations, with or without the invitation of the national government. It proposes the expansion of an NGO "early warning" network to function through the Petitions Council to alert the UN to possible action. It has recommended implementation of the Tobin Tax, and several other taxing schemes. (p. 217f) It has called for a world conference in 1998 to present the treaties and other documents necessary to bring about complete global governance by the year 2000.
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