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
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
the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
the right to freedom of association and peaceful
assembly (Article 15.1)
the right to privacy in the
family, home, or correspondence (Article 16.1)
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
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
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
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
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).
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
social change is clearly the first objective of
Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, who attended the conference,
"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
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
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.
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
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
"The right to development must be fulfilled so as to equitably
meet developmental and environmental needs of present and future
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
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.
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 (International Union for the Conservation of Nature
) 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
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)).
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.
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
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
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
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
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."
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
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.
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
WEDO's parent organization, Women U.S.A. Fund, Inc, is headed by
Bella Abzug, Congresswomen Patsy Mink and Maxine Waters, and
Steinem. Funding for the NGO comes from the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and the
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
restrictions on economic growth in industrialized
the transfer of common property (water, forests, grazing
lands and fishing waters) to international control
ownership of such common property to national or international
national and international strategies to alleviate
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
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.
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,
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
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
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."
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
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.
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,
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.
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
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
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
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
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)
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.
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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