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United Nations wages war on capitalism
By Cheryl K. Chumley
As if our nation's free-market ideal isn't damaged enough -- witness, if you will, the generally lengthy permitting process for businesses and the prevalence of zoning laws, environmental mandates, eminent domain abuses and hefty tax burdens that plague our would-be entrepreneurs and developers in nearly every county, city and state across America.
Now comes the United Nations, with its Global Compact Center and its Responsible Investment Initiative. Announced in July at the four-month-long "Universal Forum of Cultures in Barcelona 2004," both these programs are thinly veiled attacks against capitalism that, left unchecked, will result in a ceding of private and sovereign national oversight and regulatory powers to the global government.
The Global Compact Center is the physical manifestation of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan's five-year brainchild, the Global Compact, that he touted as a voluntary commitment on the part of businesses to honor 10 principles "in the areas of human rights, labor and the environment." The principles are derived from such notable U.N. documents as the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and include business practice suggestions that range from the "surely, you jest" category -- as with Number Four, thou shalt not practice slavery, and with the recently added Number 10, thou shalt not be corrupt -- to the seemingly more agenda-driven, evidenced in numbers seven, eight and nine that demand strict regard for the environment.
The utter nonsensical notion of American businesses pledging to the corruptible United Nations to abstain from corruption aside, these environmental provisions reek of hidden agenda. They mirror the basic tenets captured within the Kyoto Protocol, a controversial document that has failed to achieve U.S. ratification because prevailing congressional and White House wisdom have so far agreed with some in the science field that these environmental restrictions will not markedly improve air or water quality but rather result in a damaged economy.
This mirroring reveals a begrudging genius that permeates the Global Compact: It takes the idea behind Kyoto Protocol out of the hands of America's duly elected, who have so far resisted ratification, and brings it instead to the doors of the individual corporations. And even though the compact is presented as only a harmless, voluntary commitment, the present culture is such that extreme environmentalism and well-funded Greens lobbyists will eventually drive the consumer market to demand corporate capitulation to these global principles.
Spearheading this drive for corporate acceptance is now the Global Compact Center, the creation of which allows the plan -- the compact -- a home, an organized headquarters staffed by those committed to use "the power of collective action" to "advance responsible corporate citizenship so that business can be part of the solution to the challenges of globalization," the United Nations reports.
Do we really want to push our free-market economy, or at least, what's left of it, down this path toward U.N. oversight? The center promises to develop into a clearinghouse agency of sorts, ultimately taking charge of dictating which businesses can produce and in what amounts and basing those assessments on environmental factors that have not even been fully recognized by the U.S. government as needful of strict regulation.
The situation seems lose-lose for American corporations and for Americans, as the business world conforms to global environmental guidelines that hold the good of the world above the good of our nation, and the American people, in the process, suffer less production, lost jobs and higher prices.
But wait -- this center represents only one prong of the on-going attack against capitalism. The other facet affects investors.
"In an effort to safeguard the ecological futures of the planet, the United Nations environmental agency today launched a new Responsible Investment Initiative aimed at collaborating with major institutional investors to develop a set of globally recognized principles by September 2005," says a July 15 U.N. news release. This initiative, the release continues, is "framed in support of the Global Compact."
Here's the ominous part, though, and the one statement that should squash all doubts as to the level of risk the United Nations is willing to accept in pursuit of global compliance to its environmental agenda.
The Responsible Investment Initiative "also builds on a (U.N. Environmental Program) study that warned of a threat to stock markets if environmental, social and governance issues are ignored by financial analysts and the broader investment community."
It really doesn't get any clearer than that.
Cheryl K. Chumley is a freelancer and regular contributing columnist for www.newswithviews.com and www.thedailycannon.com. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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