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U.N. opens in a changing world

By Henry Lamb
web posted November 12, 2001

All agree that the world changed on September 11; no one yet knows the extent, or the ultimate shape of the change. The change is now in progress.

Law enforcement agencies seized upon the event to persuade Congress to enact laws that ignore basic Constitutional protections, claiming the war on terrorism justifies turning a blind eye to the Bill of Rights. This is bad enough, but as long as we elect our Congressmen, we have a chance to correct our mistakes. Of greater concern is the reaction in the international community. World leaders are seizing the U.S. tragedy as an excuse to hasten global governance as the way to control and end international terrorism.

In a recent WND article, Peter Sutherland says it is time to accept the concept of "shared sovereignty." He says it is time to strengthen "multilateral institutions" (read: the United Nations) to "combat such a global threat."

Sutherland is Chairman of BP and Goldman Sachs International, and a former director-general of GATT and the WTO. His view was echoed by speaker after speaker at the opening session of 56th U.N. General Assembly in New York. In addition to accelerating the negotiating pace of a new U.N. Convention on Terrorism, Secretary-General, Kofi Annan pointed to two meetings scheduled for next year that promise to "strengthen multilateral institutions" to the point that it can force the sharing of sovereignty and thereby become the world government in charge of global governance.

The all-important meeting of the High Level Panel on Financing for Development, scheduled for March, is expected to recommend a Global Taxing Authority to provide the U.N. with funding independent of any member state, and other measures to empower the U.N. to effectively regulate international commerce.

The other meeting Annan is awaiting is the World Summit on Sustainable Development, scheduled for next Fall in Johannesburg, South Africa. This meeting, the tenth anniversary of the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, plans to hail the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, and the International Criminal Court, and quite probably, the adoption of the new Earth Charter. A new Convention on Environment and Development, already prepared, may also be introduced. This treaty essentially converts Agenda 21 into binding international law.

These events are the culmination of years of preparation by the international community to achieve global governance, administered by the United Nations. For more than a decade, the United States has quietly pushed this global agenda. There are signs, however, that the Bush administration may be having second thoughts.

Bush's withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol was a powerful statement to the U.N. His statement to the opening session of the General Assembly was also encouraging. He is walking on a very thin wire, balancing the need for international cooperation in the coalition against terrorism, with the determination not to yield national sovereignty to an international body.

He told the U.N. that the United States would help with rebuilding Afghanistan, and with the other problems around the world to which the U.N. is dedicated. But he also told the General Assembly that the U.N.'s credibility is in jeopardy when the Commission on Human Rights seats member nations that are guilty of the worst abuses of human rights. Bush made it clear that the U.S. welcomes and appreciates the help of other nations, and that the U.S. can be counted on to help them. But he skillfully avoided any indication that the U.S. is willing to wait on the U.N., or be guided by its decisions.

The political pressure will continue to mount. The president of Brazil said that he did not aspire to world government, but then called for the very policies that are the essence of world government. He called for greater regulation of international trade, saying that the would cannot rely upon the "vagaries of the market place."

As the pressure mounts to join the rush to global governance, Americans must realize that the philosophy which underlies it is based on socialism: regulated trade; regulated lifestyles; regulated education; regulated everything - "from each according to his ability; to each according to his need," as decided by the U.N.

This is precisely the wrong direction for the world. The hope of the world rests upon the principles of freedom. These principles transcend race, religion, creed, ethnicity, and apply equally to all people everywhere. Our challenge is to defend these principles in America - with whatever it takes - while offering to help other nations discover them.

Henry Lamb is the executive vice president of the Environmental Conservation Organization, and chairman of Sovereignty International.

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