United Nations reform
By Tom DeWeese
This essay is based on text of a speech Tom DeWeese recently delivered to the Bloomfield, Michigan's Republican Women's Club.
UN Ambassador John Bolton recently said that the United States seeks a "revolution of reform" within the United Nations. The Bush Administration and American leadership in general should be very careful using that word "reform" when dealing with the United Nations.
People are eternal optimists. Most believe that, if we can just sit down and talk – then we can solve all the world's problems. The United Nations has been sold to the American people as such a place where nations could voluntarily gather to air their differences.
Ask older Americans what they think of when they envision the United Nations and they will tell you of Adlai Stevenson calling out the Russians over the Cuban missile crisis. Or of Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev pounding on the table with his shoe. And of those dark hours during the 7 days war, when we weren't sure if Israel would live thorough the night. Television networks carried the live debates as diplomats worked feverishly to avert the war.
Of course, today the image is a little different. Frankly the UN is a mess. It finds itself buried under scandals. It has "Oil for Food" scandals. Sex scandals. Power-abuse scandals. Smuggling scandals. Theft scandals. And unpaid traffic tickets. Quite literally, rob, rape and pillage seem to be the UN's modus operandi, based on reports from peace keeping missions that seem to provide little peace.
Some Americans express their anger over hearing that American soldiers are being forced to wear UN uniforms while following orders from foreign generals. Some Americans are upset over seeing the coffins of slain American soldiers draped with UN flags. Sure, these things make us angry. But they are not a threat to our national sovereignty and independence.
Yet, today there is much opposition to the UN? Is the UN a threat to the United States of America and our way of life? Can its problems be fixed by enforcing reform? In answering these questions there is much to be considered.
First, let's look at the real legacy of the UN. For the past fifty years, as the UN lived off the perception that it provided a forum where nations could air their differences off the battlefield, more wars have been fought than ever before in human history.
The first great challenge to the UN's ability to provide peace was the Korean conflict in 1954. Allowed to operate on its own, the United States would have waged war against this aggressor and eliminated the communist regime and its threat forever.
However, because American leadership abided by United Nations diplomatic authority instead of reason, not only was the regime allowed to survive, the conflict was never resolved.
Indeed the North Korean communists' greatest ally, Red China, was also allowed to take root and grow. As a result of that UN failure, today, both North Korea and communist China are two of the leading international threats to peace. China is a growing threat that the United States will eventually have to face -- most certainly over UN objections.
Almost the exact scenario was played out in the Vietnam conflict in the 1960's as UN resolutions tied American hands from destroying the communists, allowing another brutal regime to remain in power -- again within the axis of China.
The fact is, today, more than fifty years after the inception of the United Nations, the international community is a dangerous place. Instead of peaceful, prosperous, stable, trading partners -- the world is full of brutal, murdering dictatorships which starve and torture their own people while threatening the security of their neighbors -- as once-great powers cower and use diplomatic doublespeak to ignore responsibility.
The UN has encouraged, even nurtured, such repressive regimes. Most of these international thugs have two things in common: 1) Each has a voice and a vote in the United Nations. 2) None would be a threat if they didn't.
The United Nations has come under the control of outlaw nations, petty and tarnished former superpowers, and self-ordained special interest groups. Each promotes an agenda, which seeks to redistribute the world's wealth into UN coffers as they diminish the power and independence of the United States. The only result of such policies can be to enslave the citizens of every nation into a dark ages of poverty and misery.
That's why terrorist states like Libya and Syria are allowed to serve on the UN's Human Rights Commission as Israel is condemned in resolution after resolution. It's the reason why an honest, prosperous, industrious nation like Taiwan is refused membership in the UN while a murderous thug like Zimbabwe's Robert Mugaby is given a prominent voice at UN conferences.
Of course, much of this is known around the world. But many who believe in the UN think it can all be fixed. This is the great debate today about the UN. Is it relevant as a peacekeeping force, or a danger to American sovereignty? Articles are surfacing and pundits are pondering -- questioning the future of the UN.
As a growing number of Americans begin to call for an end of U.S. membership in the UN, nervous voices are beginning to suggest the word "reform." Reform the UN, make it more "workable." American leadership, looking for a way to get around the growing argument to dump the UN, seem to be latching on to such a reform movement.
"We can fix it," they say. But they should be careful what they wish for because they may not get the kind of reform they are expecting.
You see, when most American officials talk about reform, they are hoping to recreate those dramatic television images of the past. They believe all that is necessary to achieve such reform is to cut the bloated budgets and make the whole place more efficient. Just make it run better.
You have been told by your elected officials that the UN poses no threat to American sovereignty and has no plans for global governance. The UN, you have been told, is simply a tool for peace.
Yep, I get those letters from Congress too. It seems one staffer on the Hill wrote the same form letter for every member of Congress. You know, the ones that say: "While I believe that the UN certainly has problems, I believe that it is important that the United States take an active role in fixing it. We must remain a member to retain our status as a world leader."
Because these attitudes and images prevail, it is difficult to conduct an honest debate on the true dangers of the UN. You see, as bad as a bloated, out of control bureaucracy may be, and as enraged as Americans get over U.S. troops being put under control of foreign generals, these are not the real reasons why Americans should fear and loath the United Nations.
God help us if the United Nations actually begins to run efficiently and begins to achieve reform. Because when UN officials talk about reform, those words have a completely different meaning than what our officials are talking about.
Let me tell you what reform means to Kofi Annan and those running the UN. It means a stronger UN. One prepared for global governance. The UN leadership envision a world in which there are no borders, There is a common currency. There is one standing army. There is one body that speaks for everyone. One set of rules.
Now, why do I say that? What proof do I offer? Let me take you on a little trip around the world through a series of UN global conferences and events, beginning in 1987. In that year, the United Nations issued a report entitled "Our Global Neighborhood." That report provided an all-encompassing agenda for global governance.
Notice that the UN never uses the term Global "Government." Instead, it envisions a structure, which leaves nation's intact, basically as satellites. They look like independent nations. They have the names of independent nations. But they are merged together in common currencies, common laws, and common borders.
Maurice Strong, one of the members of the Commission on Global Governance, which produced the report, said, "It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation-states, however powerful. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the imperatives of global environmental cooperation."
Does that sound like the agenda of a volunteer organization that seeks only to act as a forum for peaceful discussion – or does it sound more like a central power -- planning an agenda to rule all nations as one?
And as Strong mentioned, the central organizing theme for global governance is environmentalism -- as "Our Global Neighborhood" described a world of pending environmental disasters, particularly focusing on global warming, ozone holes, poverty in third world nations, and overpopulation. The solution, said the report, could only be a "worldwide political transformation that supported sustainable development."
That transformation, according to UN documents, would include the downsizing of cities and towns into new "urban clusters" where workplaces, housing and nature are blended together." We now know that policy as "smart growth."
Further, to impose these policies, according to UN documents, our nation's elected form of government would have to be changed and expanded to include planning boards manned by non-elected members of private organizations called "non-governmental organizations"-- or NGO's -- to determine such issues as community development.
Today, there is barely a community in the nation that doesn't have such a board. They have the power to determine what land can be used and what is locked away. They determine the look, the design and the rules under which the community operates. They make the rules and our elected representatives dutifully obey them. The United Nation's by the way, is the only entity to officially ordain an NGO.
To promote this agenda, called Sustainable Development, the UN held a series of international conferences in countries around the world. At the conferences, NGO groups and government leaders discussed, organized and wrote international guidelines and treaties to be accepted by nations of the world.
In Vienna, the focus was on human rights, particularly the rights of children over the desires, attitudes and teachings of their parents, all contained in a treaty called the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
In Cairo, forced abortion and sterilization were put forth as solutions to population control.
In Copenhagen, the United Nations, for the first time, revealed a daring plan for global taxation in order to finance its international restructuring schemes. The taxes would also help finance a UN army. To collect the taxes, an international IRS would have to be put in place.
In June of 1992, the UN sponsored the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro – the largest, most ambitious international conference of all time.
Here, five major documents were presented to international leaders. These documents, written by NGO's with a specific political agenda, were, for the first time, to clearly define and implement the global governance agenda.
First, was the "Convention on Climate Change" to address the issue of global warming. It was the precursor to the Kyoto Climate Change Protocol. Both documents create a structure in which industrial nations must cut back on emissions and energy use - not to specifically aid the environment, but to redistribute international wealth and power to the Third World and into the hand of a global bureaucracy to over see it all.
The second treaty presented at the Earth Summit was the Biodiversity Treaty. This document creates the official framework to lock away from human use, 50% of all the land in every single state of the nation.
The third document was called the "Rio Declaration," which euphemistically called for the eradication of poverty throughout the world. I say euphemistically because, again, the Rio Declaration only lays out plans to redistribute wealth – not create new wealth and industry needed to truly eliminate poverty.
The fourth document from Rio was the "Convention on Forest Principles,"calling for international management of the world's forests, essentially placing control of the world's timber industry in the hands of UN bureaucrats.
And the fifth document was Agenda 21. This one document contains the full agenda for implementing world wide Sustainable Development – top down control of all aspects of our lives.
Once these documents were presented to the world and accepted, the UN then stepped up implementation of the agenda through yet more international conferences to hone and detail the plans for global governance.
In 1996, the UN held the Habitat II Conference in Istanbul. Here, with the full participation of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the blueprint was set for how American cities and towns would be restructured for Sustainable Development.
To achieve rapid transition to the plan, the HUD document said all citizens will be trained to think of "ecology, or the diverse systems of earth's biosphere, as the basis" for every human activity.
That single phrase has now become the root of the curriculum in every single public school classroom in America. Our children are being transformed into the citizens who will live in these urban clusters, complete with an unquestionable allegiance to the "ecology, or diverse systems of earth's biosphere – right out of Habitat II and Agenda 21.
>From Istanbul, the UN held more "toning" conferences -- in Mexico to discuss how to implement global taxes -- in South Africa to discuss how to more rapidly implement Sustainable Development.
Remember Vice President Al Gore's program to reinvent government? Some of us actually thought that meant to make government more efficient. It really was the U.S. plan for the full implementation of Agenda 21.
In 2000, as the UN prepared for its Millennium Assembly, a global summit on the future of the world -- a document was prepared by NGO's called the "Charter For Global Democracy." The document was the culmination of all the UN had been building for since at least the 1987 release of the "Our Global Neighborhood" report on global governance. When the UN talks of reform – The Charter for Global democracy is the blueprint. The document is, in reality, a charter for the abolition of individual freedom.
The first of 12 principles in the document calls for the consolidation of all international agencies under the direct authority of the UN.
The second principle calls for regulation by the UN of all transnational corporations and financial institutions, requiring an international "code of conduct" concerning the environment and labor standards.
Principle number 3 demands an independent source of revenue for the UN, such as the "Tobin Tax, " which would tax every single international monetary transaction, and put billions of dollars in UN coffers. It also calls for UN taxes on aircraft, shipping, fuels, and licensing the use of the "global commons."
The global commons are defined to be "outer space, the atmosphere, non-territorial seas, and the related environment that supports human life."
Number 4 would eliminate the veto power and permanent member status on the Security Council. So much for the visions of Adlai Stevenson.
Number 5 would authorize a standing UN army and the reduction of all national armies "as apart of a multinational global security system" under the authority of the United Nations.
Principle 7 would require individual and national compliance with the UN "Human Rights" treaties and declarations.
Number 8 would activate the International Criminal Court – and that has already been accomplished.
Principle 9 calls for a new institution to establish economic and environmental security by insuring "sustainable development."
Number 10 calls for the establishment of an international Environmental Court.
Number 11 calls for the declaration that climate change is an essential global security interest that requires the creation of a "high-level action team" to allocate carbon emission - based on equal per-capita rights. Yet, there is not scientific proof that there is any man made climate change anywhere in the world. This is wealth redistribution – nothing more.
And Number 12 calls for the cancellation of all debt owed by the poorest nations, global poverty reductions, and for "equitable sharing of global resources" as allocated by the United Nations. This was a major topic of discussion at the recent G8 summit. Nope – no global government going on here!
As you can see, the United Nations' global restructuring agenda is much more far reaching than Congress' current debate over bloated budgets and scandals. This is not reform. It is empowerment of the United Nations.
These are the reasons why many of us have opposed U.S. membership in the UN. And it's why many have feared the UN gaining any sort of ability to tax, field an army, or create a court system. Possessing these three powers drastically changes the UN from a volunteer membership organization to a global governing body. Compliant nations simply give the UN a pretense of legitimacy.
The United States government plays to the folks at home by talking tough about the need for "UN reform." Yet not once has the Republican-led Administration or the Republican- controlled Congress taken any steps to withhold funds for UN programs, or even to question the effectiveness, legitimacy or need for these programs.
Instead, the U.S. continues to go along with nearly every policy scheme, international conference and peace-keeping mission, paying the majority of the funds, thus supplying huge amounts of tax-payer money to UN coffers so that business as usual goes on down at UN headquarters.
Now, many times when I mention these things, government leaders and those who support the United Nations, shake their heads and say , "Tom, Tom, the UN has no power. The UN's meetings have no dire effect on us." (And then they give me that smug look with a condescending smile.)
Well then I must ask these questions:
Why, if they mean nothing, does the UN spend millions of dollars to hold these conferences? Why do NGO's spend thousands of hours preparing the documents?
And if they mean nothing, why do all of the world's leaders attend the conferences? And why do national governments ratify the treaties?
And above all, why are we seeing these polices steadily being implemented?
The answer is because they do matter and the UN has power and influence to impose this global governance scheme. Anyone who says differently is either lying or uninformed.
Many of our elected officials indicate that the United States is bound to some kind of forced membership in the UN, as if it's our legal duty. Congress has resisted Representative Ron Paul's efforts to pass his "American Sovereignty Restoration Act" (H.R. 1146), which calls for the complete withdrawal of the United States from the UN. Critics say it just isn't reasonable in today's society. They say that the United States would become isolated from the rest of the world. They say that the United States is bound by a treaty to stay in the UN.
But according to legal and Constitutional scholar, Herb Titus, the Charter of the United Nations is neither politically nor legally binding upon the United States or the American people.
Says Titus, "The Charter of the UN is commonly assumed to be a treaty. It is not." Instead, Titus explains that the UN Charter is a constitution.
As such, it is illegitimate, having created a supranational government, deriving its powers not from the consent of the governed (the people of the United States and peoples of other member nations) but from the consent of the peoples' government officials, which have no authority to bind either the American people nor any other nation to any terms of the Charter of the United Nations.
Titus goes on to explain: "Even if the Charter of the UN were a properly-ratified treaty, it would still be constitutionally illegitimate and void because it transgresses the Constitution of the United States in three major respects:
1. It unconstitutionally delegates to the UN the U.S. Congress' legislative powers to initiate war and the U.S. president's executive power to conduct war;
2. It unconstitutionally transfers to the United Nations General Assembly the US House of Representatives' exclusive power to originate revenue-raising measures; and
3. It unconstitutionally robs the 50 American states of powers reserved to them by the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution."
Titus declares that H.R.1146 is the only viable solution to the continuing abuses by the United Nations. He says, "The U.S. Congress can remedy its earlier unconstitutional actions of embracing the UN Charter by enacting H.R. 1146."
n short, there is no rule of law or regulation that says we have to be a member of the United Nations. All we lack is a national will.
But does the UN pose a threat to American sovereignty and independence? I will admit this. You would be hard pressed to find any mention in any UN document or treaty that says the United Nations usurps the sovereignty of this nation. Those words are not there. In fact, UN treaties clearly state that the U.S. maintains sovereignty within designated UN areas. Nor are there any UN troops occupying a single acre of this nation.
But neither of those things are necessary for the UN to be a threat to American independence and sovereignty. Because the question of sovereignty ultimately is "who's in charge?" We can voluntarily give away our control. And that's just what we do when we sign those UN treaties. We are giving away our sovereignty.
We are agreeing to make the policies of global governance U.S. law. We have bound ourselves to international agreements and treaties that stipulate that the United States will manage these lands in prescribed ways in order to achieve certain international goals and objectives.
In other words, we have agreed to limit our right of sovereignty over these lands. We are agreeing to implement Sustainable Development and Agenda 21. We are agreeing to lock away 50% of our land and all of the natural resources buried under it.
We are agreeing to cut back on our energy use – as nations like China and India and Mexico face no such restrictions. We are agreeing to change our judicial system. We are agreeing to opening our borders. We are agreeing to using our schools as propaganda centers for the UN's agenda.
Ultimately we are agreeing to the destruction of the very system that gave the world the highest standard of living and the greatest freedom to world has ever known – and replacing it with a top down ruling principle to control every aspect of our lives, called Sustainable Development. And we are doing it all voluntarily.
The UN, in its well-documented drive for power, will never submit to the kind of reform our nation's elected officials say they want in order to "fix" the UN's bloated budgets and out of control bureaucracy. But our elected officials must never allow the UN's version of reform - which means total power and control.
The world of the UN is like a parallel reality. It is no place for a nation born from the minds of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. How would today's American leaders in Congress react if they were suddenly brought before a tribunal of Founding Fathers and told to justify American participation in such a folly?
The United Nations is not "dysfunctional," as some "reformists" have claimed. It is a criminal enterprise in which no moral nation should ever participate, let alone perpetuate.
It would be so easy to stop the UN's drive for Global Governance. All that has to happen is for the United States to say no. No to the UN. No to its schemes for power. No to UN taxes. No to UN courts. No to restructuring the world. No to UN wars. No to propped up UN dictators. No to UN membership.
It is past time for the American people to demand action of our elected officials to uphold the U.S. Constitution they have sworn to defend. Just as our Founding Fathers did when confronted with tyranny, it's time that the American people declare their independence from the United Nations. Do that and the whole UN house of cards and all of these petty dictators and their schemes to control your life will blow away in the wind?
Do you want true reform? Do you want prosperity and freedom for all the people of the world? Do you want an end to unchecked power grabs and tyranny subjected by un-elected NGO's? Then get the United States out of the United Nations and let it rot on the trash heap of history.
Tom DeWeese is the publisher/editor of The DeWeese Report and president of the American Policy Center, an activist think tank. The Center maintains an Internet site at www.americanpolicy.org. © Tom DeWeese 2005
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