A new era of U.N.-U.S. relations?

By Henry Lamb
web posted December 18, 2000

President-elect George W. Bush will not have a shortage of advice about what he should do when he assumes the most powerful position in the world. Relations with the United Nations is not likely to be high on the priority list. It should be.

Senators Jesse Helms and Joe Biden crafted a "deal" which would pay the U.N. most of the so-called arrearage, the U.N. claims is owed by the United States, providing that the U.N. reduced the percentage of the U.N. budget the U.S. pays from 25 to 22 percent, for regular operations, and for peacekeeping operations, a reduction from 30 to 25 percent. The U.N. has refused to make these changes, and now, Senator Biden is looking for a compromise.

U.S.-U.N. relations must be re-evaluated from a much broader perspective than the amount of money that the U.S. provides. The new administration, and the new Congress, should take a long hard look at what the United Nations is becoming. It is no longer a forum where sovereign nations meet to discuss their disputes; it is rapidly becoming a sovereign entity in its own right, with the power to compel once-sovereign nations to comply with policies crafted by the United Nations and its various subsidiary bodies.

Students of the United Nations know full well that originally, the institution was conceived to be a world government, to which all nations would be subservient. The original idea was for the United Nations to be the world's peacekeeper, by requiring all nations to turn over the bulk of their military might to the U.N., and maintaining only police power at the national level. As recently as 1961, the U.S. State Department supported this concept in its Publication 7277 [Subscription required for this document - ed.], "Freedom from War: The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World." The cold war prevented this general and complete disarmament, until the Berlin Wall collapsed. The original objective - world government - is, once again, on the front burner at the United Nations.

Since 1991, the strategy for achieving world government has changed. To begin with, the very term "world government" has been abandoned. The term "global governance," is now in vogue. The difference between the two terms, however, is similar to the difference between rape, and date rape.

General and complete disarmament has lost much of its appeal, since the danger of global nuclear war has diminished. Now the global threat is environmental degradation of the planet. This new strategy has evolved over the last two decades, but shifted into high gear during the 1990s.

The U.N. Conference on Environment and Development adopted an ambitious "Agenda 21," in 1992. It was heralded as a non-binding blueprint to save the planet. Since then, many of the "non-binding" provisions have been incorporated into international law through U.N. treaties.

The Framework Convention on Climate Change, with its subsequent Kyoto Protocol; the Convention on Biological Diversity; and the Convention to Combat Desertification, are three treaties which go quite far toward giving the United Nations jurisdiction over all the land and natural resources on the entire planet.

While these three treaties were evolving in three different U.N. subsidiary bodies, other U.N. agencies worked on different aspects of the global governance agenda. The U.N. endorsed and partially funded the Commission on Global Governance, which published its plan to achieve global governance in 1995. The U.N.Commission on Sustainable Development began to implement Agenda 21 objectives through National Councils on Sustainable Development, using agencies of government to voluntarily impose policies through regulatory powers. The U.N. Commission on Water for the 21st Century was authorized to begin developing an international treaty on water use. Throughout the world, U.N. subsidiary bodies are working around the clock to implement individual components of a well-conceived, well-coordinated, well-funded plan to achieve a new kind of world government.

Jacques Chirac

In the past, concerns such as these, when voiced, have been met by ridicule and claims of "black helicopterism" by those who promote world government. No more. At the recent Kyoto Protocol negotiations at the Hague, French President Jacques Chirac told the delegates that agreement on the Kyoto Protocol was essential, that it is a "component of an authentic global governance." Jacques Chirac cannot be included in the black-helicopter crowd.

The Millennium Declaration adopted by 160 heads of state and the U.N. General Assembly in September 2000, embraced virtually all the recommendations contained in the report of the Commission on Global Governance. Among those recommendations is the elimination of the veto and permanent member status in the U.N. Security Council. This recommendation is under active consideration. George W. Bush's new Ambassador to the U.N. must be instructed not to let this happen.

Another recommendation is to provide the U.N. with adequate, independent funding, preferably through the "Tobin Tax," a tax on foreign exchange. This would free the U.N. from dependence upon its member nations - especially the United States - for the money necessary to implement its agenda. George W. Bush's new Ambassador to the U.N. must be instructed not to let this happen.

The idea of general and complete disarmament has not been abandoned; it has simply been recast in the language of a permanent peacekeeping force under the auspices of the U.N. Secretary General. Already, nations are eager to supply troops and equipment to this effort. George W. Bush's new Ambassador to the U.N. must be instructed not to let this happen.

Even more ambitious goals are now articulated publicly by U.N. agencies. The recommendation for U.N. regulation of multinational corporations is given new credence with the adoption of the final text of a new U.N. Convention on POPs (Persistent Organic Pollutants), which will ban eight important chemicals, and control four others.

No longer can the U.N.'s steady march toward global governance - world government - be discounted as the ranting of right-wing zealots. The question now, is what should the new administration and the new Congress do about it?

The first step is to stop the denial, and recognize that the U.N. agenda is, in fact, an integrated, deliberate effort to achieve the world government it has long coveted. The next step is to prevent it.

This does not mean that the United States should withdraw from the international community. Quite the contrary. It means that the new administration has a unique opportunity to lead the world away from global socialism, toward a world of freedom. The rest of the world wants what America has - prosperity. Prosperity was not bestowed on the United States by the United Nations. Nor can prosperity be bestowed upon the rest of the world by the United Nations. Prosperity arises only from the creation of wealth, not from the redistribution of it.

America's greatest gift to the world is not our wealth; it is our desire to share with the rest of the world the principles of freedom which made it possible for our nation to create its wealth.

At the beginning of a new century, a new administration and a new Congress have the opportunity to share those principles with the world, but it cannot be done by acquiescing to the global governance agenda advanced by the United Nations.

The new administration, through all its appointees to all the various U.N. agencies, should insist that U.N. conferences be nothing more than a forum for sovereign nations to discuss their differences and share ideas. The United Nations must not become a global EPA, or a global police force, or a global banking institution, or a global welfare agency.

The United Nations is, and forever should be, nothing more than a global debating society; or it should follow the path of the failed League of Nations into the dustbin of history.

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

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