Monday, 02 July 2012

At UN Rio+20, World Governments Agree on “The Future We Want”

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RIO DE JANEIRO - On the last day of the United Nations Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development, virtually every national government and dictatorship on Earth signed an agreement dubbed “The Future We Want.” The “We,” of course, did not include regular citizens — it was mostly a coalition UN functionaries, dictators, tax-funded environmentalist organizations, and Big Business bosses seeking to profit at taxpayer expense.

The final document agreed to on June 22 was a far cry from sweeping deals like the UN’s “Agenda 21” reached at the original Earth Summit two decades ago — especially because not much concrete progress was made in advancing the global body’s vision outlined in the months before the conference. But while the latest UN agreement does not officially create new, legally binding commitments on signatories, it does mandate an "intergovernmental process" under the UN to figure out the best way to extract the world's wealth for use in achieving ill-defined "sustainability" goals.

Most of the real action and progress actually happened on the sidelines as the UN amassed a stunning half a trillion dollars in commitments for the “sustainability” agenda from governments and Big Business — the largest value of pledges ever raised at an international environment summit. But the final document still offers some insight. Concerned analysts, for example, noted that the document reiterates support for numerous controversial principles including attacks on national sovereignty, private-property rights, and what remains of the free market.

One of the biggest developments to emerge from the Rio+20 agreement — barely noticed by the world press — is that poverty has now officially displaced environmentalism as the chief driver behind the UN agenda. Other key points included the adoption of a reference to “Mother Earth” in the text, as well as numerous calls for more money in UN coffers and more authority in global agencies.

Another crucial element of the text was the alleged need to “educate” the youth — critics called it proposed brainwashing — for the UN’s vision of “sustainable development.” If progress is made on capturing the minds of the youth for the global agenda, its proponents hope, the conference will have been a success for its organizers and supporters seeking to advance UN schemes.  

Also important: world governments all reaffirmed that they would be “guided” by the principles of the UN while working for “good governance” at the international level, complete with strengthened and more expensive UN institutions. Indeed, the document was filled with references to shifting power and resources toward global entities.

Moving forward with the implementation of Agenda 21 and past treaties – including more than a few which openly represent serious threats to property rights, liberty, and national sovereignty – was emphasized as well. Meanwhile, increased government involvement in resource allocation appeared multiple times, including recognition that “fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development.”

Finally, contraception and terminology widely understood to mean universal access to legal abortion were also incorporated into the document – especially because of an obsession among Rio+20 participants with reducing the human population. But according to critics, real environmental problems and real poverty will only get worse; at least if the UN agreement offers any sense of the future to come.

The New American reviewed the 50-page document and highlighted some key excerpts that patriots, liberty activists, and constitutionalist readers would probably find particularly alarming. Here is the list, along with a few comments where necessary to provide context:

• “We reaffirm that we continue to be guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and with full respect for international law and its principles.”

• “We recognize that fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development.”

• “We acknowledge that democracy, good governance and the rule of law, at the national and international levels, as well as an enabling environment are essential for sustainable development, including sustained and inclusive economic growth, social development, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger. We reaffirm that to achieve our sustainable development goals, we need institutions at all levels that are effective, transparent, accountable and democratic.

• “In this regard, we recognize the need for a global strategy on youth and employment building on the work of the International Labour Organization (ILO).”

• “We recognize the central role of the United Nations in advancing the sustainable development agenda. We acknowledge as well, in this regard, the contributions of other relevant international organizations, including international financial institutions (IFIs) and multilateral development banks and stress the importance of cooperation among them and with the United Nations, within their respective mandates, recognizing their role in mobilizing resources for sustainable development.”

• “We acknowledge the vital importance of an inclusive, transparent, reformed and strengthened, and effective multilateral system in order to better address the urgent global challenges of sustainable development today, recognizing the universality and central role of the United Nations, and reaffirming our commitment to promote and strengthen the effectiveness and efficiency of the United Nations system.”

• “We reaffirm the role and authority of the General Assembly on global matters of concern to the international community, as set out in the Charter.”

• “We reaffirm the need to strengthen international environmental governance within the context of the institutional framework for sustainable development.”

• “We recognize the importance of international, regional and national financial mechanisms including those accessible to sub-national and local authorities to implement sustainable development programs and call for their strengthening and implementation.”

• “We are committed to strengthening the role of the United Nations Environment Programme as the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, that promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and that serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment. ... In this regard, we invite the United Nations General Assembly, in its 67th Session, to adopt a Resolution strengthening and upgrading UNEP.” The document then calls for "secure" and "increased financial resources" for the agency to, among other schemes, help countries create more bureaucracy.

• “We support the leadership role of the World Health Organization as the directing and coordinating authority on international health work.”

• “We recognize that oceans, seas and coastal areas form an integrated and essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem and are critical to sustaining it and that international law, as reflected in United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), provides the legal framework for the conservation and the sustainable use of the oceans and their resources.” The UNCLOS, of course, has never been ratified by the U.S. Senate as required by the Constitution. However, there is a big push underway to finally get it through

•  “We recognize the importance of UNCLOS to advancing sustainable development and its near universal adoption by States, and in this regard we urge all its Parties to fully implement their obligations under the Convention.”

• “We recognize that the United Nations Forum on Forests, with its universal membership and comprehensive mandate, plays a vital role in addressing forest-related issues in a holistic and integrated manner, and promoting international policy coordination and cooperation to achieve sustainable forest management.”

Despite the general downplaying of global-warming hysteria following a stunning implosion of the alleged “science” behind it, some language on the subject still made it into the final text. The agreement claimed, for example, that "climate change" linked to human emissions of carbon dioxide was leading to "extreme weather," "sea level rise," and other supposed problems:

•  “We underscore that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, with a view to accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions." The document also claimed, based on demonstrably false computer models, that reducing CO2 would somehow help keep the alleged temperature increase below 2C

•  “We call on all countries to prioritize sustainable development in the allocation of resources in accordance with national priorities and needs, and we recognize the crucial importance of enhancing financial support from all sources for sustainable development for all countries, in particular developing countries.”

• “We also emphasize that increasing the financial contributions to the United Nations development system is key to achieving the internationally agreed development goals.

•  “We stress the need for adequate funding for the operational activities of the United Nations development system as well as the need to make funding more predictable, effective and efficient as part of wider efforts to mobilize new, additional and predictable resources to achieve the objectives that we have set forth in this Declaration.”

• “We note that efforts to achieve sustainable development have been reflected in regional, national and sub-national policies and plans, and that governments have strengthened their commitment to sustainable development since the adoption of Agenda 21 through legislation and institutions, and the development and implementation of international, regional and sub-regional agreements and commitments.”

• “We recognize that effective governance at local, sub-national, national, regional and global levels representing the voices and interests of all is critical for advancing sustainable development,” it said calling for strengthening the various regimes

•  “We recognize that an improved and more effective institutional framework for sustainable development at the international level should be consistent with Rio Principles, build on Agenda 21,” it noted, promising to use the UN to "assist countries in foisting the controversial schemes on their populations

• “We encourage the enhancement of the UN regional commissions and their sub-regional offices in their respective capacities to support Member States in implementing sustainable development.

•  “We underscore the need to ensure long-term political commitment to sustainable development ... we encourage all countries to undertake the necessary actions and measures to achieve sustainable development.”

• “Social protection systems that address and reduce inequality and social exclusion are essential for eradicating poverty,” the agreement said, bizarrely implying that big-government programs would somehow be able to address problems like poverty largely resulting from big government and socialism

• “We recognize that partnerships among cities and communities play an important role in promoting sustainable development. In this regard, we stress the need to strengthen existing cooperation mechanisms or platforms, partnership arrangements and other implementation tools to advance the coordinated implementation of the UN Habitat Agenda with active involvement of all relevant UN entities and with the overall aim of achieving sustainable urban development. We further recognize the continuing need for adequate and predictable financial contributions to the UN Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation so as to ensure timely, effective and concrete global implementation of the Habitat Agenda.”

    •      For readers who may not be aware, the UN Habitat I Conference Report states in its preamble that land “cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. The provision of decent dwellings and healthy conditions for the people can only be achieved if land is used in the interests of society as a whole. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable....”
    •      Further on in the UN Habitat report, it claims: “Public ownership or effective control of land in the public interest is the single most important means of...achieving a more equitable distribution of the benefits of development whilst assuring that environmental impacts are considered. Land is a scarce resource whose management should be subject to public surveillance or control in the interest of the nation;... Governments must maintain full jurisdiction and exercise complete sovereignty over such land with a view to freely planning development of human settlements...; Public ownership of land … is justified in so far as it is exercised in favour of the common good.”

•  “We emphasize the need for the provision of universal access to reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health and the integration of reproductive health in national strategies and programs,” the document states, using language widely known to refer to abortion, sterilization, and other controversial issues

• “We reaffirm our commitment to gender equality and to protect the rights of women, men and youth to have control over and decide freely and responsibly on matters related to their sexuality, including access to sexual and reproductive health.”

• “We recognize that the younger generations are the custodians of the future,” it notes. “We therefore resolve to improve the capacity of our education systems to prepare people to pursue sustainable development, including through enhanced teacher training, the development of curricula around sustainability, the development of training programs that prepare students for careers in fields related to sustainability.”

(For more information about Rio+20, click here.)

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Photo: Left to right, UN General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, Brazil's Secretary of the Conference Luis Figueiredo Machado, and Rio+20 Secretary-General Sha Zukang attend the closing ceremony of the  Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, June 22, 2012: AP Images

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