Following the bouncing ball to implementation
By Tom DeWeese
It started when, at the Earth Summit, President George H.W. Bush, along with 179 other heads of state signed agreement to Agenda 21. One year later, newly elected President Bill Clinton signed Executive Order # 12852 to create the President’s Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD). The Council consisted of 12 cabinet secretaries, top executives from business, and executives from six major environmental organizations, including the Nature Conservancy, The Sierra Club, the World Resources Institute, and the National Wildlife Federation. These were all players in the creation of Agenda 21 at the international level – now openly serving on the PCSD with the specific mission to implement Agenda 21 into American policy.
It is interesting to note that in the pages of the PCSD report entitled “Sustainable America: A new Consensus for the Future, it directly quotes the Brundtland Commission’s report “Our Common Future” for a definition of Sustainable Development. That is about as direct a tie to the UN as one can get. The PCSD brought the concept of Sustainable Development into the policy process of every agencies of the US federal government
A major tool for implementation was the enormous grant-making power of the federal government. Grant programs were created through literally every agency to entice states and local communities to accept Sustainable Development policy in local programs. In fact, the green groups serving on the PCSD, which also wrote Agenda 21 in the first place, knew full well what programs needed to be implemented to enforce Sustainable Development policy, and they helped create the grant programs, complete with specific actions that must be taken by communities to assure the money is properly spent to implement Sustainable Development policy. Those are the “strings” to which we opponents refer. Such tactics make the grants effective weapons to insure the policy is moving forward.
From that point, these same NGOs sent their members into the state legislatures to lobby for and encourage policy and additional state grant programs. They have lobbied for states to produce legislation requiring local communities to implement comprehensive development plans. Once that legislation was in place, the same NGOs (authors of Agenda 21) quickly moved into the local communities to “help” local governments comply with the state mandates. And they pledged to help by showing communities how to acquire the grant money to pay for it – with the above mentioned strings attached.
We’re told over and over again that such policies are local, state and national, with no conspiracy of ties to the UN. Really? Then how are we to explain this message, taken from the Federal Register, August 24, 1998, (Volume 63, Number 163) from a discussion on the EPA Sustainable Development Challenge Grant Program? It says, “The Sustainable Development Challenge Grant Program is also a step in Implementing ‘Agenda 21, the Global Plan of Action on Sustainable Development,’ signed by the United Stats at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. All of these programs require broad community participation to identify and address environmental issues.”
Or consider this quote from a report by Phil Janik, Chief Operating Officer of the USDA – Forest Service, entitled “The USDA-Forest Service Commitment and Approach to Forest Sustainability” “In Our Common Future published in 1987, the Brundtland Commission explains that ‘the environment is where we all live; and development is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode.” In short, Janik was explaining to his audience (the Society of American Foresters) just where the Forest Service was getting its definition of Sustainable Development – the report from the UN Commission on Global Governance.
Meanwhile, the NGOs began to “partner” with other governmental organizations like the U.S. Conference of Mayors, the National Governors Association, the National League of Cities, the National Association of County Administrators and more organizations to which elected representatives belong to, assuring a near that a near universal message of Sustainable Development comes from every level of government.
Another NGO group which helped write Agenda 21 for the UN Earth Summit was a group originally called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI). It now calls itself ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. After the Earth Summit in 1992, ICLEI set its mission to move into the policy process of local governments around the world to impose Sustainable Development policy. It now operates in more than 1200 cities globally, including 600 American cities, all of which pay dues for the privilege of working with ICLEI. Like a cancer, ICLEI begins to infest the local government policy, training city employees to think only in terms of Sustainable Development, and replacing local guidelines with international codes, rules and regulations.
So it’s true, there are no UN blue helmeted troops occupying city halls in America, and yes, the UN itself does not have enforcement capability for this “:non-binding” document called Agenda 21. However, it does have its own storm troopers in the person of the Non-governmental Organizations which the UN officially sanctions to carry on its work. And that is how Agenda 21, a UN policy, has become a direct threat to local American communities.
Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center, Editor of The DeWeese Report, and author of the book, “Now Tell Me I Was Wrong.” He has been an activist for the causes of limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise and private property rights for more that 45 years. More information and writings by Tom DeWeese available on his website, www.americanpolicy.org
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