Agenda 21 treaty on the horizon
By Henry Lamb
While liberal journalists continue to claim that Agenda 21 is just a "conspiracy theory" being advanced by right-wing crackpots, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the International Council for Environmental Law (ICEL) have released their fourth Draft of the International Covenant on Environment and Development. This document was designed from the beginning to convert the "soft-law" non-binding Agenda 21 into firmly binding global law - enforceable through the International Criminal Court and/or the dispute resolution features of the Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Few people understand that it is standard operating procedure for the U.N. to issue a massive non-binding policy document to test the water and make adjustments to its plans before introducing the real, legally-binding treaty. For example, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a "soft-law" instrument, was the precursor to the two 1966 U.N. Covenants on Human Rights. The 1992 U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change called for "voluntary" compliance. But at the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention, the group agreed to create a Kyoto Protocol to the Convention that would set legally-binding targets for all member nations.
Noah M. Sachs, a University of Richmond law professor and environmental expert, said: "Agenda 21 has been a dead letter for 20 years, its recommendations have not been implemented by most governments, and the U.S. has largely ignored it."
Mr. Sachs is either ignorant of the facts, or is deliberately trying to mislead his readers. President Clinton's President's Council on Sustainable Development operated between 1993 and 1999 expressly for the purpose of implementing the recommendations in Agenda 21. At the 11th meeting of the PCSD, Ron Brown, then- Secretary of the Department of Commerce, said that his department could implement 67% of the recommendations under his jurisdiction by rule, without the need for new legislation.
The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) was created at the behest of the U.N. expressly for the purpose of advancing Agenda 21 around the world. They claim more than 1200 cities around the world have joined their organization for assistance in implementing "sustainable development" – defined to be the recommendations contained in Agenda 21. More than 600 of these cities are in the United States.
Mr. Sachs: Agenda 21 is not a dead letter!
A few organizations, Freedom21, Freedom Advocates in California, and the American Policy Center have been teaching Agenda 21 to people since the mid 1990s. In the last few years, Tea Parties, 9/12 and property rights groups have seen how ICLEI and liberal local officials have been converting the recommendations in Agenda 21 into binding law, by incorporating these recommendations into comprehensive land use plans. Dozens of cities have terminated their membership in ICLEI after local groups showed their elected officials how their plans actually reflect the recommendations in Agenda 21.
Those who like to ridicule by pointing to an imaginary global plot to rule the world, are either ignorant of the facts, or don't want people to know that the IUCN and the ICEL have been working since 1995 to get Agenda 21 converted into binding international law. It is not a plot. It is not a conspiracy. It is a fact. The IUCN is not going to stop until they are successful. Virtually every environmental treaty adopted by the U.N. in the last several decades was written by the IUCN.
The IUCN consists of governments, government agencies, and non-government organizations. Seven federal agencies pay more than $500,000 per year to be members of the IUCN. Many of these people are the same people who are delegates and attend the U. N. meetings where these treaties are adopted. Federal employees helped write this fourth draft of the International Covenant on Environment and Development.
President Obama is on the Agenda 21 bandwagon. In addition to challenge grants offered by federal agencies to entice local communities to create comprehensive land use plans, he, like Bill Clinton, has issued Executive Orders to advance the agenda without interference from Congress. Obama issued an Executive Order to create the White House Rural Council last year. On March 15, he issued another Executive order creating the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities. The next day, another Executive Order, National Defense Resources Preparedness, vastly expanded the President's power to control virtually all resources in times of emergency.
In view of the facts that are readily available and undeniable, whenever a journalist or a politician, or an ordinary environmental extremist claims that Agenda 21 is not real, or is just a "conspiracy theory," or the imaginations of right-wing crackpots, their comments can be dismissed and their motives challenged.
The international community – the U.N., the IUCN, and the ICEL – are working as hard as they can to get Agenda 21 converted into binding international law. It will happen unless informed Americans stand up – as they have begun to do across the country – and kick out ICLEI, Agenda 21, and realize that use of the term "sustainable development" is nothing more than a sound-good substitute for Agenda 21.