Baloney from the County Commissioners about Agenda 21
By Joe McDonald
Special to The Pilot
The Moore County Board of Commissioners last week adopted a resolution in opposition to the United Nations Agenda 21. Commissioner Nick Picerno is quoted as saying: "What Agenda 21 stands for is 180 degrees from what Moore County stands for."
Really? Let's have a closer look and let the residents of Moore County decide that question for themselves.
In 1987, a United Nations report titled "Our Common Future" defined sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." In 1992, the United Nations convened the Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro and produced a resolution on sustainable development called Agenda 21.
Agenda 21 is a nonbinding document that calls on the member countries to voluntarily cooperate more closely in a very wide range of ways to promote economic development while better protecting the environment. The document bends over backward to make it clear that the sovereignty of each member country is to be respected.
For example, every section of the document contains a statement that the financial costs of any measures taken will be decided upon by the individual governments. Paragraph 8.16 states that member countries will develop their own national priorities in accordance with their needs, policies and programs. Paragraph 8.30 (for those worried about socialism) calls for a "market-oriented" approach to development.
President George H. W. Bush signed this document on behalf of the United States. More than 178 other countries also signed on. Every United States president since then, including George W. Bush, has supported the Agenda 21 principles.
Agenda 21 was largely put aside and forgotten about until a gentleman out in California named Michael Shaw, with his Freedom 21 organization, decided that the concept of sustainable development is actually a cover for a communist plot to abolish private property rights and to take over the world. He maintained that the Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, the National Audubon Society, the American Planning Association, and the National Teachers Association were all part of this vast conspiracy.
Some Tea Party groups and others later adopted similar conspiracy theories. Then, astonishingly, in January 2012 the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution against Agenda 21, saying that sustainable development is a threat to the American way of life.
I had a career in the diplomatic service and was posted at U.S. embassies around the world. I know a little about the operations of the United Nations. Let me assure the residents of Moore County that the United States of America still has a permanent veto in the Security Council, that we are still the most powerful nation in the world, and that the United Nations poses no threat, large or small, to our national sovereignty nor to any of our basic rights.
It's easy to bash the United Nations, but it is best to think of it as simply a forum, where nations can sit down and talk. If we abolished it today, we would have to re-establish something similar tomorrow.
Also, let me assure you that all of the United Nations delegates are concerned primarily about their own national interests, that few if any of them would have any interest in a one-world government, and that there is no hidden puppetmaster in the closet at United Nations headquarters who is orchestrating a secret plan to take away our private property rights.
Returning to the resolution adopted by the Moore County commissioners, the kindest thing I can say about it is that every precept in it is false. Commissioner Craig Kennedy invites people to read the Agenda 21 document online. But one has to wonder if he has read it himself.
I hereby challenge Commissioner Kennedy or anybody else to show me a single paragraph in the Agenda 21 document that even vaguely supports any of the claims made in this resolution. Which paragraph, for example, suggests that Agenda 21 views private property ownership, single family homes, private car ownership, and individual travel choices as being destructive to the environment? Which specific paragraph states that national sovereignty is deemed a social injustice?
Could it be that certain elements in our society are simply using the United Nations as a straw man to put fear in the minds of people in order to help in the defeat of environmental protection measures? If this is indeed the case, they seem to be employing the Big Lie technique which was described by Hitler in his "Mein Kampf": Tell a lie so colossal that nobody would believe that someone else "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."
Joe McDonald lives in Hoffman. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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