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Cover photo of the book entitled

Our Global Neighborhood
A Book Review


The Report of The Commission
on Global Governance

Oxford University Press

In one way, this article is a book review. On a deeper level, it is an exposure of a force that is rapidly decreasing the ability of any nation to remain independent and make its own decisions about how it will be governed. For many years, the phrase "New World Order" has brought fear to the hearts of many and derisive snickers from the mouths of those who disbelieved its existence. The forces behind global government press inexorably forward, ignoring the hype and hysteria surrounding world government fears. It is my desire to show that the "new world order" is real, and is advancing to take away many freedoms that I generally believe are granted by God, our Creator.

In 1991, a meeting took place in Sweden, called "Common Responsibility in the 1990s: The Stockholm Initiative on Global Security and Governance." As a result of this meeting, with the endorsement of the United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, a commission was formed to study the concepts of Global Governance.

The United States had two representatives to the Commission. One, Adele Simmons, is president of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation in Chicago and is an elected member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). From 1977 to 1989, she was President of Hampshire College in Massachusetts.

The other US representative to the Commission, Barber Conable, was president of the World Bank from 1986 to 1991. At the time the report was published, he was Chairman of the Committee on US-China Relations, and a member of the Senior Advisory Committee of the Global Environment Facility (GEF). He has served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives on various committees, and is currently the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and a Trustee Fellow and Executive Committee member of Cornell University.

The report generated by this Commission, Our Global Neighborhood, is a carefully-crafted deception. In the Co-Chairmen's Foreword, the co- chairmen make the following statement: "As this report makes clear, global governance is not global government."

Now, let us first settle on a simple definition of government. For my purposes in this article, I will take a definition of government from Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary:

Government: the continuous exercise of authority over and the performance of functions for a political unit.

Simply stated, let's say that government is the exercise of authority over a group of people. Through the body of this article, discern for yourself if the United Nations wants to exercise authority over you and your country.

For fairness' sake, I need to say that most of the justifications cited in the report are real, compelling reasons why the world needs solutions to certain problems. World population is, in fact, rapidly overtaking the ability of nations to feed their people. Environmental destruction is, in fact, taking place so rapidly that the earth's atmosphere is being destabilized. Armed violence is, in fact, killing many millions of people worldwide. These are problems that, I admit, desperately need solutions. However, I don't believe, as Bill Clinton does, that we "have to give up a little bit of freedom" to achieve solutions to these problems. I believe we can find solutions outside of a one-world government, while keeping our nation's sovereignty intact.

Chapter One - A New World

In this chapter, the report covers some historical background concerning how the world arrived in its current circumstances. A definition of Global Governance is provided, as follows:

"Governance is the sum of the many ways individuals and institutions, public and private, manage their common affairs. It is a continuing process through which conflicting or diverse interests may be accommodated and cooperative action may be taken. It includes formal institutions and regimes empowered to enforce compliance, as well as informal arrangements that people and institutions either have agreed to or perceive to be in their interest."

The chapter discusses globalization of industry and the changes that are occurring in the world due to communications advances. It builds justification for global governance on the premise that all nations are becoming inextricably intertwined by financial, trade, social, and legal ties.

Chapter Two - Values for the Global Neighbourhood

This chapter establishes the values upon which the Global Neighborhood should be constructed:

"People have to see with new eyes and understand with new minds before they can truly turn to new ways of living. That is why global values must be the cornerstone of global governance."

Some basic values are covered, such as respect for life, liberty, justice and equity, mutual respect, caring, integrity, and rights and responsibilities. These all are familiar values, and ones most people will accept as worthy of achievement. But the United Nations has different definitions than we might expect for many of these values.

"A concern for equity is not tantamount to an insistence on equality, but it does call for deliberate efforts to reduce gross inequalities, to deal with factors that cause or perpetuate them, and to promote a fairer sharing of resources. A broader commitment to equity and justice is basic to more purposeful action to reduce disparities and bring about a more balanced distribution of opportunities around the world."

For illustration of the United Nations concept of equity, one might look to the example of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, in Istanbul, Turkey, held in June of 1996. Nicknamed "Habitat II," this conference established United Nations guidelines for making cities and towns fit a certain environmental model, a model which is favorable to sustainable development. This U.N. Conference established the view that housing is a universal human right.

Housing as a universal human right sounds appealing, but the U.N. approach is to take from the rich and give to the poor, as illustrated by the following sections taken directly from the Treaty that resulted from the Habitat II conference. Read these lines very carefully:

"Within the overall context of an enabling approach, Governments should take appropriate action in order to promote, protect and ensure the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing. These actions include, but are not limited to:

(a) Providing, in the matter of housing, that the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status;

(b) Providing legal security of tenure and equal access to land for all, including women and those living in poverty, as well as effective protection from forced evictions that are contrary to the law, taking human rights into consideration and bearing in mind that homeless people should not be penalized for their status; [emphasis added]

(c) Adopting policies aimed at making housing habitable, affordable and accessible, including for those who are unable to secure adequate housing through their own means, [emphasis added] by, inter alia:

(i) Expanding the supply of affordable housing through appropriate regulatory measures and market incentives;

(ii) Increasing affordability through the provision of subsidies and rental and other forms of housing assistance to people living in poverty;

(iii) Supporting community-based, cooperative and non-profit rental and owner-occupied housing programmes;

(iv) Promoting supporting services for the homeless and other vulnerable groups;

(v) Mobilizing innovative financial and other resources - public and private - for housing and community development;

(vi) Creating and promoting market-based incentives to encourage the private sector to meet the need for affordable rental and owner- occupied housing;

(vii) Promoting sustainable spatial development patterns and transportation systems that improve accessibility of goods, services, amenities and work;

(d) Effective monitoring and evaluation of housing conditions, including the extent of homelessness and inadequate housing, and, in consultation with the affected population, formulating and adopting appropriate housing policies and implementing effective strategies and plans to address those problems."

To accomplish these ends, the U.N. advises governments to take measures such as the following (excerpted from various sections of the Treaty on Human Settlements):

(d) Apply public policies, including expenditure, taxation, [emphasis added] monetary and planning policies, to stimulate sustainable shelter markets and land development;

(f) Apply appropriate fiscal measures, including taxation [emphasis added], to promote the adequate supply of housing and land;

(g) Periodically assess how best to satisfy the requirement for government intervention to meet the specific needs of people living in poverty and vulnerable groups for whom traditional market mechanisms fail to work;

Some readers might feel that these U.N. solutions are exactly the solutions needed to the global crisis of homelessness. I, however, object strongly to a global welfare state that robs resources from productive people and distributes them freely to people who are not willing to work for themselves. I most especially object to this idea of a global welfare state since it will be enforced effectively at gunpoint by U.N. peacekeeping forces. I offer an alternative solution to the global welfare state by saying that as Americans, we obtained our wealth by productive labor. Instead of a gun-enforced "tax the rich and give to the poor" scheme, we need to empower the rest of the world by training them in effective methods of food production, housing production, etc.

Chapter Three - Promoting Security

It is within this chapter of Our Global Neighborhood that we see the intentions of the United Nations to control all firearms. The commission states these common beliefs in the following "norms for security policies in the new era":

╗ Military force is not a legitimate political instrument, except in self-defense and under UN auspices.

╗ The development of military capabilities beyond that required for national defense and support of UN action is a potential threat to the security of the people.

╗ The production and trade in arms should be controlled by the international community.

Do these things sound like global government to you? One visible evidence of the progress made by the United Nations is the current United States efforts to reduce the size of its armed forces. Chapter Three closes with a final plea:

"We strongly endorse community initiatives to protect individual life, to encourage the disarming of civilians, and to foster an atmosphere of security in neighborhoods."

I submit that, even if the United Nations places peacekeeping forces in every town in the world, there will always be those that manufacture and distribute firearms regardless of any laws prohibiting such activities.

Chapter Four - Managing Economic Interdependence

This is a broad chapter dealing with governing the global financial arena. It deals with challenges such as environmental protection, poverty, multi-lateralism in trade, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund, among others.

Tucked away at the end of the chapter is the necessary evil of taxing the world to pay for all of the new United Nations' government programs. Here, again, we see the typical circumlocution of UNSpeak, as the text reads:

"We specifically do not propose a taxing power located anywhere in the UN system. User charges, levies, taxes - global revenue-receiving arrangements of whatever kind - have to be agreed globally and implemented by a treaty or convention. Proposals for them can be initiated in the UN system - in the Economic Security Council (ECOSOC), when established - and negotiated and approved by the General Assembly before being embodied in an international agreement to be approved and ratified."

One of the largest taxes being contemplated at a global level is the "carbon tax". When any kind of fuel is burned, there is an emission of carbon. Whether it is wood, gasoline, propane, or other fuel, all send a carbon residue into the atmosphere. A tax on carbon emissions would affect the price you pay for almost every single item you might purchase. It would directly increase your expense for gasoline. It would indirectly, but in a major way, affect the price you pay for electricity. It would indirectly, in countless thousands of ways, affect you by increasing the costs of:

* producing any manufactured goods whose factories are driven by carbon- based fuels

* transporting the groceries you buy, as well as any other item transported by truck, car, train, etc.

* paying the electric bill of your grocery store, the local Wal-Mart, or school, etc.

* heating and cooling your home.

Our society is so completely dependent upon carbon-based fuels that it is almost inconceivable how many times even the slightest carbon tax will multiply to increase your cost of living. The United Nations generally favors a system of global trade which is completely free of trade barriers. As an American, I object strongly to this in principle. In my home state, I frequently read about factories closing to relocate to Mexico, Canada, or locales even further removed from this country.

I read recently that workers in a new Wal-Mart in China were to be paid the equivalent of US$120 per month. In China, this is probably a reasonable wage. But, as a result of the movement of industry out of this country, I see a vast leveling effect. Lower wages in the countries to which our factories are fleeing cannot help but to depress wages in this country until the world wage levels tend to an average much lower than current American wage levels. Americans will lose jobs until they are willing to work for the lower wages found in these other countries.

Chapter Five - Reforming the United Nations

In this chapter, the commissionstresses that "the UN is us", that the UN is merely the product of what nations of the world have desired. The first few pages are spent bemoaning the historical weakness of the United Nations as an organization that could recommend, but not enforce, solutions to world problems.

The UN Security Council is comprised of five nations, the United States being one of those. Recently, the United States exercised its veto power as a Securit╝ Council member to prevent Boutros Boutros- Ghali from a second term as Secretary-General. The Commission wants to not only expand membership in the Security Council, it wants to remove the veto power completely.

This chapter is broad as well, encompassing new processes of selecting the Secretary-General, restructuring the accreditation of Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and other topics.

Chapter Six - Strengthening the Rule of Law World-Wide

This chapter deals with increasing the authority of the World Court, strengthening international law, and establishing an international criminal court. This should immediately warn the reader that yes, in fact, an increase of authority over an individual or nation constitutes government, regardless of the name it is given.

"In an ideal world, acceptance of the compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court would be a prerequisite for UN membership."

"The absence of an international criminal court discredits the rule of law. It must be established soon."

There is an aspect of the United Nations that is disturbing at many levels, that of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). The UN has long used such organizations to carry out its goals. If you study the motives and methods of the UN, you will see a pattern that to me suggests that NGOs are merely called Non-Governmental so that they will not have to be elected to office or answer to the electorate in any way. Many of the increasingly-powerful environmental groups in this country are United Nations NGOs.

The United Nations intends to give NGOs substantial power in governing the global neighborhood. In this chapter, in the section dealing with establishing an international criminal court, the Commission applauds existing courts who recognize a body of international law already, and seeks to establish enforcement power in NGOs.

"This process should be encouraged by courts being more ready than in the past to admit cases in which individuals and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) seek to enforce compliance with international norms in domestic courts, or wish to ensure that their government's foreign policy is in conformity with them."

It is easy to see that the UN wants to use NGOs to enforce its will upon the various governments of the world via a "back door". For any system of laws, there must be some enforcement mechanism, as the Commission states here:

"A necessary condition for strengthening the rule of law world-wide is an efficient monitoring and compliance regime. The very essence of global governance is the capacity of the international community to ensure compliance with the rules of society."

I do not wish to see any sort of monitoring and compliance regime from the United Nations established in our country. If global governance is not government, why then do they want to establish a monitoring and compliance regime?

This chapter contains a paragraph which sheds valuable light upon how the United Nations guides the actions of individual countries. Many people question whether the United Nations has any authority to truly enforce its mandates. As is evident here, the authority for enforcement builds over time due to what is called "soft law".

"International law has evolved techniques to respond to this challenge. Standards may be set by instruments (such as resolutions of some international organizations [or UN Treaties and Commissions - ed.]) that are technically non-binding but in fact have considerable influence on behavior. If applied in practice, these standards may begin to assume some legal status. This is the hardening of so-called 'soft law'."

Chapter Seven - A Call To Action

Chapter seven reprises the content of all of the earlier chapters in the book, so that one might get a good idea of the book's scope by reading only this chapter. Moving forward from this point, the chapter introduces the Commission's recommendation that the UN General Assembly should agree to hold a World Conference on Governance in 1998, with its decisions to be ratified and put into effect by the year 2000.

Summation

I would strongly recommended that anyone desiring an understanding of global government trends should read Our Global Neighborhood. Using this work as a starting point, the reader should continue study with the many treaties originating in the UN from recent world conferences, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, the Biodiversity Treaty, etc., which currently make up a body of "soft law" that has an increasing effect on our lives.

In pre-American England, the government imposed its own will upon the citizens. Many of these people were fortunate, in that the New World opened up the opportunity to vote with their feet by coming to America. They could leave the tyranny behind.

If we turn over the whole globe to the rule of one group, where then will we flee when tyranny knocks at our door?

The author of this book review
document asked to remain anonymous.

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