Posted on | April 2, 2012 by Wendy Wright |
Top UN chiefs recently met to scheme how to use an upcoming Summit on sustainable development to gain control of the global green economy, expand its reach on social policies, and build more UN institutions. But a huge stumbling block is a lack of agreement among countries on the definition of a “green economy,” the main theme of the Summit.
In a closed-door retreat last November, the top leaders of the UN discussed how to expand the UN’s authority over what amounts to virtually every area of life. The confidential minutes of the meeting were reported on and released by George Russell with FoxNews.com.
Rio+20 promises to be as controversial as its 1990’s predecessors that kick-started the international pro-life, pro-family movement. The 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development and 1995 Beijing World Conference on Women fell far short of the plan to create international sexual and reproductive rights.
Organizers of Cairo and Beijing had intended to gain international control over national policies on issues like abortion and sexual liberty. The process depended on getting heads of state to attend the conference, inserting controversial “rights” into the final document, and obtaining commitments from governments for funding and compliance.
Instead, their over-reach exposed the radical nature of their demands and illegitimate process by which they planned to attain them.
Now, the confidential notes of a meeting of top UN officials have leaked. It outlines their ambition to focus the upcoming Rio+20 Summit on a general concept that impacts everyone in the world, like “the Planet,” to gain commitments from world leaders and establish a hierarchy of authority with countries accountable to UN institutions.
One participant “believed that the UN in Rio should be the voice of the planet and its people.”
By establishing a global governing structure, a system would be in place to enforce new rights. UNFPA recognizes this and is heavily lobbying to get its priorities, which include abortion, into the Rio+20 document. It wants population reduction to be a component of sustainable development.
The meeting consisted of 29 members of the United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination. Their ideas included:
- Creating a Sustainable Development Council with a peer review function.
- Get Heads of State and Government to ensure the “integration of environment with finance” nationally and internationally.
- Sustainable Development Goals would “complement” the Millennial Development Goals to “address the concerns of all sectors of the world population. The MDGs were only addressing the poor, the bottom billion [of the population], and would need to continue to do so, but many other issues needed to be addressed as well.”
- Anticipating failure, “should the Rio Conference not achieve agreement on all issues,” one participant suggested “a fall-back position might be to consider Rio the start of a process of commitments” from countries. Developing countries were skeptical about the concept of the “green economy,” and want assurance they will receive assistance for sustainable development.
- Caution about creating new institutions, and instead harmonizing existing institutions.
- Michelle Bachelet of UN Women stressed the focus of Rio+20 should be “We the Peoples,” and the Summit outcomes be understandable.
- Concern that 2012 was “not the best year” to hold Rio+20. Many national elections will take place, and the on-going financial crisis may cause some countries to retreat from their funding promises.
- The need for a narrative about planetary responsibility and the role of the UN.
- Connect the short-term economic crisis with the Rio summit.
In a later discussion, one member noted that the Millennial Development Goals had not been developed in an intergovernmental process, like the Sustainable Development Goals are currently. They “would probably not have been agreed upon if they had.”
The UN accounts for only 5% of money for development worldwide, so it is crucial for the Rio+20 process to build partnerships with private and government sectors, stressed one person. A “move was needed for much more redistribution.”
This frank admission reveals the UN’s Achilles heel. It can attempt to create new rights and build new systems, but its power ultimately depends on how much money it wields. By getting private and government actors to link with the UN, it can tap into greater resources.
UN elites may attempt to concoct new rights. But UN chiefs understand that they are only as effective as the UN’s power structure and bank account. Entwining governments into systems that make countries subservient to UN standards and siphoning resources from others is their tried-and-true method of choice.
Rio+20 is a huge step toward that greater goal.