UN Skyscrapers and the Rise of Global Governance

February 6. 2003

By Tom DeWeese

The fifty-year-old United Nations headquarters building in New York City is starting to show its age. The old building no longer conforms to modern safety, fire and building codes. There’s asbestos in the walls. Security needs for protecting the important folks inside is becoming a nightmare. It’s a fire trap.

Recently the UN unveiled its plan for a top-to-bottom renovation of its current Manhattan-located, 38 floor building. The plans would also include building an additional 30 story tower, nearly doubling the UN’s headquarter space. Cost of the project is estimated at $1.3 billion. Of course, the UN continually pleads poverty. There’s never enough money to fund its self-imposed, ever-expanding agenda. What to do?

Silly question. What does the UN always do when it needs something? It looks for that never-ending pot of gold at the end of the Potomac. That’s right, after constantly bashing the United States for its selfish, capitalist greed, the benevolent Socialists at the UN want Uncle Sam to float a loan. But not just a loan – they want an interest-free loan!

The arm twisting has already begun as UN officials are rounding up support for the loan at the State Department and in Congress. According to reports, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan cornered President Bush about the issue when they met last November.

Should the United States just provide the loan, no questions asked? Or, since the money will actually come from the pockets of the American taxpayer, perhaps the government should act in our interest by making sure the UN actually qualifies for the loan?

A good loan officer at any bank would ask basic questions like these: What, specifically, is the money to be used for? Is the project necessary and fiscally sound? What are the possibilities that the loan will be paid? Is there a sufficient credit record to permit loaning such an amount? For the American taxpayer, let’s examine the answers.

The UN says it needs to repair its old headquarters and original plans called for “a comprehensive, systematic cost-efficient” capital master plan to bring the building up to modern building code requirements. For example, the building doesn’t have a sprinkler system. In addition, say UN officials, the building has become expensive to run and is poorly equipped to handle cable lines or energy-saving devices, while most of the existing equipment has become too old to maintain. The UN, under that plan, was seeking to pay for the project incrementally, over twenty five years. OK, so far the applicant is asking for a loan, using fiscally-sound reasoning.

However, that plan was discussed in 2000. Suddenly, in late 2002, it was apparently abandoned as the UN announced a grand new scheme calling for an additional 30 floor building, with the whole project being financed by an interest-free loan from the United States. So we must now take a closer look at the reasons why the UN needs such a grand design, including almost doubling office space.

Apparently the UN has plans for growth – big growth. Actually, the UN’s plans for growth aren’t new. It has been working behind the scenes to expand its reach for the better part of two decades. Many Americans and most members of Congress argue that the UN’s urgent mission is to provide a place for nations to hold debates and air differences as a prevention to war. Such is the UN’s image as the world focuses on the activities of the Security Council. But behind the scenes, the UN is rapidly changing, expanding its reach through a series of treaties and commissions designed to create a mechanism for “global governance.”

In 1995, the UN released a report from the Commission on Global Governance entitled “Our Global Neighborhood.” The report set forth very specific recommendations to achieve the vision of global governance. Once the report was issued, a network of NGO’s (non-government organizations) was created to advance the reports agenda. As a result, the agenda outlined in “Our Global Neighborhood” was reissued in a shorter, easy to read report called the “Charter for Global Democracy.”

Specifically, the Charter for Global Democracy outlined twelve goals necessary to achieve global governance. These included: 1) Consolidation of all international agencies under direct authority of the United Nations; 2) Regulations by the UN of all transnational corporations and financial institutions; 3) An independent source of revenue for the UN; 4) Eliminate the veto power and permanent member status of the Security Council; 5) Authorize a standing UN army; 6) Require UN registration of all arms and the reduction of all national armies. 7) Require individual and national compliance with all UN Human Rights treaties; 8) Activate the International Criminal Court and make it compulsory for all nations. 9) New institutions to establish economic and environmental Sustainable Development; 10) Establishment of an International Environmental Court; 11) A declaration that climate change is an essential global security interest that requires the creation of a “high level action team” to allocate carbon emission based on equal per-capita rights (Kyoto Global Warming Treaty); 12) Calls for the cancellation of all debt owed by the poorest nations, global poverty reductions and the “equitable sharing of global resources” as allocated by the UN.

In 2000, the UN held a “Millennium Summit” attended by almost every head of state in the world. The result of the gathering was a document called the “Millennium Declaration,” loosely based on the Charter for Global Democracy, agreed to by the world leaders and taken by the UN to be a mandate for it’s global governance agenda. This was confirmed in a statement made soon after the Summit by Assistant Secretary General John Ruggie who said that the Millennium Declaration would be used by the UN, “to implement the political commitments the world’s leaders made at the Summit.” As a result, since the September 2000 Summit, the UN has held a series of international conferences to lay the ground work for implementing the goals of the Charter for Global Democracy and global governance.

First, in 2001, the UN floated trial balloons with ideas for independent revenue sources, including taxes on international currency trades. Then, in 2002, the UN held a full summit in Mexico, focusing on the subject of international taxes. Second, the UN completed work on the International Criminal Court and it will take effect in 2003. Third, also in 2002, the UN held an international summit in South Africa to discuss implementation of Sustainable Development. In 2001, a UN conference was held in New York to discuss the creation of global standards for the manufacture, sale, export and possession of guns. In addition, discussions have been held concerning the possibility of bringing the World Trade Organization (WTO and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under the arm of the UN. In fact, since the Millennium Summit, literally all of the twelve points of the Charter for Global Democracy have been discussed on an official international level. It will take several years to implement the agenda, but at the UN, the Millennium Declaration is seen to be the point beyond which there can be no turning back.

To help implement the global governance agenda, the United Nations is enlisting the help of an army of NGO’s to “elevate public awareness” to the need for international cooperation. In most cases, the first step is to help create the perception of an international crisis, such as global warming or overpopulation. Then, the NGO’s, like the Sierra Club and the Nature Conservancy, flood newspaper op-ed pages, hold public meetings, besiege Capitol Hill and some even hold protests in the streets to build pressure for international intervention.

Policies are established, bills written and action is taken. The agenda moves forward. We’re told that a criminal court must be established just to handle international outlaws; We’re warned that the UN needs independent sources of income to handle all of the international upheavals it faces; and it needs an army so that it can rapidly respond anywhere in the world without having to wait for nations to agree to let the UN use their armies. All of these arguments have appeared in the news in recent months. Keep in mind, it’s all being carefully orchestrated in order to implement the global governance agenda.

Frankly, the objectives of global governance are no different from the objectives of the Soviet Union under Stalin. If fully implemented, it will allow the UN the ability to consolidate its power into a central bureaucracy where each nation will have only one vote; where special interest voting blocks will dictate policy; where national sovereignty and national boundaries will be relics of the past; and where individual citizens will have no say about polices that directly affect their lives.

As a precursor to full global governance, continental unions are being organized across the globe. The European Union, of course, already exists. Here, ancient cultures have agreed to surrender national sovereignty and boundaries to a centralized governance. Pressure is now building to establish a North American Union in which the United States, Canada and Mexico would morph into one unit. Further plans call for such unions in Africa and South America. It would be only a small step, once the nations of the world are organized into such regional units, to consolidate them into one federation controlled by the United Nations.

Obviously, the UN is planning to expand its operation from the world-wide perception of simply a place where nations can meet to air their differences—to the implementation of a global government, complete with taxes, armies and criminal courts—actions historically undertaken only by governments. Plans for a bigger complex of buildings would be necessary as the UN headquarters is transformed into the world capital building.

So now that the purpose of the massive expansion is confirmed on the UN’s application for an interest-free loan from American taxpayers, a final question remains. Is the UN a good loan risk? Can it be trusted to pay it back?

The prospects of the United States ever recovering the $1.3 billion don’t look good, in light of past experience with UN money management.

For several years the UN and its allies, like mogul Ted Turner and the United Nations Association, have publicly tarred and feathered the United States for not paying its “fair share” of UN costs, even though this nation pays much more than a third of them overall. The record shows that the United States has paid more than $10 billion in support of UN peacekeeping missions in recent years. The rules say this money is supposed to be reimbursed. In fact, records show that the UN used to pay this obligation. But in the past decade the UN has repaid very little. Yet it continues to deride the United States for failure to pay some dues.

There’s not a competent loan officer in the world who would make this commitment to such an unstable entity. According to the application, the United Nations has little collateral; no defined income; no sound fiscal control of its spending; a bad payment record; and on top of it all, apparently has no respect for the very lending institution from which it seeks the money. And yet it not only wants the loan – it wants it interest-free!

The American taxpayers very quickly should tell their elected representatives and the State Department that any loan application from the United Nations is dead on arrival – unless they can come up with a suitable co-signer. Better yet, perhaps the UN should just take its business elsewhere.

Tom DeWeese
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Tom DeWeese is one of the nation’s leading advocates of individual liberty, free enterprise, private property rights, personal privacy, back-to-basics education and American sovereignty and independence.