The UN’s Dirty Little Secret

You rarely hear of it. No elected official raises an eyebrow. The media makes no mention. But power is slowly slipping away from your elected representatives. In much the same way Mao Tse-tung had his Red Guards, so the UN has its NGO’s. They may well be your masters of tomorrow, and you don’t even know who or what they are.

NGO stands for non-government organization. These are activists such as the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Zero Population Growth and Planned Parenthood. In 1968, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) adopted Resolution 1296 which grants “consultative” status to certain NGO’s.

From the beginning, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was the key NGO, along with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). When the World Resources Institute (WRI) was founded in 1982, it became the third leg of an NGO triumvirate that is, indeed, the unholy trinity. These three organizations literally control global environmental policy and its international implementation.

How can this be, you ask? How can private organizations control policy and overrule elected officials? Have you ever heard of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)? 98% of the American public has no idea what UNCED does, yet its impact on our nation and its policies is more profound and frightening than any threat faced in our nation’s history, including that of the Soviet Union.

When the dust settled over the 1992 Rio environmental summit, three major documents were forced on the world that will change forever how national policy is made. They are three treaties or “conventions”, called the Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity and Agenda 21. Together, they outline environmental policy that calls for, among other things, the taking of 50% of American land to be reverted into wilderness. But more important than all of those documents was the formation of UNCED.

UNCED outlines a new procedure for shaping policy. The procedure has no name. It is not democratic. It is not totalitarian, nor is it dictatorial. It is perhaps best described as “controlled consensus” or “affirmative acquiescence”. It really amounts to a bunch of diplomats and bureaucrats who know they are doing evil, but nervously, with sweat dripping from their brows, move forward with the policy, saying nothing. For this is a barbaric procedure that insures their desired outcome, without the ugliness of bloodshed. It is the procedure used to advance the global environmental agenda.

The UNCED procedure utilizes four elements of power: international government (UN), national governments, non-governmental organizations (NGO’s), and philanthropic institutions.

The NGO’s are the key to the UN’s drive for power. The NGO’s (private organizations) dream up policy ideas. In most cases it’s a new environmental regulation designed to control more property. For example, it was a group of NGOs like the Sierra Club and The World Wildlife fund that came up with the idea for the Biodiversity treaty in 1981.

The policy idea is then adopted by one or more UN organizations for consideration at a regional conference, then at a world conference. Each conference is preceded by an NGO Forum designed specifically to bring NGO activists into the debate. They are trained to prepare papers and lobby and influence the official delegates of the conferences. In this way, the NGO’s control the debate and assure the policy is adopted.

The ultimate goal of the conference is to produce a “Convention”, which is a legally-drawn policy statement on specific issues. Once the “Convention” is adopted by the delegates at the conference, it is sent to the national governments to adopt. Once that is done it binds that nation to international law.

But then compliance to the law must be assured. Again the NGO’s come into the picture. NGO’s are responsible for writing into environmental law the concept of third-party lawsuits. NGO’s now regularly sue the government and private citizens to force policy. They then have their legal fees and even damage awards paid to them out of the government treasury. Through a coordinated process, hundreds of NGO organizations are at work in every community advancing some component of the global environmental agenda.

By using well funded, private organizations to drum up public support for emotional issues like the environment and to lobby elected officials, the UN has been able to control the debate. With the UN-orchestrated environmental message drummed into classrooms, newscasts, movies, television shows, newspaper articles and into virtually every corner of society, mounting opposition to radical environmental law has become almost impossible.

As a result of the constant pounding of the doomsday message, Americans have been convinced to give up their property rights, turn back their technology and even to give up their national sovereignty through documents like the Biodiversity treaty. So effective is the process that American leaders, even the Republican Congress, utter no opposition. Of course, Bill Clinton and Al Gore are leading the charge to support and enhance the UN’s growing power.

The UN is now moving to vastly expand the power and influence of NGO’s. NGO’s will now begin to lobby for the United States to support the UN’s desire for international tax revenue. NGO’s will also be given the power to oversee and implement treaty’s such as the Biodiversity treaty that will give the UN control of American sovereignty. That means private environmental organizations will be given power over our elected officials. Such language is already written into the Biodiversity treaty, and if Congress votes to ratify it, NGO power will be a “done deal”.

Remember who the villains are: The Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, National Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, and so forth – in short, the American environmental movement.

Americans must begin to understand that the debate over environmental issues really isn’t about clean air and water. It is about power. Those who lead the American environmental movement, teamed with the United Nations are the worst jackals the world has seen since Hitler and Lenin.

Tom DeWeese
[email protected]

Tom DeWeese is President of the American Policy Center and National Grassroots Coordinator for CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow) working to help local activists organize into Freedom Pods ( He is also the author of three books, including Now Tell Me I Was Wrong, ERASE, and Sustainable: the WAR on Free Enterprise, Private Property, and Individuals.