Written by Kerby Anderson
Habitat II and Sustainable Development
Although United Nations conferences have been taking place frequently over the last two decades, most Americans have ignored the proceedings and their ominous implications. Recent conferences in Cairo, Beijing, and Istanbul have been a vivid reminder of the radical ideology of the UN and the threat it poses to our faith, family, and freedom.
The direction of the last few conferences illustrates this point. The 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro established an environmental foundation for all the UN's radical social and economic agendas. The 1994 Cairo Conference focused on population control and attempted to push abortion and contraception as solutions to the perceived "problem" of overpopulation. The 1995 Women's Conference in Beijing, China, proved to be the most radical of all. It continued to push abortion as a human right and attempted to make sexual orientation a human right by promoting the idea that genders are not clearly defined but are socially constructed. The White House has already created an Inter-Agency Council to implement the Beijing platform in the private sector and every executive agency.
The recently completed conference in Istanbul, Turkey, built upon the foundation of the other conferences and was the culmination of the conferences. Wally N'Dow, Secretary General of Habitat II, predicted that the conference would be a "new beginning that will reflect and implement the actions called for at the unprecedented continuum of global conferences that have marked this closing decade of the century." He said that "a new global social contract for building sustainable human settlements must be forged" for the "new global urban world order." Mindful of the controversy surrounding the other conferences, he declared, "There will be no roll-back of any of the conferences, including Beijing."
Habitat II focused on the problems of urban centers. Its goal was to create "economically, socially and environmentally thriving urban communities" in order to better the lives of people living in third-world countries. Although the goals were commendable, the agenda of the conference participants went far beyond urban blight.
A key concept in the Habitat II agenda was sustainable development. In the school curriculum developed by the UN, sustainable development was defined as "meeting the needs of the present generation without damaging the Earth's resources in such a way that would prevent future generations from meeting [their needs]." It includes "changing wasteful consumption patterns" and "emphasizing equitable development" in order to "bridge the gap between rich and poor countries." In practice, sustainable development is a radical concept that will limit the amount of food, energy, or general resources that citizens of a nation can consume. Rather than consuming what they can afford, "rich" nations (like the U.S.) might only be allowed to consume what they need to stay alive.
One UN publication declares that we "must learn to live differently" and calls for this international agency to "ensure that the benefits of development are distributed equally." To achieve this so-called "equal distribution," there must be a redistribution of wealth throughout the planet. The UN has already drafted specific plans for implementing sustainable development in the U.S. In spite of the frightening implications of these conferences, U.S. taxpayers have been footing the bill for them and their radical agendas.
Habitat II: Global Taxes and National Sovereignty
The most recent conference in Istanbul, Turkey, known as Habitat II is illustrative of another major concern: namely, the threat these conferences pose to our national sovereignty.
Habitat II called for national governments to manage economic systems. These include public and private investment practices, consumption patterns, and public policy. UN Secretary Boutros Boutros Ghali told the first plenary session that he wanted the conference to be a "Conference of Partners."
Another section was devoted to the international community and its involvement with national governments. The Global Plan of Action calls for the international community to force changes in the world's economic structures.
The UN also intends to reach sustainable development by changing the structure of national governments. In fact, the Habitat agenda depends upon UN oversight of national, regional, state, and local governments. The document asks city administrators to re-design their regulations, political systems, and judicial and legislative procedures. It was no accident that the conference was filled with mayors from many U.S. cities as well as from cities around the world.
The Habitat document proposed that "government at all levels should encourage . . . walking, cycling, and public transport . . . through appropriate pricing . . . and regulatory measures." Governments are charged with the responsibility of encouraging citizens to walk, ride bicycles, or take public transportation. This would be accomplished by the heavy taxation and burdensome regulations often found in socialist economies.
UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali has also called for global taxes on international currency transactions, energy, and travel to fund the United Nations. During the conference, the U.S. was harshly criticized for being delinquent in its payment to the UN. It currently owes $1.5 billion. Currently the U.S. pays about 25 percent of the UN budget and nearly 40 percent of the "peacekeeping" costs. The UN hopes that in the next few years they are able to implement this global tax so they can be free of U.S. influence and enact their radical global agenda.
This global tax proposed by Boutros Boutros Ghali would be received from international currency transactions, energy shipments, and international travel. If implemented, it would remove the UN's dependence on sovereign nations. No longer would the United States or other countries have a check and balance against an international organization. The UN could pay for its activities, fund UN peacekeeping forces, and conduct many of its affairs independently of the United States.
Canadian developer Maurice Strong is often considered a likely candidate to become the future Secretary General of the United Nations. He has called for a shift in our current thinking. He has stated that this change in thinking "will require a vast strengthening of the multilateral system, including the United Nations. . . . We must now forge a newEarth Ethic' which will inspire all people and nations to join in a new global partnership of North, South, East and West."
This global vision should especially concern Christians mindful of end-times prophecy. At the time when the world seems to be moving swiftly towards global government, the prospects of a stronger United Nations autonomous of sovereign nations is a scary scenario. This bolder and stronger United Nations would further erode U.S. sovereignty and strengthen the hand of world leaders who are promoting globalist visions of a one-world government.
UN Conferences: Four Areas of Concern
Now I want to discuss the possible effects of the UN conferences on our families and communities. I see several issues on great concern to Christians.
The first issue is education. Many of the concepts from Habitat II, like "sustainable development," have already infiltrated America's schools. Textbooks promote global citizenship and minimize national sovereignty. Other textbooks blame rich northern countries (like the U.S.) for retarding the growth and development in lesser developed countries. "Tolerance" and "global peace" are emphasized as the ultimate aims of society. The Goals 2000 federal program for education in this country provides the perfect mechanism to transmit these global UN philosophies into school curricula. A second issue is the impact on families. The Habitat II conference continued the UN attempt to redefine the family. Many UN leaders see the traditional family as an obstacle to UN dominance.
The Habitat II platform stated that "in different cultural, political and social systems, various forms of the family exist." Many participants asked that "sexual orientation" be included as a civil rights category. In many ways, this merely extended the concept promoted during the Beijing Women's Conference that gender be defined not as male and female, but as one of five genders that are socially constructed. Habitat II also promoted "gendered cities" which are to be organized in terms of "gender roles." The third issue has to do with population. The UN Population Fund says that population growth is a key inhibitor of sustainable growth. UN recommendations of population control are based upon the faulty premise that the world is in the midst of a population explosion that cannot be controlled. Participants raised the fear of losing resources even though there is empirical evidence to the contrary.
Because of the UN's anti-population bias, the Habitat II document emphasizes "sustainable development" as the mechanism for population control. Thus, "family planning" is a key concept, and the document therefore emphasizes surgical abortions and chemical abortions (RU-486). The Habitat platform specifically mentions "reproductive health services" for women in human settlements and calls for government management of economic and population growth.
A final issue concerns the area of ecology and pollution. At the 1992 UN Earth Summit, Canadian developer Maurice Strong stated, "It is clear that current lifestyles and consumption of large amounts of frozen convenience foods, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and workplace air conditioners and suburban housing are not sustainable." Many believe Maurice Strong will probably succeed Boutros Boutros Ghali as UN Secretary General and are rightly concerned about his New Age views on ecology. The Habitat II document encourages nations to use heavy taxation and various regulations to ensure that citizens walk, ride bicycles, and take public transportation.
The threats posed by these UN Conferences (including the recent conference in Istanbul) are real. American citizens must fight these radical ideas and ensure that our politicians do not give away our sovereignty on the pretext of easing ecological problems. We should be good stewards of the environment, but we should not place that responsibility in the hands of those in the United Nations who want to use it as a tool for global dominance.
Globalism and the Traditional Family
Now I would like to turn our attention to the goals of the globalists. Though they are a diverse and eclectic group of international bankers, politicians, futurists, religious leaders, and economic planners, they are unified in their desire to unite the planet under a one-world government, a single economic system, and a one-world religion. Through various governmental programs, international conferences, and religious meetings, they desire to unite the various governments of this globe into one single network.
Although this can be achieved in a variety of ways, the primary focus of globalists is on the next generation of young people. By pushing global education in the schools, they believe they can indoctrinate them to accept the basic foundations of globalism. According to one globalist, global education seeks to "prepare students for citizenship in the global age." Globalists believe that this new form of education will enable future generations to deal effectively with population growth, environmental problems, international tensions, and terrorism.
But several obstacles stand in the way of the globalists' goals. Consequently, they have targeted three major institutions for elimination because their continued existence impedes their designs to unite the world under a single economic, political, and social global network.
The three institutions under attack by globalists today are: the traditional family, the Christian church, and the national government. Each institution espouses doctrines antithetical to the globalist vision. Therefore, globalists argue, these institutions must be substantially modified or replaced.
The traditional family poses a threat to globalism for two reasons. First, it is still the primary socializing unit in our society. Parents pass on social, cultural, and spiritual values to their children. Many of these values such as faith, hard work, and independence collide with the designs of globalists who envision a world in which tolerance for religion, dependence on a one-world global community, and international cooperation are the norm. These values are not taught in traditional American families, therefore globalists seek to change the family.
Second, parental authority in a traditional family clearly supersedes international authority. Children are taught to obey their parents in such families. Parents have authority over their children, not a national or international governmental entity. Globalists, therefore, see the traditional, American family as an enemy, not as a friend.
Well-known humanist and globalist Ashley Montagu speaking to a group of educators declared that, "The American family structure produces mentally ill children." From his perspective, the traditional family which teaches such things as loyalty to God and loyalty to country is not producing children mentally fit for the global world of the twenty-first century.
One of the reasons globalist educators advocate childhood education begin at earlier and earlier ages is so that young children can be indoctrinated into globalism. The earlier they can communicate their themes to children, the more likely will be the globalists' success in breaking the influence of the family.
But the traditional family is just one of the institutions globalists seek to change. We must now turn our attention to globalistic attacks on these other institutions.
Globalism Opposes Christianity and Nationalism
We have seen that globalists oppose the traditional family, but we must also be aware that they believe that the Christian church and a sense of national identity are contrary to their vision.
Globalists feel that the Christian church threatens their global program because of its belief in the authority of the Bible. Most other religious systems (as well as liberal Christianity) pose little threat. But Christians who believe in God, in sin, in salvation through faith in Jesus Christ alone, stand in the way of the globalist vision for a one-world government and a one-world religion.
The coming world religion will merge all religions and faiths into one big spiritual amalgam. Hinduism and Buddhism are syncretistic religions and can easily be merged into this one-world religion. But orthodox Christianity cannot.
Jesus taught that "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me" (John 14:6). Globalists, therefore, see Christianity as narrow, exclusive, and intolerant. Paul Brandwein even went so far as to say that, "Any child who believes in God is mentally ill." Belief in a personal God to which we owe allegiance and obedience cannot remain if globalists are to achieve their ultimate vision.
National governments also threaten globalism. If the goal is to unite all peoples under one international banner, any nationalism or patriotism blocks the progress of that vision.
Globalist and architect Buckminster Fuller once said that, "Nationalism is the blood clot in the world's circulatory system."
Among nations, the United States stands as one of the greatest obstacles to globalism. The European community has already acquiesced to regional and international plans, and other emerging nations are willingly joining the international community. By contrast, the United States remains independent in its national fervor and general unwillingness to cooperate with international standards. Until recently, Americans rejected nearly everything international, be it an international system of measurements (metric system) or an international agency (such as the United Nations or the World Court).
The globalist solution is to promote global ideas in the schools. Dr. Pierce of Harvard University speaking to educators in Denver, Colorado, said, "Every child in America who enters schools at the age of five is mentally ill, because he comes to school with allegiance toward our elected officials, toward our founding fathers, toward our institutions, toward the preservation of this form of government." Their solution, therefore, is to purge these nationalistic beliefs from school children so they will come to embrace the goals of globalism.
All over the country programs on Global Education, Global History, and Global Citizenship are springing up. Children are being indoctrinated into a global way of thinking. Frequently these programs masquerade as drug awareness programs, civics programs, or environmental programs. But their goal is just the same to break down a child's allegiance to family, church, and country, and to replace this allegiance with the globalists' vision for a one-world government, a one-world economic system, and a one-world religion. These then are three institutions the globalists believe must be modified or destroyed if they are to achieve their globalist vision. Christians must, therefore, be diligent to defend their family, their church, and their country.
©1996 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Kerby Anderson is president of Probe Ministries International. He holds masters degrees from Yale University (science) and from Georgetown University (government). He is the author of several books, including Christian Ethics in Plain Language, Genetic Engineering, Origin Science, Signs of Warning, Signs of Hope and Making the Most of Your Money in Tough Times. His new series with Harvest House Publishers includes: A Biblical Point of View on Islam, A Biblical Point of View on Homosexuality, A Biblical Point of View on Intelligent Design and A Biblical Point of View on Spiritual Warfare. He is the host of "Point of View" (USA Radio Network) heard on 360 radio outlets nationwide as well as on the Internet (www.pointofview.net) and shortwave. He is also a regular guest on "Prime Time America" (Moody Broadcasting Network) and "Fire Away" (American Family Radio). He produces a daily syndicated radio commentary and writes editorials that have appeared in papers such as the Dallas Morning News, the Miami Herald, the San Jose Mercury, and the Houston Post.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
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