UN central planners head to Ecuador for “sustainability” conference

They’re at it again.

The UN is gearing up once again to convene a major gathering for the purpose of micro-managing our lives — this one is set for next week in South America.

Over 36,000 people from around the world are poised to descend on Quito, Ecuador to attend the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, popularly known as Habitat III.

The gathering high in the Andes (Quito sits a stately 9,350 feet above sea level) is being billed by the UN as a “major global summit” convened to “reinvigorate the global political commitment to sustainable development of towns, cities, and other human settlements.” Habitat III is the third in a series of such conferences that date from 1976. The last such conclave, Habitat II, was held in Istanbul in 1996.

The real purpose of this meeting, however, is far more troubling.

New Urban Agenda

The centerpiece of the Oct. 17-20 conference is the “New Urban Agenda.” Mid-level officials representing the UN and its nearly 200 member states have been working on drafts for the New Urban Agenda over the past couple of years, and the wording of the final document will be hammered out next week in Quito. While the final document will be non-binding, it will, according to the UN, provide “guidance” to policymakers at the national, regional, and local level on a variety of issues, including poverty, quality of life, environmental degradation, climate change, and “equity in the face of globalization.”

Scratch beneath the surface of the New Urban Agenda and you will quickly find, well, a far-Left agenda. The UN assures us, for example, that “there is increasingly widespread agreement that cities today hold the key to quick and immediate action on global climate change.” “Cities,” the UN says, “occupy less than a tenth of the world’s land area yet they suck up three-quarters of all energy use. Metro areas also account for the vast majority of carbon emissions.”

In addition to providing a platform for NGOs, second-tier government officials, and obscure UN functionaries to rail against the supposed threat posed by human-induced climate change, Habitat III will, under the ever-expanding concept of “sustainable development,” address such topics as “national sovereignty and policymaking, international governance around natural resources, private-sector profit motives and consumer trends.” The underlying assumption of all this is that global bodies have a decisive role to play in how resources – natural, financial, and human – are to be allocated. These global bodies include the UN, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), major investment banks, international corporations, and the ubiquitous green NGOs.

To oversee the conference, the UN General Assembly authorized a 10-member Bureau, selected for geographic balance. Members of the Bureau are Chad, Chile, the Czech Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Indonesia, Senegal, Slovakia, and the United Arab Emirates. France serves as chair the Bureau. Other high-profile UN bodies are expected to play a prominent role at Quito, including the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). They will be joined by a sizeable contingent of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), prominent among them the usual suspects: well-funded environmental groups pushing renewable energy and warning of cataclysmic climate change (formerly known as global warming).

The Global Guiding Hand

One might ask: Why are people representing global organizations sticking their collective noses into matters which have traditionally been dealt with at the local level? The challenges, we are told, are so complex and intertwined that they far outstrip the capacity of local communities – be they cities or villages, in rich countries or poor ones – to handle on their own. What is needed is a guiding hand that only global elites can provide.

All of this is being undertaken in the name of sustainable development, a concept whose supporters have been careful not to define with any clarity. The closest thing to a definition was a few words strung together in 1987 by something called the World Commission on Environment and Development, an obscure body created by the UN General Assembly. It defines sustainable development as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

This, of course, says absolutely nothing, which is just the way its proponents want it. It enables transnational bureaucrats in league with green activists, deep-pocketed foundations, and rent-seeking purveyors of every imaginable concoction of “sustainable” snake oil to fill in the blanks to suit their own interests.

The elites who will be hobnobbing in Quito next week are as far removed from the lives of ordinary people – in whose name they purport to act — as the crowd that hangs out in Martha’s Vineyard or Davos. In some cases, it’s the same people.

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About the Author: Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Bonner Cohen, Ph. D.

Bonner R. Cohen, Ph. D., is a senior policy analyst with CFACT.

  • Sgt. York

    More UN NWO power grab along with Hitlery Clinton and her No.1 money grabber Al Gore who today is with Clinton in Florida Campaining for more of the Scam Global Warming. The Clintons see just how much Global Warming has enriched Gore and they want into it as well. The UN only wants Power over the whole world in the form of the NWO,Obama wants to become the Head of the UN in order to become the Muslim Dictator of the World. I’m sure tho China and Russia will stomp on his ego desires for world Power. The UN WAS NEVER established to rule the world but since the NWO power grabbers as well as the Big Money men of the world have stepped in the UN Is worse than Germany and Japan during WW2 wanting to Claim the world as there’s. The UN we must do away with as they aren’t for the Worlds People just the NWO.

    • Dano2

      the Scam Global Warming.

      SCAY-um ever’buddeh!

      Clearly there is still a market among the Faux/Breitbartian faithful for claiming that:

      o Thousands of scientists;

      o across a century and a half;

      o in a wide range of specialties;

      o in dozens of countries;

      o on six continents;

      o speaking scores of languages;

      o having over ten thousand peer-reviewed papers;

      o are involved in a complex plot to ‘fake’ AGW.

      And, to hide their scam, scientists have recruited the natural world into going along with their plot, namely:

      o Scientists have tricked animals and plants to move up and poleward;

      o scientists have tricked plants to bloom earlier;

      o scientists have tricked seasons to begin earlier;

      o scientists have tricked the ocean into acidifying;

      o scientists have tricked carbon to change its isotopic signature from natural carbon to fossil carbon in the atmosphere, corals, and plants to further the scam;

      o scientists have tricked the tropopause to rise;

      o scientists have tricked the oceans to warm rapidly and sea levels to increase their rate of rise;

      o scientists have tricked the outgoing spectra of the earth into emitting less EM waves in the GHG wavelengths;

      o and all have been exposed by a few intrepid bloggers and fossil fuel billionaires.

      Has there ever been – ever – a less likely conspiracy theory ever than this one? In the history of the world?

      Best,

      D

      • Brin Jenkins

        Mostly untrue Dano. Exposed years ago as unsupported hype and many were activists not scientists. More than a few objected to their claimed support just because they attended and several threatened to sue if their hijacked names were not removed.

        Now explain why you believe the C02 is a cause when it is seen as an effect of heating?

  • No-Mo-BO

    Just another way of trying to tell us that they know better how to structure the lives of people they’ve never met (or care about) than the people do. Power-mad dictators!

  • digdeeper

    It’s all about control….Soros’ New World Order…and the end of our Constitutional Republic. The Constitution be damned. That’s why they’re so determined to let in hundreds of thousands of “refugees”, to change the population of the country into the nondescript. What boggles my mind is how so many people can be so hell-bent on destroying our country. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. How to stop it? Our founding fathers are turning in their graves.

  • Redbird

    Watch out for this one! This conference will seek to establish binding world-wide regulations on population density in non-3rd world nations. What this means is that any person or family can only occupy a certain maximum number of square feet – sorry, meters – and unless you’re a millionaire like Al Gore, you will pay onerous taxes on any excess of that proscribed area. This is already happening in many cities in North America. City governments have quietly changed zoning laws to allow developers to buy up a house and lot that was developed decades before and, after bulldozing the space-wasting original home, they will be able to build a new structure or structures increasing the density on the old lot. Cities love this because it means a HUGE INCREASE in their property tax revenues. It really is all about the money. All they want is to squeeze as much money out of the middle class as they can get. It won’t affect third world countries because their populations are already living on top of one another.

    • Russ Wood

      Already happened in Johannesburg, South Africa. Replacing one large, luxurious home with a big garden with a cluster of two-storey dense units. A side effect is that rain, instead of being absorbed by vegetation, now runs off, overwhelming the old stormwater drainage, and turning normally small streams into treacherous torrents. There’s always the resultant that isn’t considered…

  • Per Strandberg

    The march continues by the elites in power to turn over from democratic power of the people and into a post democratic world where the executive power is in the hand of NGO activist and the various UN bodies and their cronies.

  • Mark Vande Pol

    I was on the first Local Agenda 21 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Management Roundtable in the US. The process was a fraud. I wrote a book explaining the corruption involved and proposing a free market alternative: http://www.naturalprocess.net

    Here is my quickie take on Sustained Development
    http://wildergarten.org/w-pb/Sustained_Development.pdf

    The environmental move-mint is corrupt, unaffordable, and ecologically catastrophic. My authority to say latter is that I own the most successful native plant restoration project in the world. You can learn more about that here:
    http://www.wildergarten.org/wildergarten/1trp-intro.pdf

    Mark