Friday, February 23, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
The UN World Heritage Sites Violate National Sovereignty
If you are like most people, you probably never even thought about it, and if you did you thought that this UN designation would be good for tourism and historical preservation of many national treasures. ANd that is how they get away with it.
According to the UN World Heritage Operational Guidelines, "The cultural heritage and the natural heritage are among the priceless and irreplaceable possessions, not only of each nation, but of mankind as a whole. The loss, through deterioration or disappearance, of any of these most prized possessions constitutes an impoverishment of the heritage of all the peoples in the world. Parts of that heritage, because of their exceptional qualities, can be considered to be of outstanding universal value and as such worthy of special protection against the dangers which increasingly threaten them."
This sounds innocuous on the surface of it, doesn't it? The UN does not directly control how the sites are maintained, and it never has done. The problem with the program is it's link to various treaties and agreements which would destroy the fabric of US sovereignty should congress ever ratify them. These treaties provide partnerships and other forms of cooperation between the US and the UN which gives the UN influence over US policies. This is in direct violation of the US constitution. ANd I'm not just paranoid. Here is an example.
In 1995, the Dept of the Interior decided it would be a good thing for the World Heritage Committee to Visit Yellowstone, in order to declare it a World Heritage Site...In Danger. The designation "IN DANGER" would then mandate the US to correct whatever put the Park in danger or face world scorn as the site gets removed from the list of Heritage Sites. Only the World Heritage Committee can remove this designation, and in order to do so, the US would have to abide by the UN recommendations, thus giving up our right to determine how our land and historical sites are to be preserved. Indirectly then the US has to give up it's rights to govern itself.
Some great, politically minded muckity muck (or probably quite a few of them) has decided that this sort of thing is for the greater good of society in the US. It is, however, a very dangerous precident. ANd there is more...
Like the topic of Buffer Zones...
According to Paragraph 44b of the Operational Guidelines for this program these buffer zones "Should include sufficient areas immediately adjacent to the area of outstanding universal value in order to protect the site...from direct human encroachment and impacts of resource use outside of the nominated area. The boundaries of the nominated site may coincide with one or more existing or proposed protected areas, such as national parks or biosphere reserves."
As is the case with most things in the US, the lands surrounding these World Heritage Sites are private property, which then leads to the federal government needing to control how the land outside the sites are used, in direct violation of the private property clauses of the US Constitution. In the case of Yellowstone, the feds wanted a gold mine to be halted, and it used the "IN DANGER" designation of Yellowstone to prevent it. Any land directly outside of Yellowstone is in danger of federal infringement due to the designation of the park. Such federal control of the land is in direct contradiction of the Constitution and the intention of the Founding Fathers. I could, if I were to travel so far, hear Jefferson rolling over in his grave.
Ok, so some environmental nuts prevented a gold mining operation, big fat hairy deal right? No so fast, lets look at what has been done in other countries. In Australia, this dude had a farm which included a small piece of rainforest (I didn't know there were rain forests in Austrailia, learn something new every day). He'd also preserved some ancient trees, which was a very nice thing to do, no doubt. However, the government found out and decided they wanted his land too, these types of trees had somehow disappeared from government protected property. They didn't ask for seeds, or cuttings, or to transplant the trees, no, they had to have the land too.
Austrailia is a signatory on the WHC treaty too, and the wet tropics became protected by the U N in 1988. Environmentalists counted and catalogued the trees and plants in and around this poor fellow's property. Despite the landowner's protest, the World Heritage Adminstrators claimed control of his land. He tried working with the agencies to preserve these plants, but apparently his small orchard adjacent to the forest somehow endangered the rain forest and his little orchard was regulated away. Finally he just couldn't take it anymore and sold what limited rights he did have to someone else who wanted to sponsor ecotourism.
See, the UN seems to think that the private citisen has no idea how to properly care for land and has no basic rights to property. Inevitably this belief will clash with the US Constitution and our rights to private property and freedom from interference. It's just what is going to happen, and someone should have pointed this out years ago. In the 1970s when this abomination called a treaty was signed.
Just another reason the US needs to get out the UN.
Oh, and here's the proper documentation, so you can see for yourself:
UNSECO WHSites Operational Guidelines http://whc.unesco.org/en/guidelines
RE Yellowstone: http://www.sovereignty.net/p/land/wildlandtom.htm
Re the Austrailian Farmer: http://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/whpwans97.html#anchor1035023
Friday, February 02, 2007
Audit report alleges corruption at U.N.
Crossposted from The HILL Chronicles
I received word of this from a reader. Apparently an audit report alleges corruption at the U.N. - not that that in and of itself surprises any of us. We are all fully aware of the corruption that exists within the U.N. - and this is just one more item to add to the list that is increasingly growing long and ugly.
News allegations of corruption within the United Nations have surfaced in a confidential audit report that claims the 2003 election of the current chief of the U.N. weather agency was manipulated.
The report, obtained by The Associated Press on Friday, centered around payments to government delegates at the Geneva-based World Meteorological Organization, which coordinates the study of the world’s weather and climate.
WMO hired Maria Veiga of Portugal, an independent auditor who wrote the report, in 2003 to investigate the financial irregularities, but fired her three years later for what it described as "serious misconduct."
The auditor, however, said she was blocked from pursuing her investigation, received intimidating phone calls and was threatened with legal action by one WMO official before being dismissed.
In a 65-page summary of her findings, Veiga said that Muhammad Hassan of Sudan, a former WMO staffer, skimmed some US$3 million from the agency while he was working in its training department.
But according to the documents seen by the AP, most of the funds were allegedly used to influence the votes of about 50 WMO member states during the May 2003 election of the agency’s new secretary-general.
The misappropriated funds were "used to pay travel, accommodation and pocket money of … delegates of certain countries with WMO (on the understanding) that the delegates would then vote and act according to Mr. Hassan’s and other WMO staff members’ … instructions," the report states.
Hassan’s current whereabouts are unknown to Swiss authorities, and the AP was unable to contact him. But Marc Tappolet, the investigating magistrate of Geneva canton, told the AP that the Swiss inquiry against Hassan is continuing.
And of course anyone involved is denying anything to do with wrong doings:
WMO spokeswoman Carine Richard-van Maele said Veiga’s allegations were "completely unfounded and defamatory." She added that the agency hoped the Swiss investigation would answer all questions in the case.
"WMO is convinced that the principle motive for the misappropriation of its funds was personal enrichment," Richard-van Maele said. "At no time did Mr. Jarraud have knowledge of fraudulent use of WMO funds. As soon as the fraud was discovered, Mr. Jarraud initiated action, as his top priority, to strengthen internal controls and procedures."
Veiga’s report also mentions a dozen other high-level WMO staffers who were allegedly involved.
Her lawyer, Edward Flaherty, said the Swiss investigation into senior officials was blocked when Jarraud "refused to lift the immunity of the other persons of interest in the investigation."
The lifting of diplomatic immunity, which has so far occurred only in Hassan’s case, is a precondition for a criminal investigation by national authorities against U.N. staff members.
There is also a video on this matter at Fox News here. Just another day at the "USELESS NATION."
Labels: United Nations scandals