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Howards End: Millenium Summit & Super-Colonialism

Published: Wed 6 Sep 2000 10:58 AM
The end of the nation state is over. At least that's the impression after reading the working draft document for the United Nations Millennium Summit currently being held in New York. But is it really super-colonialism? John Howard writes.
In the largest gathering of presidents, prime ministers and princes in modern history, 150 world leaders have converged on the United Nations in New York for the Millennium Summit with an agenda to save the world.
Keen to regain lost credibility and to demand centre stage, the UN, after years of crises including notable UN peace-keeping failures, ongoing financial and management problems and a string of controversial world conferences that have caused a widening rift between the UN and many governments, the "President's Working Draft" reveals the agenda for the Summit.
The working draft has only just been released into the public arena.
In one of the seven sections the draft document calls on Summit participants to affirm their "faith in the Organisation and the Charter as indispensable foundations of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world."
Fair enough, but as usual the devil is in the detail.
Things like a global tax to fund the UN, a world environment court, a world criminal court, a world army of peace-keepers, the full ratification of seven existing international treaties, a new "Convention against Terrorism" and a world conference on nuclear disarmament.
Now, how could I object to that?
Problem is the UN calls it "global governance" which by any other name is super-colonialism or even world government.
The UN insists that global governance is not world government but the distinction is surely in the eyes of the beholder.
Indeed, the idea of the Millennium Summit is to have as many of the gathered heads of government authorise the UN to begin the implementation of a series of recommendations designed to bring about a new system of governance described by it as "global governance."
It seems to me that the Summit is designed to provide the UN with official authorisation to continue a process that has been underway for years - without the authorisation of the peoples' of the individual nation states.
In 1991 the EcoSocialist Review reported that global governance is ".....the subordination of national sovereignty to democratic transnationalism...."
In that year the Commission on Global Governance was conceived and in 1995 it released a 410 page report entitled "Our Global Neighbourhood."
Our Prime Minister, Helen Clark, is reported in the news this morning from New York saying that New Zealand supports sustainable globalisation.
At worst, global governance is a system of centralised control of an enormous bureaucracy through which public policies will be developed and administered.
All the past UN confererences and reports prior to this Millennium Summit have been nothing more than recommendations by the various UN organisations.
Adoption of a Millennium Declaration, or whatever it will be called, gives the UN official approval by the UN General Assembly and the heads of governments of the world, to now implement those recommendations.
But without any consultation or input from the people of each nation state.
This is the point of no return in which democratic transnationalism, global governance, world government, or whatever it will finally be called, will be our future.
Many people's of the world will see global governance as an improvement.
But to subordinate national sovereignty to an international power which, by definition, means freedom is a commodity to be granted or denied by that power is something, if we live in a democracy, that I would really liked to have been asked about.

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