Agenda 21, which is now older than 21, began as a cooperative effort of some United Nations members but has been increasingly opposed by some U. S. individuals, groups, cities and states.
Agenda 21 is a voluntary action plan signed by 170+ world leaders, including President George H. W. Bush, during the Earth Summit of 1992. A product of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development, the action plan seeks local, national and worldwide implementation of methods for social and economic betterment, conservation and resources management, and strengthening of the roles of major groups of people. The member nations hope to accomplish those lofty tasks through science, the transfer of technology, education, international institutions and financial means. What is more, Agenda 21 has been amended and reaffirmed in subsequent conferences.
Since Agenda 21 (“21” referring to the 21st Century) was never legally binding, the U. S. sought voluntary participation by cities and states. Proponents of the Agenda state that it is a “bottom up push” from local governments for the Agenda’s goals. The drive for local government acceptance was successful, as more than 500 U. S. cities belong to the ICLEI, an international organization devoted to implementing Agenda 21. Meanwhile, Agenda 21 was poorly marketed to the average U. S. citizen, who doesn’t know what it’s about: a 2012 poll of 1,300 voters found that 85% of them believed they lacked enough information to support or oppose Agenda 21.
Opposition to Agenda 21 has steadily grown in the past decade. Critics condemn Agenda 21 as a UN conspiracy to destroy individual property rights and erode American sovereignty. The John Birch Society, for example, claims that Agenda 21 “seeks for the government to curtail your freedom to travel as you please, own a gas-powered car, live in suburbs or rural areas, and raise a family. Furthermore, it would eliminate your private property rights through eminent domain.”
Agenda 21’s supporters call opposition paranoid, distorting an inoffensive UN resolution into an ominous conspiracy for their own political purposes. Whether innocuous or sinister, Agenda 21 bears mentioning at this point because it became a topic of discussion in the 2014 mid-term elections.
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