Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Network of Mutual Support


"UN Women" is a Recommended
Resource for Oklahoma Women


A year ago at this time, your OKC Chapter of the UN Association was telling the story of how Oklahomans of all kinds benefit from the knowledge resources of the United Nations. We described how UN reports, journals, data sets, etc., are used by libraries, businesses, and public sector professionals at the state and local level. (For example, see our previous blog entries here, here, here, and here).

We're still telling the story. Recently, we came across another example of how UN resources are serving to support the mission of an important office of state government. This latest example comes from the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women.

The Commission on the Status of Women has a long history in our state. It was originally established by executive order of Governor Henry Bellmon in 1965. Members of the commission advised the Governor on the problem of gender bias and key quality of life issues facing Oklahoma women and their families. Succeeding governors followed Mr. Bellmon's example.

In 1994, the Oklahoma Legislature formally recognized the value of the Governor's Commission. The Legislature voted to establish the commission in law and to give it additional duties. Since then, the members of the Commission have been appointed by the Governor, the President Pro Tempore of the State Senate, and the Speaker of the State House of Representatives.
Lou Kohlman,
Chair of OCSW

Today, pursuant to state law, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women has specific powers and duties. For example, the Commission:

1. Advises state agencies and employees on issues relating to gender bias;
2. Monitors proposed legislation;
3. Acts as a resource and a clearinghouse for research on issues related to women and gender bias;
4. Conducts meetings and seminars to support the goals and duties of the Commission; and
5. Makes an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature.

Every two years, the Commission organizes a Women's Summit. It also coordinates the activities of the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame.

Being an advocacy organization for gender equity, the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women maintains a list of several dozen online resources. Some of these resources are listed on the Commission's website.

Among the list of resources recommended by the Commission is this one:


"UNIFEM" is the name of the old United Nations agency that for more than 30 years was primarily responsible for promoting women's rights and gender equity. "UNIFEM" is an acronym for the United Nations Development Fund for Women.

In January 2011, UNIFEM was merged into UN Women, which today stands as the UN system's flagship entity for promoting the empowerment of women and the elimination of discrimination against women and girls.

(The website of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women needs to be updated to reflect the new nomenclature that is used by the United Nations. Even so, the link on the Commission's website transfers directly and seamlessly to the UN Women website)

This is direct, documented evidence of a state agency recognizing the value of the United Nations to the people of Oklahoma -- especially people who have a concern for gender equity and women's empowerment.

A year ago, when we were struggling to oppose a number of anti-UN bills in the Oklahoma Legislature, we tried to point out the intricate, inter-related nature of the global society in which we live.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, "We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly." 

It is impossible to stop the flow of knowledge and ideas, which inevitably find a way to permeate the boundaries of nations.

The best course of action for any entity -- a nation, a state, a city, or an individual -- is to seek knowledge from all sources; to test that knowledge based on experience; and to adopt and apply it where it is appropriate to one's own unique needs and circumstances.

For people around the globe, the United Nations is recognized as a leading source of knowledge and information on a wide range of issues related to gender equity, human rights, and the empowerment of women and girls.

So, from our perspective, it makes perfect sense for the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women to recommend UN Women as a resource for Oklahoma citizens. We are, after all, part of the global fabric, inhabiting a world-wide network of mutual support.

As members of the United Nations Association of the USA, we appreciate the good work and valuable contributions of the UN system. Our mission is to promote constructive American leadership in that system. And we are dedicated to educating, inspiring, and mobilizing Americans in support of the goals of the United Nations Charter.

Join us!

Did you know?

Hannah Atkins, UN Supporter
Inductees into the Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame include two women who had strong connections to the United Nations. One of the very first inductees was Hannah Diggs Atkins, a former State Representative and Secretary of State who also served as the president of our Oklahoma City chapter of the UN Association for a number of years. Additionally, Jeane Kirkpatrick was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984. Ambassador Kirkpatrick is the namesake of our chapter's advocacy committee -- the Jeane Kirkpatrick Society.


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela, an Exemplary Global Citizen

The members of the United Nations Association are saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela.
 
For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity — as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker, and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.
 
Twenty years ago, before his election to the presidency of South Africa, Nelson Mandela spoke to the General Assembly of the United Nations.
 
He commented about the long struggle to end the system of apartheid:
 
"We have, together, walked a very long road. We have travelled together to reach a common destination.
 
"The common destination towards which we have been advancing defines the very reason for the existence of this world Organisation.
 
"The goal we have sought to reach is the consummation of the yearning of all humankind for human dignity and human fulfilment.
 
"For that reason, we have been outraged and enraged that there could be imposed on any people the criminal system of apartheid.
 
"Each and every one of us have felt our humanity denied by the mere existence of this system. Each and every one of us have felt brandished as sub-human by the fact that some could treat of others as though they were no more than disposable garbage.
 
"In the end, there was nobody of conscience who could stand by and do nothing in the search for an end to the apartheid crime against humanity.
 
"We are here today to convey to you, who are the representatives of the peoples of the world, the profound gratitude of the people of South Africa for your engagement, over the decades, in the common struggle to end the system of apartheid.
 
"We are deeply moved by the fact that almost from its birth, this Organisation has kept on its agenda the vital question of the liquidation of the system of apartheid and white minority rule in our country.
 
"Throughout the many years of struggle, we, as South Africans, have been greatly inspired and strengthened as you took action both severally and collectively, to escalate your offensive against apartheid rule, as the white minority regime itself took new steps in its own offensive further to entrench its illegitimate rule and draw tribute from those it had enslaved.
 
"In particular, we are most grateful for the measures that the United Nations, the OAU, the Commonwealth, the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Community and other intergovernmental organisations took to isolate apartheid South Africa.
 
"We are deeply appreciative of similar initiatives that individual countries, non-governmental organisations, local communities and even single individuals took, as part of their contribution to the common effort to deny the apartheid system all international sustenance.
 
"This global struggle, perhaps without precedent in the inestimable number of people it united around one common issue, has helped decisively to bring us to where we are today...."
 
In November 2009, the UN General Assembly declared that July 18th should be celebrated around the world as "Nelson Mandela International Day" in recognition of the former South African President’s contribution to the culture of peace and freedom. It is the only international day recognized by the United Nations that is named for an individual person.
 
In establishing Nelson Mandela Day, the General Assembly was intentional in recognizing Nelson Mandela’s values and his dedication to the service of humanity in the fields of conflict resolution, race relations, the promotion and protection of human rights, reconciliation, gender equality and the rights of children and the poor.
 
The members of the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association mourn the passing of a great leader in the promotion of peace throughout the world.
 
In so many ways, the completed life of Nelson Mandela is an example of the highest values of the United Nations.
 
# # #
 
For more information on the UN's efforts to overcome apartheid, please see this webpage:
"The United Nations: Partner in the Struggle against Apartheid"
 
For a copy of the General Assembly resolution designating July 18th as Nelson Mandela International Day, please see here:
 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

2013 Human Rights Award Winners



Recipients to Be Honored 
at the Oklahoma State Capitol
on Tuesday, December 10th 



We're pleased to share the winners of this year's Human Rights Award, as announced by the Oklahoma Universal Human Rights Alliance (Chair, Wallace Collins).

The 2013 recipients are:


Father Don Wolf
Father Don Wolf ... Parish priest and advocate for immigration reform.


R.L. Doyle ... Juvenile justice advocate and chair of the OKC Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Coalition.


Nathaniel Batchelder ... Director of Oklahoma City's Peace House.




Mary Francis
Mary Francis ... Grassroots activist with widespread interests including voting rights, community radio, children & families, and more.



Jody Harlan ... Champion for people with disabilities, environmental justice and the humane treatment of animals. She is a recipient of the OKC Disability Award given by the Oklahoma City Mayor's Committee on Disability Concerns.


Rey Madrid
Rey Madrid ... A youth development professional with the Eagle Ridge Institute of Oklahoma City.

Ted Metscher ... Former teacher and former president of the OKC chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.



Amber Bighorse ... After studying human rights law in South Africa and at Oklahoma City University, Amber Bighorse has gone on to advance the cause of human rights through her service to the people of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma (as a staff attorney and Lieutenant Governor). She is an advocate for marriage equality.
Amber Bighorse

Rev. Milton Combs ... Civil rights and human rights advocate from Oklahoma City.

"All these distinguished individuals have long track records in Human and Civil Rights. Join us in honoring them." 
--Wilfredo Santosrivera,
Alliance Member

The presentation of the 2013 awards will take place at the Oklahoma State Capitol on International Human Rights Day -- Tuesday, December 10th. The program will commence at 10 am in the chamber of the House of Representatives, followed by lunch in the 4th Floor Rotunda.

To enjoy lunch with the honorees and their guests, please RSVP for your reservation as soon as possible. Call Wil Rivera at (405) 631-3027.

Our chapter of the UN Association will provide free copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to everyone who attends -- while supplies last.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Building a Shared Future

"The story of America is about the actualization of freedom." 


Dr. Don Betz offered this comment to illustrate the values of the United Nations as they are expressed in the UN Millennium Declaration. He encouraged his listeners to compare the fundamental values of the United Nations to the goals and aspirations of all Americans.

The fundamental goals of the UN, Dr. Betz said, are Freedom, Equality, Solidarity, Tolerance, Respect for Nature, and Shared Responsibility.

"The world has said these are our priorities as an international community," Betz observed. He went on to describe the progress that has been made since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in the year 2000.

Dr. Betz was speaking at our UN Day luncheon at the University of Central Oklahoma. About 50 members and friends of the United nations Association gathered to enjoy a good meal, excellent company, and a timely message delivered by the president of the university.

The UN Millennium Development Goals were launched in 2000, the result of an international development conference convened by the UN General Assembly. The launch of the "MDG's" has been described as "...the most effective anti-poverty campaign in history."

Dr. Betz offered a thumbnail sketch of the progress that has been made so far:

On Goal Number 1 -- the UN's goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger -- the UN has scored a "huge global win." Extreme poverty rates have been cut in half since 1990.

Reporting on Goal Number 2 (focused on the achievement of universal primary education), Dr. Betz noted that enrollment in primary education in developing regions of the world has reached 90%.

On a related goal -- Goal Number 3, to promote gender equality and empower women -- Betz reported that, with only a few exceptions, the world has achieved equality in primary education between girls and boys.

A complete report on the success of the MDG's can be found on the UN's website.

"These are astonishing statistics that you don't read on the front page of the newspaper," Dr. Betz commented.

He outlined the progress that has been made on each of the UN's 8 Millennium Development Goals -- measures which deal broadly with health, education, poverty reduction, environmental sustainability, and promoting a global partnership for development.

President Betz acknowledged that the UN has been able to achieve these successes -- but only with the help of others.

In this regard, he described the UN's relative weakness as an international organization. It has no army. It has only a meager budget. It is dependent on contributions from its 193 member nations.

Moreover, it relies on support from thousands of international non-governmental organizations (NGO's) which have sprung up over the course of decades. The Millennium Declaration expresses the UN's resolve, "...To develop strong partnerships with the private sector and with civil society organizations in pursuit of development and poverty eradication."

Despite the UN's relative weakness, the men and women of the UN are empowered by a common vision which is the realization of two axioms:

<> None of us are smarter than all of us; and

<> All of us are in it together.

Taken together, these thoughts form the fundamental precept of the United Nations.

"We are inextricably interwoven" with the rest of the world, Dr. Betz said. Our lives and our fortunes are tied up with the lives and fortunes of the people who co-habit our planet.

And, even though the UN is a human institution (with inevitable human foibles and failings), it continues to represent our best hope for the future.

In introducing his topic, Dr. Betz recalled a quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1955), a French scientist and philosopher:

"The Age of Nations is passed. If we are not to perish, we must set aside our ancient prejudices and build the Earth." 

Each of us is part of the effort to create a shared future, based on our common humanity in all its diversity.



For more news about the world's progress on meeting the MDG's, see the website of the UN Millennium Campaign ... www.endpoverty2015.org/

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Best Reason

   

What's the best reason to attend our UN Day Luncheon next Saturday (October 26) in Edmond? 

I think it's the people. 

I've often said that you won't find a better group of folks anywhere in our state.

Here's how Dorothy Messenger describes her appreciation for the people of our chapter of the UN Association:

"There are many things I like about being a member of our chapter.  I appreciate the fact that its membership includes persons of many ethnic backgrounds and persons of different religious faiths.  The membership is inter-generational and represents a variety of vocations and opinions.  
"I’m grateful that the UNA-USA affords me an opportunity to become better informed about the activities of the United Nations and the whole world scene.  It’s good to be a part of an organization where all the members obviously share a love of our nation and of the world and want to have a part in helping our nation to live up to its highest ideals."

(You can read Dorothy's complete message, "The Long View," on our blog).

I hope you'll choose to enjoy a good meal and great company with us next Saturday, October 26th.

If you haven't reserved a seat, there is still time to complete your registration. (And now we've made it easy to pay for your tickets online). Tickets are reasonably priced at $20 / each; Students pay $10.

(Sorry -- The registration book for this event has closed)


Here's the link for more information:

www.una-okc.blogspot.com/2013/09/our-un-day-luncheon-youre-invited.html

But, hurry ... The registration book is scheduled to close on Monday. 

Here's another thought from Dorothy:

"Being a member of the UNA-USA is extremely important to me because it makes me feel I am part of a huge, centuries-old movement of humankind, a movement of people who are convinced that there are better ways than war for settling national disputes."  

I hope to see you next Saturday at UCO in Edmond! 

Bill Bryant
Communications Director
Greater Oklahoma City Chapter
United Nations Association of the USA

Why Do You Support the United Nations Association?

We asked our Oklahoma members and friends.
Here is a sampling of what they said ....
www.una-okc.org/values.html

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Payment Button

Want to Pay for Your Luncheon Ticket Online? 
Now, You Can! 

OK, OK ... Apparently, this E-Commerce thing we've heard so much about is a real thing.

So, we're happy to make this announcement ... If you're an online shopper, you now have the option to buy your luncheon ticket via the internet.

First, complete your ticket reservation form (Here's the Link).

Second, make your payment. Here's the button:


Ticket Type

Select "Regular" or "Student" ticket; then click "Add to Cart." You'll be directed to a secure payment site managed by PayPal. If you need to purchase additional tickets, you can do so by choosing the "Continue Shopping" option on the PayPal site. (You'll be directed back here to choose the ticket type and add your second ticket to the cart).

A simpler way to pay.

With PayPal, you have the freedom and flexibility to pay the way you want -- using your credit card, debit card, or bank account -- all while keeping your financial information secure.

Click the button above to make the payment on your luncheon ticket(s).

Thanks for supporting your Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association! 






Sunday, October 13, 2013

Our Venue

Have you completed the registration form for your seat at our Annual UN Day Luncheon on Saturday, October 26th?

The registration book for this event has closed. 

We hope you'll join us for our UN Day Luncheon in 2014!


We will convene at the Nigh Center at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.

The Nigh University Center is centrally located in the heart of Edmond, just minutes from Oklahoma City.

Here are directions to the Nigh University Center

From Interstate 35:  Take the East 2nd Street/US 77 South exit #141.  Turn on to East 2nd westbound. Follow East 2nd Street for approximately 2.5 miles to Garland Godfrey Drive and turn right at stoplight. (See further instructions below.)

From Interstate 235/Broadway/UC77:  Follow US77/Broadway into Edmond northbound to East 2nd Street.  Turn onto East 2nd Street eastbound for approximately .5 miles to Garland Godfrey Drive and turn left at stoplight.  (See further instructions below.)

Facing North, the building directly in front of you is the Nigh University Center.  Follow signs to the Visitor Parking Lot, located directly to the East of the building.  Entering through the main front doors, you are on the 2nd floor of the building.  

Our event room -- the Heritage Room -- is Room 326.

If you're using Google Maps, try using this address: 744 E. Main St., Edmond, OK 73034. It will put you close to where you're going! 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

About Our Speaker

UCO's President Don Betz will Deliver
The Keynote Speech at our UN Day
Luncheon on October 26th 

University of Central Oklahoma President Don Betz, Ph.D., has enjoyed a distinguished career in higher education that spans more than 40 years, developing a reputation for teaching and encouraging students, and leadership development. He is known for his diplomacy skills, developed through his international activities, most notably with the United Nations and its affiliated non-governmental organizations. Dr. Betz held leadership positions at several universities before accepting the position as President of the University of Central Oklahoma in 2011.

He currently is serving a three-year term on the International Association of University Presidents executive committee and as chair of its North American Council. President Betz was selected to attend the 2011 Fulbright-Hays Seminar for Presidents, held in Oman and Jordan. Most recently, he was selected as a 2013 inductee of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame, and received the 2012 Governor's Arts Award from the Oklahoma Arts Council in recognition of his support and advancement of the arts throughout his career.

President Betz has dedicated himself to advancing international relations, with a focus on the Middle East. He founded and chaired the International Coordinating Committee on the Question of Palestine, a U.N.-affiliated non-governmental organization (NGO) network pursuing peace in the Middle East. He served as chairperson and/or speaker at more than 50 U.N. conferences, seminars, and symposiums around the globe.

A frequent writer and speaker, President Betz has addressed international, educational and motivational topics. He has traveled to more than 80 countries following his lifelong interest in global issues and his passion for promoting cross-cultural understanding. President Betz holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of San Francisco as well as a master's degree and a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Denver.

For more information about our UN Day Luncheon, see our blog entry "Our UN Day Luncheon -- You're Invited!" ... link here.



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Our UN Day Luncheon -- You're Invited!

Saturday, October 26th 

The University of Central Oklahoma - Nigh Center - Edmond

Sorry -- The Registration Book for this Event has closed. 


This year's UN Day Luncheon is going to be our best ever! OK, we always say that ... and, as ever, we really mean it!  

Dr. Don Betz -- president of the University of Central Oklahoma -- will be our host and our keynote speaker on Saturday, October 26th.

Yes, of course, you're invited to attend. Keep reading for details on how to reserve your tickets.

President Betz will speak on a topic that is being discussed right now in the UN General Assembly: Progress toward meeting the UN Millennium Development Goals.

We have also asked Dr. Betz to give us a brief description of the UN's Academic Impact initiative -- which recognizes the critical role of higher education in economic and social development and as a foundation for world peace. (You may know that UCO was the first university in Oklahoma to sign on to the principles of the UN's Academic Impact, which includes support for human rights, literacy, sustainability, conflict resolution, and more).

We'll start gathering for lunch at 11:30am. The registration table will open, and we'll sit down for our meal and program at 12 Noon.

Our venue will be the Heritage Room in UCO's Nigh Center, 700 East Main Street, in Edmond. 

There are 2 ways to reserve your place at the luncheon:

(1) Use this handy online form ...

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e89nnfr4hm6l213j/start

or

(2) By postal mail, you can send a check to (made payable to "UNA-USA"). The mailing address is ...

   United Nations Association of OKC
   P.O. Box 60856
   Oklahoma City, OK   73146-0856

Regular price tickets are $20. If you're a high school or college student, you can get a reduced price ticket -- just $10. It's a bargain! 

As always, advance reservations are required. Don't miss your chance to enjoy this informative program.

Reserve your seat today!

Questions? Contact our program chair, Nancy Musselman, at nlmusselman@hotmail.com.

We hope to see you on the 26th!

About our Speaker


University of Central Oklahoma President Don Betz, Ph.D., has enjoyed a distinguished career in higher education that spans more than 40 years, developing a reputation for teaching and encouraging students, and leadership development. He is known for his diplomacy skills, developed through his international activities, most notably with the United Nations and its affiliated non-governmental organizations. Dr. Betz held leadership positions at several universities before accepting the position as President of the University of Central Oklahoma in 2011.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Conserving our Natural Inheritance


Expressing our Appreciation 
for the Good Work of Ben Pollard
and the Oklahoma Conservation Commission

If you remember the days of The Dust Bowl -- the period of drought and dust storms that struck the plains states in the 1930's -- you probably have a good sense of appreciation for the vital work of Ben Pollard, the winner of our 2013 Public Service Award.

Mr. Pollard is the assistant director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission, a state agency that promotes the conservation of our state's natural resources.

The Conservation Commission was created in 1937 in response to the Dust Bowl, the worst man-made disaster in American history. The Commission, working in partnership with local conservation districts and the federal Natural Resources Conservation, provides technical, financial and educational assistance to landowners to protect and conserve the state's soil and water resources. The vision of the Commission is "Responsible Care for Oklahoma's Natural Resources."

We think Mr. Pollard is an exemplary choice for our Public Service Award. His professional accomplishments reflect a commitment to excellence and innovation in government.


Mr. Pollard is a career public employee working 35 years for the OCC, the last 22 as Assistant Director. During that time he has worked on a number of initiatives to advance conservation in the state. They include:

(1) Development of a state funded conservation cost share program for landowners to install conservation practices;

(2) Establishment of a water quality program to monitor and assess nonpoint source pollution and initiatives for landowners to prevent nutrients from their land entering Oklahoma waterways;

(3) Development of an abandoned mine reclamation program to reclaim both surface and underground mine areas in eastern Oklahoma;

(4) Facilitation of operation maintenance and repair to the state's 2,100 flood control dams which protect the lives and property of Oklahomans statewide;

(5) Preparation of a $25 million dollar conservation bond program (passed by the legislature) to repair flood control dams damaged during 2007 Hurricane Erin causing public safety issues.

Beyond Mr. Pollard's personal commitment to serve the people of our state, we're proud to honor the members of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission and their professional staff. 


The programs of the Conservation Commission are somewhat unique in that they are voluntary and not regulatory. The philosophy of our award winner and the agency is that government can and should work cooperatively with landowners to address soil erosion and water quality issues.

Win / Win results are possible when landowners can maintain productive agricultural operations while also protecting natural resources for future generations.

Ben Pollard has devoted his career to building the kind of relationships with landowners statewide that lead them to a commitment of time and finances to protect their land. Many hours have been spent developing ways to communicate and share information about innovative farming techniques that protect soil and water. Local, regional and state meetings where landowners meet face to face for discussion and idea sharing are one method. Mr. Pollard initiates and plans these meetings.

Our recognition of Mr. Pollard is the result of a nomination and selection process that we launched after our Spring Meeting earlier this year.

Mr. Pollard was nominated by long-time UNA-USA member Dorothy Messenger, who lived for a while in the Texas Panhandle during the Dust Bowl years. 

In making her recommendation, Dorothy wrote about Mr. Pollard's commitment to "social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom" (a phrase borrowed from the UN Charter):

"The nominee believes that lessons for social progress and a better standard of life in the future are sometimes best learned from the mistakes of the past. The Dust Bowl of the 1930's taught that ignoring the lessons of the land had dire consequences affecting livelihood and lives on the Great Plains. 
"Filmmaker Ken Burns documented this disaster by interviewing Dust Bowl survivors from the southern Great Plains. Before airing the resulting film in Oklahoma, Mr. Burns asked OETA to help promote the program. The nominee worked closely with the OETA staff and other partners to coordinate previews in six Oklahoma cities. Screenings were followed by a community discussion about today's conservation issues and challenges. The screenings attracted over 3,000 participants. In addition, OETA produced six news pieces on related natural resource problems in the state. 
"Mr. Pollard served on the team that developed message content, organized and promoted these events. The result was The Dust Bowl, one of the highest rated shows in OETA history. Recently, OETA has been notified that its partnership with the Conservation Commission and other agencies has been honored with a regional Emmy nomination under the community service category. The nominee considers this accolade by the television industry as a career highlight because of the number of citizens reached with the conservation message during the airing of 'The Dust Bowl.' 
"Reminding Oklahomans of this powerful lesson of the past has given the nominee and others energy to carry on with the day to day urgent work of keeping conservation practices in place on the land." 


An important mission of many UN agencies is the conservation of our world's natural inheritance -- including the soil and water which sustain us all.

We're pleased to present our 2013 UNA-OKC Public Service Award to Mr. Ben Pollard.

"Conservation is not something that is achieved, but is a continual process." 
--Ben Pollard

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Public Service Award Winner


Ben Pollard of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission

Over the weekend, the United Nations observed UN Public Service Day, an international day designated to honor the essential contributions of public administrators and workers in every level of government. 

To mark the occasion, our chapter of the United Nations Association of the USA has selected the 2013 recipient of our Public Service Award. 

This year's winner is Mr. Ben Pollard, Assistant Director of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. 

Mr. Pollard was nominated by UNA-USA member Dorothy Messenger. 

In making her nomination, Dorothy commented: 

"The programs of the Conservation Commission are somewhat unique in that they are voluntary and not regulatory. The philosophy of the nominee and the agency is that government can and should work cooperatively with landowners to address soil erosion and water quality issues. Win / Win results are possible when landowners can maintain productive agricultural operations while also protecting natural resources for future generations." 

More news about Mr. Pollard's selection as our award recipient will be published within the next few days. 

A public presentation of the UNA-USA Public Service Award will be made on Monday, July 1st, as part of a scheduled meeting of the Oklahoma Conservation Commission. 

Congratulations to Mr. Pollard for earning this high honor! 

Bill Bryant
Communications Director
Oklahoma City Chapter
United Nations Association of the USA

Friday, May 3, 2013

Press Freedom is Essential

by Bill Bryant

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, including the right of people to receive and share information. Transparency in government, encouraged by a free press, has helped to protect us against corruption and abuses of power. The widespread sharing of knowledge has helped our commerce and industry to grow. In many ways, the First Amendment is the basis for America's strength and vitality.

Press freedom is not taken for granted anywhere in the world, and that's a good thing. In Oklahoma, we appreciate our local news organizations that are willing to petition for access to public documents -- like the volumes of email messages that were recently released by the administration of Gov. Mary Fallin. We're also grateful for the vigilance of professional journalists, activists, and bloggers who keep an eye on our state officials and local boards and commissions. All of us benefit from their efforts to assure that our Open Meeting and Open Records laws are honored.

Elsewhere around the world, press freedom is just as important. In fact, it is celebrated globally on the third day of May -- recognized by the United Nations as "World Press Freedom Day."

World Press Freedom Day grew out of a 1991 UN conference in Windhoek, Namibia. Delegates to the conference approved a statement declaring that, "The establishment, maintenance and fostering of an independent, pluralistic and free press is essential to the development and maintenance of democracy in a nation, and for economic development."

The Windhoek Declaration goes on to acknowledge that, "The world¬wide trend towards democracy and freedom of information and expression is a fundamental contribution to the fulfillment of human aspirations."

One of the continuing themes of World Press Freedom Day is securing the safety of journalists. In the last ten years, more than 600 journalists and media workers have died bringing news and information to the public. In addition, according to UNESCO, there continues to be widespread harassment, intimidation, arbitrary arrest and online attacks on journalists in many parts of the world.

The members of the United Nations Association in Oklahoma are proud to salute the reporters, bloggers, researchers, and professional journalists who contribute to the maintenance of democracy in America and around the world.

Bill Bryant is the communications director for the Oklahoma City chapter of the United Nations Association of the United States of America.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

You Are Awesome!


House Bill 1412 Has Been Derailed, 
Along with 3 Other Anti-UN Measures;
Here's a Review of How it Happened.

For the last 4 months we have been focusing our attention on the Oklahoma Legislature. That's where recent attempts were made to disparage the United Nations and to prohibit the purchase of knowledge resources from the UN.

We knew this struggle was coming for a long time.

Last November, we wrote a blog post titled, "The Future We Want." The article was sub-titled, "A Short History of the UN's Efforts to Protect our Future; and Our Determination to Tell the Truth About 'Agenda 21.'"

We asked the readers of our blog: "If you read or hear any zany-sounding rumors alleging a UN effort to eliminate property rights, please be sure to let us know. We'll do our best to counter the craziness."

On December 17th, we cautioned that the 2013 session of our Oklahoma Legislature would probably consider an Anti-UN law like one that was passed in Alabama in 2012.

It didn't take long for the first Anti-UN measure to appear. State Senator Patrick Anderson filed Senate Bill 23 in mid-December. We immediately pointed out the parts of the bill that would restrict intellectual freedom in our state:

"Senate Bill 23 Would Prohibit Universities and State Agencies from Purchasing Reports or Resources from the World Meteorological Organization, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO, the World Food Programme, and Any Other 'Non-Governmental or Inter-Governmental Organization Defined in Agenda 21.'"

Before long, there were 3 other Anti-UN measures in the Oklahoma Legislature: Rep. Sally Kern filed a bill (HB 1412) in the State House of Representatives; Senator Brecheen introduced a joint resolution related to Agenda 21; and Senator Nathan Dahm authored a second Senate Bill much like Senator Anderson's.

So, even before the opening day of the session, we knew we were going to have an uphill slog.

Fortunately, the members of the United Nations Association in Oklahoma stepped up. We got organized, and we found some good allies (like the Oklahoma Sierra Club and others).

Auspiciously, several news outlets published some thoughtful commentaries on the silly aspects of these Anti-UN bills. Prominent Oklahoma newspapers pointed out the true nature of the UN's "Agenda 21." They took the Legislature to task for spending too much time bashing the UN. We were pleased to see helpful opinion pieces in the Tulsa World, the Oklahoma Observer, the Oklahoma Gazette, and The Oklahoman newspaper.

By the time the first of these bills came up for a hearing in the Legislature, we were prepared for a vigorous debate. We had developed some good talking points. We had prepared an analysis of the bills. We had testimony from real-life people who could give specific examples of harm that would result from enactment of these proposed laws.

In February and March of this year, House Bill 1412 was debated in the States' Rights Committee and on the floor of the House of Representatives. A small but dedicated group of State Representatives offered arguments against HB 1412. We're proud of their efforts -- even though they came up on the short side of the vote in the House. They argued persuasively and with integrity. We give their names at the bottom of this article.

When House Bill 1412 passed the House and moved to the State Senate, we didn't give up our efforts. It appeared to us that the Anti-21'ers were gaining the upper hand. They aren't a large segment of voters in Oklahoma, but they are animated and intensely fixated on their goals. They were able to generate hundreds of phone calls and email messages in support of the bill.

In an attempt to slow down their band wagon, we proposed an amendment to HB 1412. The suggested amendment would have helped to minimize some of the most harmful effects of the bill (if it ultimately became law).

To our surprise and delight, our recommended changes were endorsed by Senator Anderson, who was the Senate co-author of HB 1412. He asked the staff of the Senate Energy Committee to prepare a modification of the bill.

Now it was late March, and all attention was focused on the Senate Energy Committee, where House Bill 1412 was assigned. Would HB 1412 come up for a hearing in the committee? Would our proposed amendment be approved? The Anti-21'ers were pushing hard for a hearing on the bill. They knew the bill would fail to advance in this legislative session if it didn't come out of the Energy Committee by April 4th (the calendar deadline for committee action).

There were some early indications that the Chair of the Committee, Senator Cliff Branan, might not bring up HB 1412 for a hearing in his committee. The 3 other Anti-UN measures that failed to advance in the Legislature were also assigned to Senator Branan's committee. They never got a vote. So, that was a good omen.

Senator Anderson's willingness to modify HB 1412 was another good sign. He seemed to recognize that the bill had some flaws as introduced.

The dramatic conclusion of the struggle against HB 1412 came last week when it was revealed that a well-known Anti-21'er, Al Gerhart (a founder of the "Sooner Tea Party"), had made some ill-advised threats against Senator Branan if there was no action to bring HB 1412 forward for a vote.

Senator Branan was right to be incensed by Mr. Gerhart's crude tactics. Attempted blackmail is a crime that is taken seriously in our state.

Yet, when Senator Branan announced his final decision on House Bill 1412, he didn't say that he was opposing it because of immature Tea Party antics. He didn't suggest that his decision was based on partisanship or personalities or any kind of personal animosity.

Rather, to his credit, Senator Branan made this simple statement, as reported by the Associated Press:

"I check each bill one at a time, and that was really more of a solution to a problem that doesn't exist at all," he told the AP in a phone interview. "It's a fringe conspiracy-type issue that's frankly bad public policy."

That's what we've been saying since before the session started.

In a news release, Rep. Sally Kern, the House author of HB 1412, acknowledged that Senator Branan's statement was a reflection of our message:

"It appears the Senator’s reasons for not hearing the bill parrot the very talking points of the UN Association of USA...."

Her statement is an admission that the death of HB 1412 was due to the persuasiveness of our evidence rather than any sort of personal retribution by Senator Branan.

In a nutshell, our message got through. Our work was fruitful.

If you spoke up in support of the United Nations during these last few months, you deserve a pat on the back. You should feel good about your efforts.

You are awesome! 

We Offer a Special Thanks To ... 
Patrick Madden (and the entire staff at the United Nations Association of the USA), Priya Desai (UNA-OKC Advocacy Director), John Waldron (UNA-EO President), the Oklahoma Sierra Club, Preserve Midtown Tulsa, the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, the ACLU of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Library Association, and members of the Jeane Kirkpatrick Society (UNA-OKC Advocacy Team).

Also: Juliet Abdeljawad, Klint Alexander, Senator Patrick Anderson (for being willing to amend HB 1412), James Beauchamp, Senator Cliff Branan, Senator Josh Brecheen (for meeting with us about his joint resolution before it died in committee), Ron Burkard, Larry Eberhardt, Dee Freeland, Arnold Hamilton, Katy Hansen, Eric Heinze, Jarrett Jobe, Senator Constance Johnson, Joan Korenblit, Annetta McCoy, Fran Morris, Christiaan Morssink, Nancy Musselman, David Ocamb, Lydia Gill Polley, Jo Hill Snyder, and Many Others (you know who you are!).

And our courageous State Representatives who voted against HB 1412 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives: Rep. Ed Cannaday, Rep. Donnie Condit, Rep. Kay Floyd, Rep. William Fourkiller, Rep. Larry Glenn, Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, Rep. Chuck Hoskin, Rep. Scott Inman, Rep. Kevin Matthews, Rep. Jerry McPeak, Rep. Richard Morrissette, Rep. Anastasia Pittman, Rep. Wade Rousselot, Rep. Seneca Scott, Rep. Mike Shelton, Rep. Ben Sherrer, Rep. Emily Virgin, and Rep. Cory Williams.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Motion to Amend

Here's an update on House Bill 1412, the Anti-UN bill that is pending action in the Oklahoma Legislature.

I have asked Senator Patrick Anderson, the Senate co-author of the bill, to consider an amendment. 

The amendment is in the form of an addition to the bill as introduced. The purpose is two-fold: (1) To provide some prudent exceptions to the prohibition stated in Paragraph 1.C; and (2) To provide a definition of the term "nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations accredited or enlisted by the United Nations."

Senator Anderson has replied positively to this suggestion. An email reply from his executive assistant indicates that this suggested change has been submitted to the staff of the Senate Energy Committee "...so that a committee amendment can be prepared."

The complete text of the proposed addition is given below.

If this amendment is adopted by the committee, it will go a long way toward addressing some of our most basic concerns about HB 1412. It won't solve all of the problems with the proposed new law. (In fact, some very fundamental flaws will remain in the proposed legislation). But, this revision will help to safeguard public access to important knowledge resources of the United Nations.

Thanks,

Bill Bryant
President, OKC Chapter
United Nations Association of the USA

***
Existing Language in Paragraph 1.C of House Bill 1412 ...

C. Since the United Nations has accredited or enlisted numerous nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations to assist in the implementation of its policies relative to United Nations Agenda 21/Sustainable Development around the world, the state and all political subdivisions of the state shall not enter into any agreement, expend any sum of money, receive funds contracting services or give financial aid to or from any nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations accredited or enlisted by the United Nations.

***
Suggested Additions to HB 1412 ...


D. Recognizing the fundamental state interest in promoting the unrestricted availability of knowledge resources, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to the acquisition of books, journals, articles, audiovisual resources, and/or data sets in printed or electronic form by any public library.

E.  Respectful of the principle of intellectual freedom, and honoring the right of all people to receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to any educational institution (public school, community college, state university, career tech school, etc.).

F. Acknowledging that the public health research and data of the World Health Organization (a UN agency) may provide valuable information to the Oklahoma Department of Health and to local health departments, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to any state agency nor to any political subdivision of the state which has a public health focus or any mission related to disease control, delivery of vaccines, and/or the treatment of chronic or infectious diseases.

G. Cognizant of the important reports, data, and standards that are published by the International Civil Aviation Organization (a specialized agency of the United Nations), the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to the Oklahoma Aeronautics Commission nor to any state agency or political subdivision engaged in activities designed to increase the safety of civil and/or commercial aviation.

H. Mindful that the people of Oklahoma are subject to the harmful effects of extreme weather (floods, droughts, severe storms, etc.), and recognizing the value of data published by the World Meteorological Organization (a UN agency), the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality, nor to any state agency or political subdivision engaged in activities related to the prediction and/or mitigation of extreme weather events.

I. Proud of our state's reputation as a major center of agricultural production, and desiring to protect our access to the incomparable data of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture Food & Forestry nor to any state agency or political subdivision engaged in activities designed to protect the agriculture, aquaculture, and/or natural resources of our state.

J. Wishing to support Oklahoma businesses engaged in the export of goods and services, and recognizing the need for accurate and reliable information about foreign markets, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to the Oklahoma Department of Commerce nor to any political subdivision of the state which is engaged in activities designed to promote economic development.

K. Understanding that international tourism is a growing industry and hopeful of further developing Oklahoma as a travel destination, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department with regard to exchanges with UNESCO (the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization).

L. Troubled by the profound problem of human trafficking, a crime of international scope and scale, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to any state agency nor to any political subdivision which is engaged in activities which may be supported by the resources of the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN GIFT).

M. Concerned by the chronic and pervasive problem of domestic violence in our state, the prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not apply to the Office of the Attorney General nor to the Oklahoma Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board with regard to information and data exchanges with UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

N. Protective of our children and wishing to safeguard them from exploitation and danger in the workplace, the prohibition in Paragraph C shall not apply to the Oklahoma Department of Labor with regard to transactions with the International Labor Organization (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.

O. The prohibition stated in Paragraph C shall not be applicable in the event that a determination has been made that a transaction (agreement, expenditure of funds, receipt of funds, etc.) with a nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations accredited or enlisted by the United Nations is: (1) In the best interest of the state of Oklahoma or one of its political subdivisions; and (2) Does not violate the property rights of any resident of the state of Oklahoma.

P. The determination referred to in Paragraph O may be made by any officer or employee of the state or its political subdivisions during the normal course of their duties.

Q. Except as provided in Paragraph R, the phrase "any nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations accredited or enlisted by the United Nations" shall mean that the General Assembly of the United Nations has formally recognized the nongovernmental or intergovernmental organization by the conclusion of a treaty, convention, protocol, or other written agreement. 

R. The meaning of the phrase "any nongovernmental or intergovernmental organizations accredited or enlisted by the United Nations," as used in Paragraph C, shall not include: (1) Intergovernmental organizations to which the United States of America belongs as a member; (2) Any charitable or educational organization recognized by the Internal Revenue Service; (3) Any charitable or educational organization registered with the Oklahoma Secretary of State; nor (4) Any commercial or business organization engaged in lawful commerce within the State of Oklahoma. 

# # #

Friday, March 22, 2013

Eschew Obfuscation

Is a Recommendation the Same Thing
as a Requirement? In House Bill 1412,
the Answer appears to be "Yes"

At the United Nations Association, we're in favor of intellectual freedom, good government, and the rule of law.

A basic aspect of good governance is the establishment of laws that are clear in their language and intent.

House Bill 1412 is a simple bill. It is only 2 pages in length. But, it uses murky, confusing language. It is full of undefined terms. As we have followed the debate surrounding House Bill 1412, we are slightly more clear about the purpose of the bill -- but just barely.

Part of the problem with HB 1412 is its use of double-talk. That is, it uses words to convey a meaning that is not transparent or it uses words to convey more than one meaning.

Here's an example. The proposed law includes this statement:

"The state or any political subdivision of the state shall not adopt or implement policy recommendations that deliberately or inadvertently infringe upon or restrict private property rights without due process, as may be required by policy recommendations originating in, or traceable to United Nations Agenda 21...."

The phrase "as may be required by policy recommendations..." is particularly problematic.

First, if there is a policy "recommendation" on any subject, it is not a requirement. It is non-sensical to speak about recommendations that require any particular action.

A "recommendation" is a suggestion. That's all it is. The Merriam-Webster online dictionary says to "recommend" something is to present it "as worthy of acceptance or trial." It is not the same thing as a mandate or an order or a directive.

So, if you're a manager or a council member for one of Oklahoma's political subdivisions (a city, town, county, public library, etc.), how would you interpret this prohibition in HB 1412? Are there any policy recommendations in UN Agenda 21 that require adoption of any certain policies at the level of a state or local government agency? Of course not! That's the point that several members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives tried to make when HB 1412 was debated on March 13th.

Yet, if we follow the logic of HB 1412 proponents, they are opposed to any "recommendations" whether they are mandates or not. That's the understanding we have by listening closely to Rep. Sally Kern, the House author of HB 1412. She says her bill is designed to "kick out" UN-linked organizations that are "encouraging" certain local policy-making decisions and "asking" Oklahoma cities to become part of a local environmental initiative. (See "In Her Own Words," March 17th).

So, is House Bill 1412 re-interpreting the meaning of the word "recommend?" That's a question that ought to be settled before HB 1412 proceeds any further in the legislative review process.

Second, why does House Bill 1412 use the wishy-washy phrase "as may be required....?" The use of this phrase signals that the concern about UN Agenda 21 policies may or may not exist. So, which is it? Are there Agenda 21 recommendations / requirements that infringe on our property rights or not? If there are statements in Agenda 21 that are troublesome, why doesn't this proposed law explicitly identify them? And, if they don't exist, then what is the purpose of HB 1412?

Third, what does it mean for a policy to be "traceable to United Nations Agenda 21?" What is the meaning of "traceable?" That's an undefined term that is a loophole or a wormhole that we don't want to go down.

As we say, we're in favor of laws that are clear in their language and intent. House Bill 1412 fails to meet the minimum standard for good governance.

The Current Status of HB 1412

On March 21st, HB 1412 was assigned to the Senate Energy Committee. A hearing on HB 1412 could occur as early as March 27th or 28th.

If you're opposed to House Bill 1412, as we are, please write or call the members of the Energy Committee.  Thanks!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Editors Take Note


Oklahoma's Largest Newspapers
Line Up in Opposition to HB 1412

The Oklahoman newspaper printed an editorial yesterday confirming our point of view on House Bill 1412. The widely-read newspaper titled their opinion piece, "Oklahoma Dems have reasons to gripe about some GOP proposals."

The editorial focused on a handful of legislative proposals for which there are "some good reasons to be bothered."

One of the proposals mentioned by The Oklahoman was HB 1412, the Anti-UN bill that is co-sponsored by  Rep. Sally Kern and Sen. Patrick Anderson.

Here's a quote-worthy excerpt from the editorial:

"During the hectic final week for the House to consider bills that originated in that chamber, members found the time to approve a bill barring local governments from adopting or implementing policy recommendations established by the United Nations Agenda 21. Agenda 21 is a nonbinding, voluntarily action plan that deals with sustainable development. The bill also would ban the state from contracting with or exchanging funds with a nongovernmental or intergovernmental group accredited by the U.N.

"The vote was 67-17 in favor. Thank goodness that got done!"

That was a sarcastic "Thanks goodness." Just to make sure we didn't misinterpret their meaning, Nancy Musselman (our Vice President for Programs) called The Oklahoman and asked for a clarification.

Nancy says: "I was a little confused, so I called the paper and talked with someone on the staff. He said it was meant to to a sarcastic remark that possibly didn't come across as well in print. I was pleased to hear that The Oklahoman recognizes how ridiculous the bill is...."

Judging by the online reader comments, a lot of other people share our pleasure with this expression of editorial sentiment.

We have previously posted items quoting from the Tulsa World newspaper.

It is nice to know that the major newspapers from our state's two largest cities are lined up on our side in opposing House Bill 1412.


We hope our State Senators are paying attention.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

In Her Own Words, Part 1


Rep. Kern suggests that her Anti-UN proposal 
is about prohibiting cities and towns from 
enacting building codes, zoning rules, and 
laws regarding property maintenance

Also, she is opposed to EPA regulations, 
the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, 
and other "radical environmental control." 

We have been critical of House Bill 1412 because it is a flawed proposal -- based on a faulty premise, with vague provisions, and certain to create more problems than it solves. At the same time, we have tried to avoid any direct personal criticisms of Rep. Sally Kern.

In fact, we have tried to go out of our way to accurately represent her comments and arguments about HB 1412. We're interested in her opinions, and we take them seriously.

For that reason, we want to present a partial transcript of the floor debate that happened on March 13th when HB 1412 received a vote from the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Rep. Kern's remarks are taken from a video of the floor debate that appears on the OKHouse.gov website.

"The Intrusion of our Government" 

The discussion of HB 1412 began with a series of questions that were posed about the purpose, intent, and potential consequences of the proposed legislation. Rep. Kern was questioned extensively.

The first question came from Rep. Mike Shelton of Oklahoma City. In reply to a question from him about the purpose of HB 1412, Rep. Kern explained:

"This bill is specifically dealing with the intrusion of our government into personal property rights that have been happening for the last 20 years and getting worse through the Agenda 21 of the UN, their Sustainable Development program that has been implemented into our own government in 1993 when President Clinton established the President Council's on Sustainable Development and then President Obama in his President's Rural Council in 2011."

Rep. Emily Virgin asked Rep. Kern if she could provide an example of "some infringements on private property rights directly related to Agenda 21?"

Rep. Kern replied: "The International Property Maintenance Code is being used right now in some of the cities in our state that requires rental property owners to give a key to their property to the police so that the police can come in at will to check for illegal activity."

"There have been numerous accounts of farmers and ranchers who are having individuals from the government show up on their property asking to take pictures, asking to do counts of their farm animals, their livestock, different things like that."

Rep. Virgin: "What's your proof that those events are directly related to Agenda 21?"

Rep. Kern: "It's very easy to see the organization that is coming in and asking for these different privileges, if you will, and to trace them back to United Nations and the Agenda 21 program. And then, in '93, when President Clinton established the Council on Sustainable Development, he implemented the program through 10 different agencies and they're tied back, you can follow them, trace them through those different agencies."

Rep. Kay Floyd argued against House Bill 1412 when it was first presented in the States' Rights Committee. She focused on the particular language of the bill that prohibits cities and towns from entering into agreements with any "nongovernmental or international organizations" linked to Agenda 21.

Rep. Floyd: "Is there a list or some type of way for us to enforce these prohibitions...?"

"Who is accredited by the United Nations....? Who's on the list?"

Rep. Kern replied: "You can go on the UN website, and you can find all the NGO's there."

"Plus, when a city is approached by a certain organization wanting to help them with different policies and things, it's very easy to just look on the internet and find out who that organization -- who they're representing, where they're coming from.

"So, any city attorney that cares to keep their city out of trouble, I suppose you could say, or to abide by this if it were to become law, can find out very easily."

Rep. Floyd: "So, then, basically, any nongovernmental organization or intergovernmental organization that is listed on the UN website is going to be considered 'accredited or enlisted' by the UN....?"

Rep. Kern: "No... Only those that are seeking to establish and enforce guidelines that will impact and deal with the governing of the citizens of the city or that state."

Rep. Jerry McPeak: "What proof do you have of this infiltration and contamination in 1993?"

Rep. Kern: "Well, you can go and look up the President's Council on Sustainable Development, and there are 10 different agencies that are listed -- uh, the Environmental Protection Agency is one of them. I should have brought that list. I don't have it with me. But, there is definite proof. If you want to know it, it's there."

Rep. Ed Cannaday: "Is this in any way a treaty that is enforceable by law?"

Rep. Kern: "Uh, I don't think it is. But, it is a program that the UN is pushing."

This report concludes here ... "In Her Own Words, Part 2"