The following message is being sent to members of the States' Rights Committee of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
Dear Representative _____:
I am writing in regard to House Bill 1412, which is Rep. Kern's proposed new law to restrict public commerce with the United Nations and with non-governmental organizations that are accredited by the UN.
You and your constituents deserve to have the assurance that our state agencies, universities, municipalities, county governments and public libraries, etc., are not being mandated by the United Nations to "adopt or implement policy recommendations that... restrict private property rights without due process."
You deserve to have the confidence that public administrators, state agency directors, municipal managers, etc., are closely adhering to the laws of our nation and our state when they take any policy action affecting the citizens of Oklahoma.
Further, you should be able to have this assurance and this confidence without sacrificing our access to any of the valuable knowledge resources of the United Nations that are currently available to Oklahoma citizens.
Consequently, I hope you will support a full discussion of HB 1412 when it is brought up for consideration in the States' Rights Committee on Tuesday. And, I hope you will examine the potential negative results for our state if it is ultimately approved.
If you examine HB 1412 carefully, I am convinced that you will vote against this proposed new law because: (a) It is not needed; and (b) It would actually harm the intellectual freedom that we currently enjoy.
With regard to the assurance of non-interference by the United Nations, there is compelling evidence that you may wish to consider. Here are 5 points to review:
(1) I encourage you to examine Interim Study 12-084, which is the study that was conducted by Rep. Kern last year.
The study topic was, "Due Process of Personal Property Rights." Its purpose was, "To examine factors that the State of Oklahoma and its political subdivisions might use in adopting and developing environmental policies that, without due process, would infringe or restrict private property rights."
As a result of Rep. Kern's study, a 2-page report was produced.
The report relied on the testimony of 2 witnesses. Each witness presented their opinions and points of view regarding the United Nations, Agenda 21, and many other topics. Included in the report is a conclusion that was offered by Rep. Kern: "EPA and other regulations are infringing upon personal property rights."
(A more complete description of the Interim Study's evidence is given below).
It is notable that the Interim Study did not include the testimony of any state agency head nor any city manager nor county commissioner. It did not include any evidence from state or municipal employees complaining that they are being required or mandated or coerced into implementing UN policies that are contrary to state or U.S. law.
The report did not include any evidence from the State Auditor and Inspector. It did not include any complaints from the office of the Attorney General. It did not include any statement from the office of Gov. Mary Fallin -- even though a representative of the Governor was present when the Interim Study report was delivered to the House Judiciary Committee last October.
In short, the Interim Study did not produce any direct evidence of UN interference with the operation of any political subdivision of our state.
(2) Beyond the lack of evidence of UN interference in the Interim Study Report, there is actual testimony supporting the UN's record of non-interference. This countervailing evidence is in the form of public comments from municipal officials who have been quoted in the news media.
For example, you can refer to this news article in the Edmond Sun newspaper:
December 6, 2010
Protesters Cut Short Edmond Sustainability Forum
As described in the article, a small group of protesters accused City officials of attempting to implement UN Agenda 21 through the City of Edmond's energy conservation plan. They handed out a flyer stating, “U.N. Agenda 21 is a 1,000-plus page, 40-chapter document spelling out how all activities on the planet, including in the USA, are to be brought under the control of the United Nations.”
In response, city leaders publicly disavowed any connection between the United Nations and their own municipal efforts.
Shannon Entz, Edmond's community development manager, stated: "We don’t even know what you’re talking about with Agenda 21. This isn't part of our conversation at all. It's absolutely not. We're not part of that; we're not interested in that.”
Former Edmond mayor Dan O’Neil was quoted: “Edmond did not sign off with any international agenda.”
You may also want to consider the statement of Russell Claus, the planning director for the City of Oklahoma City. He is familiar with the allegations that honorable municipal officials have been the tools of unseen UN bureaucrats. "It's an insane conspiracy theory that has no merit in fact," he said.
So, if you believe knowledgeable people like Russell Claus and Dan O'Neil and Shannon Entz, you have reliable testimony to conclude that the United Nations is not manipulating decision makers in our state agencies and local governments.
(3) You might also wish to consider that the United Nations itself is a defender of the right of people everywhere to own and use property. Please refer to the article on "The UN and Property Rights" that has been published on the blog of the United Nations Association, Oklahoma City Chapter.
Article 17 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights offers this assurance:
"(1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others.
"(2) No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his property."
(4) You might also consider that the United Nations is an institution that is founded on the basis of national sovereignty and the rule of law. Without those two basic concepts, the legitimacy of the United Nations would crumble. So, as a matter of principle, the UN would not attempt to govern or direct or mandate the actions of any political subdivision of our state.
(5) As a further assurance, you should examine Agenda 21 with your own eyes. You should review the structure and language of the report. You can find a link to it here.
You can notice for yourself that the document is not written in the form of a law or a treaty or a set of regulations. Rather, it is an outcomes document -- a set of non-binding recommendations representing the consensus opinion of 178 nations of the world. It is not a manifesto that you would use to bring all activities of the planet under your control. But, it is a document that could be used as a starting place for further discussion.
As a final assurance that unseen UN bureaucrats are not interfering with the honorable city and county and state officials who manage Oklahoma's public programs, I would like to make this personal offer to you. It is an offer I made to Governor Mary Fallin last October:
If there is ever a time when you believe that a United Nations office or official -- any UN agency or representative, etc. -- is seeking to compel you to follow a course of action that is at odds with the laws or Constitution of our land, please let me know.
If there is ever a time when you perceive that the United Nations is attempting to coerce you to take an action that is contrary to the interests of the people of our State of Oklahoma, I would like to be informed.
I ask this because I believe the United Nations does not exist to undermine the legitimate powers of any city or county or state or nation. On the contrary, over the course of 67 years, the United Nations has a long-established track record of promoting statehood for people around the globe. And it has consistently invited nations to freely exert their powers by entering into treaties and other international agreements in support of orderly trade, security, etc.
Moreover, it is a fundamental goal of the UN to support human rights and freedom -- as stated in the original Charter of the United Nations.
In short, I would simply ask you to make a full disclosure of any attempt by the United Nations to usurp the authority of the Legislature or the sovereignty of our people.
I'm confident that this will be, as a matter of fact, one of the least of your worries while you are in office.
If you have any questions about UN Agenda 21, the UN Conference on Environment and Development, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or any other document produced by the United Nations or any of its agencies, please feel free to let me know.
The mission of the United Nations Association is to educate about the good work of the UN and to advocate for American leadership in the world's most important international organization.
Thank you for your service to the people of our state.
President, OKC Chapter
United Nations Association of the USA
Interim Study Report
Here are links to the testimony that was gathered through Rep. Kern's Interim Study.
Ms. Briesh's handout (PDF)
This is a 6-page document that includes a copy of the Alabama bill (SB 477) that is the model for Oklahoma's HB1412. It also includes a copy of a resolution adopted by the Republican National Committee criticizing United Nations Agenda 21 as "a comprehensive plan of extreme environmentalism, social engineering, and global political control...."
Ms. Briesh's presentation (PDF)
This is a 12-page summary of an original powerpoint presentation prepared by Sheila Briesh. It is titled, "Understanding Sustainable Development & the Loss of Property Rights." Generally, this document presents a description of the United Nations, UN Agenda 21, the "Wildlands Project," Land Conservation Easements, Land Trusts, Smart Growth, "Sustainability & Comprehensive Planning," Stakeholder Councils, Councils of Government, ICLEI, the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and "5 Steps to Restore and Protect Liberty and Property Rights."
Mr. Semands' presentation (PDF)
This is a 6-page summary of an original powerpoint presentation by Robert Semands. This document is titled, "UN Agenda 21 Sustainable Development: A Threat to Private Property Rights?" It includes a general description of "The UN and Private Property Rights," ICLEI, the UN Biodiversity Treaty, the Delphi Technique, Conservation Easements, Smart Meters / Smart Grids, and Activism.
5 people were notified of the Interim Study meeting.