The Global Poverty Act and Our U.N. Overlords

By Anthony | March 6th, 2008 | 2:32 am

An article by Cliff Kincaid on the Global Poverty Act has been getting mentioned quite a bit lately. The bill was passed in the House and is currently sponsored in the Senate by Barack Obama. According to Kincaid, this legislation would plunge the U.S. into an era of unprecedented economic despair and destruction at the hands of our United Nations overlords.

However, his article seems to be a bit misleading. According to Kincaid, passage of the bill would commit us to providing 0.7 percent of our GNP towards eradicating global poverty, netting out to around $845 billion over 13 years:

The legislation itself requires the President “to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.”

The bill defines the term “Millennium Development Goals” as the goals set out in the United Nations Millennium Declaration, General Assembly Resolution 55/2 (2000).

The U.N. says that “The commitment to provide 0.7% of gross national product (GNP) as official development assistance was first made 35 years ago in a General Assembly resolution, but it has been reaffirmed repeatedly over the years, including at the 2002 global Financing for Development conference in Monterrey, Mexico. However, in 2004, total aid from the industrialized countries totaled just $78.6 billion-or about 0.25% of their collective GNP.”

Did you catch that? If you actually look at the links Kincaid provides, you’ll notice he engages in some slight-of-hand there. He accurately sums up the bill in question in those first two paragraphs and then smoothly segues into the bit about the 0.7 percent GNP. The problem is, the agreement to commit 0.7 percent GNP towards fighting poverty comes from a U.N. General Assembly Resolution from 1970not from the Millennium Declaration or from the Global Poverty Act.

In fact, the United Nations Millennium Declaration makes no mention of any percentage or dollar amount that is to be committed towards anything. The Global Poverty Act likewise makes no mention of a dollar amount or percentage, and does not reference the 1970s resolution where the 0.7 percent figure originated.

Furthermore, if you look at the discussion in the House that preceded the passing of the bill there, an amendment was added making it clear that the bill does not necessarily require foreign aid to work towards the goals – other methods such as promoting trade and investment may be used:

The bill, in the amended text before us today, Mr. Speaker, will allow the greater flexibility in deciding what might work best at a given time, in the particular circumstances, rather than insisting that he devise a strategy that assumes that more foreign aid and debt relief are always required.

For yet another indication that Kincaid may be misleading us about the bill, notice that he states that:

In addition to seeking to eradicate poverty, that declaration commits nations to banning “small arms and light weapons”

Again, if you read the text of the declaration, you’ll find that his statement is a little less than accurate. The declaration actually says (emphasis added):

To take concerted action to end illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons

Interesting that Kincaid would quote the words “small arms and light weapons” and leave out the “illicit traffic” part.

Finally, I’ll note that the bill simply requires the President to lay out a plan to meet goals that his administration already agreed to. It’s interesting that there was no outcry when we reaffirmed our commitment to the Millennium Declaration in 2005, but now that Obama actually wants the president to come up with some benchmarks for a goal he already agreed to, suddenly the U.N. supposedly has a choke collar on us.

The only thing the Global Poverty Act does is to require the President to come up with a plan and benchmarks to work towards meeting the agreed-upon goals of the Millennium Declaration, and to report to Congress on his plan and progress. Will it cost us some extra money? It may. But no set amount of money is required by the bill, or by the Millennium Declaration. The details are up to us and our President – not jackbooted, black-helicopter-flying U.N. despots.

So with that out of the way, maybe the folks who are up in arms about an alleged $845 billion expenditure can muster up some proportional outrage over the $3 trillion we’ll be spending in Iraq. Anyone?

5 Responses to “The Global Poverty Act and Our U.N. Overlords”

  1. Herbert Says:

    While congratulating all participants for their diligence in reaching this new
    consensus, I must, as President, also express my disappointment over the
    Conference’s inability to agree, due to the concerns of one State, on language recognizing the need to establish and maintain controls over private ownership of these deadly weapons and the need for preventing sales of such arms to non-State groups.

    http://disarmament.un.org/cab/smallarms/files/aconf192_15.pdf

    We know their agenda; anything bill that gives the UN more legitimacy undermines our sovereignty. Sorry, but we know how to read inbetween the lines.

  2. anthony pensiero Says:

    If you would like to destroy s2433 The Global Poverty Act all you need to do is google Moore Republican Woman then click on their action items its the 3rd or 4th article down LETS DESTROY THE GLOBAL POVERTY ACT!!!!

  3. Contact Congress Says:

    Support the Global Poverty Act and the Millennium Development Goals. Visit http://www.bread.org to find advice on how to contact your representatives. We, as human beings, need to help our neighbors. At home and abroad.

  4. RSR Says:

    If you notice, it states several times that “it REQUIRES the President to do this thing or that. To me that makes the United States of America subservient to the doctrines of the United Nations. It gives the thugs & thieves in control of the U.N. a foot in our door and an oppertunity to strip away America’s sovereignty!!!!! BEWARE.

  5. Anthony Says:

    RSR:

    It’s the “this thing or that” that you gloss over that is the key. If the “this thing or that” are not “subservience to the U.N.” then we are not subservient to the U.N.. In this case, the “this thing or that” is merely to come up with a plan, the details of which are left up to the President himself.