The United Nations has released its preliminary report in preparation for Rio + 20. New Rochelle will be represented at the conference by Mayor Noam Bramson.
Bramson has denied a relationship (video from April 10, 2012 City Council meeting above) between New Rochelle and the United Nations even as he prepares to go to Rio de Janeiro for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development known as "Rio + 20". The major UN Conference, scheduled to be convened in Brazil from June 20 to 23, is organized by members of the UN system.
Talk of the Sound has long reported that New Rochelle is a member of ICLEI which, in turn, is a part of the UN system. ICLEI is UN-certified Non-Governmental Organization ("NGO") which was created at a conference convened at UN headquarters in New York in 1990. ICLEI was responsible for drafting Chapter 28 (Local Agenda 21) of Agenda 21, the United Nations Sustainability Plan adopted by 180 nations in 1992 at the first UN Conference on Sustainable Development. The City of New Rochelle never held a public hearing, council discussion or vote authorizing membership in ICLEI.
The Mayor has sought to portray joining ICLEI as a trend among localities throughout the United States which contains the largest number of ICLEI members worldwide. There are more members of ICLEI in the United States then in the rest of the world combined, based on data on the ICLEI web site. In reality, membership in ICLEI in the United States has declined from a peak of around 600 in 2009 to less than 550 today. Many of the localities that have left ICLEI continue to be listed on the ICLEI web site including Westchester County which terminated its membership in ICLEI in 2011.
ICLEI's web site makes clear the relationship between ICLEI and the United Nations:
ICLEI is participating in the official UN preparatory meetings ahead of Rio+20. At formal UN conferences, UN bodies and nine so-called Major Groups sit at the table with the representatives of the states.
The nine Major Groups are Business and Industry, Children and Youth, Farmers, Indigenous Peoples, Local Authorities, Non-Governmental Organizations, Scientific and Technological Community, Women and Workers and Trade Unions. For each group, one or two "Organizing Partners" act as focal points to facilitate participation from that constituency.
ICLEI is the Local Authority Major Group Co-Organizing Partner and in this role aims to achieve a high level of coordinated input from Local Authorities into the international process. At the Rio+20 conference, ICLEI will facilitate the presence and active participation of local governments.
EDITOR'S NOTE: With New Rochelle now firmly a part of the UN system through its membership in ICLEI, Talk of the Sound will report on actions of the United Nations as they pertain to ICLEI and Local Agenda 21.
The preliminary report for Rio + 20 contains an executive summary which explains the intent of the conference:
Executive Summary United Nations Environment Management Group report-Working towards a Balanced and Inclusive Green Economy- A UN system wide Perspective
In September 2009 the United Nations (UN) Environment Management Group agreed to establish an Issue Management Group on Green Economy. This group was tasked to prepare a report to assess how the UN system could coherently support countries in transitioning to a green economy. The report is expected to facilitate a common understanding of the green economy approach and the measures required for the transition. The report is envisioned to also contribute to the preparatory process for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) where “the green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication” is one of the two themes along with “the institutional framework for sustainable development”.
The term “institutional framework for sustainable development” amounts to getting rid of national regulations and standards and replacing them with international standards which the UN plan deems "essential”. The framework is UN-speak for "global environmental governance".
A key component to the UN plan is so-called "full-cost pricing" The idea of full-cost pricing is to massively increase prices on food, energy, and pretty much every product on earth to reflect what the UN calls the "social and environmental cost" of these products. The intent is to discourage consumption of food, energy and other products in countries like the United States while simultaneously placing global limits on farming, fishing, forestry, mining and every other human economic activity that relies upon land, water or air in some way. To address the inability of poorer people and poorer nations to cope with the dramatically higher prices, the UN would design and implement "subsidies" to make these products affordable.
This, along with billions upon billions of dollars in new, annual taxes on developed countries and corresponding subsidies to poorer countries, entail massive wealth and technology transfers from and within wealthy countries to poorer people and nations totaling trillions of dollars a year.
Under the plan, for example, there would be over $2.1 trillion a year in wealth transfers from rich countries to poorer ones with $250 billion a year coming from a single source, new carbon taxes, to be rolled out over the next 8 years.