The Green Swastika – Environmentalism in the Third Reich

From Malthus to Mifepristone: A Primer on the Population Control Movement

The History of the Population Control Movement 1798 to 1998

Dictatorship of the Landlords - The Green Roots of the Housing Crisis

Cultural Marxism and the Alt-Right

The Meaning of Corporatism

356 Enviro-critical Websites and additional info about the organized enviro-critical movement

Pierre Trudeau: Eco-fascist

A Primer for the Paris Climate Talks

Jorge Bergoglio's Green Encyclical

Environmentalism and Aboriginal Supremacism (Part 2): The Mobilization of Aboriginal Opposition to the Northern Gateway Pipeline

Environmentalism and Aboriginal Supremacism in Canada - Part 1 - Idle No More

Of Buffalo and Biofuel - More Tales of Environmentalism in Alberta

War on Coal

In Praise of the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Bill C-38)

Environmentalism and Edmonton Land Use Politics

The "Tar Sands" Campaign and the Suppression of North America's Energy Potential

Desertec and Environmentalism's North African Campaign

The Environmental Movement in Alberta

Environmentalism 400 BC

Spirit of NAWAPA

Waldheim's Monster:
United Nations' Ecofascist Programme

Early 19th Century British "Environmentalism"

Environmentalism's Appropriation of Christianity

Environmentalism's Environment

The Continental Counter-Enlightenment

The American Eco-Oligarchy update

If Only This Were About Oil


Who is Affraid of The Big Green Wolf

The Gore Presidential Bid

The Groundbreaking Career of Doctor Science

The English Environmental Elite, Global Warming, and The Anglican Church

The Great Global Warming Hoax

The American Oligarchy's Economic Warfare Campaign on British Columbians

Waldheim's Monster:
United Nations' Ecofascist Programme

By William Walter Kay


Three score and seven years ago the United Nations was founded primarily to advance the interests of English-speaking countries. Now the UN is primarily interested in conducting economic warfare on those countries. The tipping point in UN history roughly corresponds with Kurt Waldheim’s tenure as Secretary-General (1972-81). This essay draws upon: the recent reportage on the UN’s Global Ministerial Environmental Forum; the recently leaked Management Review of Environmental Governance within the United Nations System; the Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements; the websites of UN agencies, and other troves to sketch a portrait of the UN’s environmental programs.



Environmentalism in the UN before Waldheim
Waldheim before he became UN Secretary General
Oberleutnant as Secretary-General 1972-1981
Waldheim and the European-centered UN
Environmentalism in the UN; Waldheim-era and Beyond
The 1986 Austrian Presidential Election
The UN System's Environmental Programs
The UN System and Multi-Lateral Environmental Agreements
United Nations Environment Programme
The 2008 Joint Inspection Unit Report
The 2009 Global Ministerial Environmental Forum
Fin de Siècle

Environmentalism in the UN before Waldheim

The UN was a New Year’s baby, 1942. With the “Declaration by the United Nations”, 26 countries allied to fight fascism. After WWII the Allies convened in San Francisco in April 1945 and formally re-launched the UN six months later. While the UN’s main aim was peace, its Charter also directed it to “employ international machinery for the promotion of economic and social advancement.” The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) was established to coordinate this activity. In 1947 ECOSOC founded the Economic Commission for Europe to aid European countries devastated by WWII. As British, French and Portuguese empires dissolved, scores of countries emerged with inadequate infrastructure. ECOSOC established regional economic commissions to aid these states. ECOSOC’s development budget was small and proposals to increase it were resisted by the USSR, which argued such activity was not the UN’s job. Until the 1960s ECOSOC mostly held conferences and conducted research. ECOSOC’s foray into aid was fraught with disagreements and morphed into a loose network of programs funded by ad hoc voluntary contributions. (1) “Development” had a conventional bricks-and-bridges meaning; “aid” often meant helping poor countries exploit their resources.

ECOSOC’s expanding mandate was part of a UN trend. UNICEF (Children’s Fund) was made permanent in 1953. The World Food Program followed in 1961 and the UN Institute for Social Development in 1963. In 1964 the Conference on Trade and Development and the International Trade Centre were created to promote development of poor countries through enhancing their trade opportunities. In 1965 the Programme of Technical Assistance and the Special Fund merged into the quasi-autonomous UN Development Program (UNDP) through which voluntary contributions could be coordinated with a view to obviating competition. This initial impetus dissipated because donor countries resisted UNDP stipulations giving host countries input. UNDP’s budget was dwarfed by aid programs from donor countries preferring bilateral arrangements. As well, new UN agencies like the Food and Agriculture Organization, Capital Development Fund, and Industrial Development Organization engaged in turf battles with UNDP. Nonetheless, UNDP did establish itself as the major, if not sole, funder of development projects within the fragmented UN system. (2)

The first “environmentalist” UN agency, Trust Fund for Population Activities, appeared in 1967. (3) Its Malthusian population control agenda meshed with a revival of “over-population” hysteria. The Fund was an off-shoot of the 2nd World Population Conference (Belgrade, 1965); the first linking of over-population to international aid. The next expression of UN environmentalism was a 1968 ECOSOC statement urging action to stop the: “accelerating impairment of the quality of the human environment caused by such factors as air and water pollution, erosion, and other forms of soil deterioration, secondary effects of biocides, waste and noise.” (4) UNESCO joined the green crusade in 1968 with their conference on the Scientific Basis for the Rational Use and Conservation of the Resources of the Biosphere. (5) In December 1968 the UN General Assembly declared “the relationship between man and his environment was undergoing profound changes” and, on ECOSOC’s request, approved a Conference on the Human Environment (held in Stockholm, 1972). (6) In 1970 ECOSOC announced the next World Population Conference (Bucharest, 1974).

Waldheim before becoming UN Secretary-General

Although he postured as an aristocrat, Kurt Waldheim was the grandson of a Czech blacksmith named Vaclavik. (7) Kurt’s father, Walter, migrated to Austria’s Tulln region to pursue a career in education. After becoming a school inspector, Walter socialized with Tulln’s elite who were mainly Christian Social Party (CSP) members. (8) With Pan-Germanism sweeping Austria after WWI, Tulln’s CSP chairman told Walter that with a handle like “Vaclavik” he would not go far. Walter changed his name to the ultra-German “Waldheim.” ‘Wald’ means forest (woods). ‘Heim’ means home. (9)

Austria was awash with anti-Semitism and the CSP was a major disseminator. Party founder, and Vienna’s Mayor, Karl Lueger declared, “Anti-Semitism is a sport.” After the franchise was widened in 1882, he pioneered using anti-Semitism as a vote-getter. He blamed “Jewish financiers” for all misfortunes. “I decide who is a Jew,” said Lueger. Hitler confided, “I learned anti-Semitism from Lueger in Vienna.” (10) Vienna was enlightened compared to Austria’s countryside where lower classes believed Jews used Christian children’s blood to make unleavened bread. (11) Pope Leo XIII blessed the CSP and borrowed from its program. (12)

In 1918 Vienna’s Archbishop, Cardinal Piffl, prevented Hapsburg restoration by arranging Emperor Charles’ exile to Madeira. The resulting power vacuum left the bishops in charge of interpreting what constituted a Republic. They fell upon republicanism by default, never embracing parliamentary democracy or civil liberty as virtues. Piffl declared, “Let Christians serve the fatherland, whatever form of government there is.” (13) Their enemy was “Red Vienna” and it’s Social Democratic Party. On July 15, 1927 Chancellor Seipel (a priest and CSP leader) had soldiers open fire on a peaceful Social Democrat demonstration in Vienna, killing 89. He declared, “Do not ask of the government anything that might appear as weakness.” (14) In 1933 Seipel’s successor, Dollfuss, received church blessing to create a fascistic state along the lines of the anti-capitalist Quadragesimo Anno encyclical. The opportunity to impose this came after a botched Social Democrat putsch in 1934. Catholic militias swarmed the country. Parliament was suspended; opposition parties banned. A Corporate Catholic State was proclaimed by the new Archbishop, Cardinal Innitzer. (15)

Among the banned parties were the Austrian Nazis. They favoured an alliance with Hitler. Despite the ban they had substantial support within universities and from mass circulation magazines. The CSP opposed Nazism out of a traditional wariness of Protestant Prussians. In 1934 the Nazis assassinated Dollfuss. In February 1938 Hitler summoned Dollfuss’ successor, Schuschnigg, to the Bergof to pressure him into letting Nazis occupy government posts. In response Catholics staged a huge rally in Vienna calling for Hapsburg restoration. The Nazis held a counter-demo and larger rallies days later when Schuschnigg released imprisoned party members. Nazi ranks swelled as lumpen elements plotted the looting of Jewish shops, and military men, lawyers, and peasants read the graffiti. (16)

At this time Kurt was attending the Boltzmangasse Consular Academy and the University of Vienna’s Law Faculty. On the latter: “The University of Vienna proved to be an especially fertile ground for Nazi recruitment and indoctrination.” (During post-war de-Nazification, 24 of 34 U of V law profs were dismissed.) Waldheim met his bride at U of V. Like her dad, she was a Nazi zealot, leaving the church in obedience to the Fuhrer. (17)

On March 11, 1938 Hitler ordered the invasion of Austria. Nazi mobs ran riot. They partied in synagogues. On March 14, 250,000 packed Vienna’s Heldenplatz to hear Hitler; 500,000 lined the Ringstrasse to catch a glimpse. Cardinal Innitzer met Hitler at the Hotel Imperial to promise full support. On March 18 a declaration, to be read from every pulpit, stated the bishops:
“...of their own free will... note with joy the results gained by the National Socialist movement in the field of economic and ethnic reconstruction...thanks to the action of the National Socialist movement, the danger of destructive and atheistic bolshevism can be removed. The bishops append to this action their most sincere wishes for a victory and urge the believers to work toward this end.” (18)

Accompanying the declaration was a handwritten letter from Innitzer ending “Hiel Hitler!” (19)

The Gestapo arrested opponents en masse. Queues of visa seekers formed in front of foreign embassies. By July Austria had 30,000 political prisoners. Among the arrested was Walter Waldheim who, as a CSPer, was suspect. The Waldheim house was visited by Gestapo and vandalized by Storm Troopers (SA) who painted “priest lover” on the walls. Kurt was roughed up by Nazis for handing out CSP leaflets. (20) Walter was soon released but forced into retirement. (21)

On April 1, 1938 Kurt Waldheim voluntarily joined the Nazi Student Federation. (22) He volunteered for the brown-shirted SA but it is not clear when. His military file reads: “SA Member since November 18, 1938” but this date could be his application or admission. SA applicants had to prove themselves worthy during a six-month apprenticeship. (23) Kurt was either an apprentice or a member on Chrystal Night (November 9, 1938) – the SA rampage organized by Goebbels. The SA in Vienna, where Kurt was living, distinguished themselves on Chrystal Night. Forty-three of 44 synagogues were trashed and 20,000 Jews abducted. For days SA squads looted shops and houses of Jews in broad daylight. Jews, and opponents of Nazism, were forced to wash streets and walls with a skin-blistering solution. Many lost their jobs. Before Chrystal Night there were 200,000 Jews living in Austria. By month’s end there were 150,000. Eichmann set up a Jewish Emigration Office in a Viennese mansion owned by the Rothschilds. He made rich Jews pay for exit visas and used the proceeds to subsidize evicting poorer ones. SA activities intensified until late 1939 when most members got drafted and persecution became an SS preserve. Sixty-thousand Viennese Jews were exterminated. (24)

Waldheim’s military career began in 1936 when he signed up for one year with the 1st Dragoon Regiment in Stockerau. This regiment was stocked with scions of ancient noble households and other well-connected young men. (25) At Stockerau Waldheim decided to be a diplomat, a career where aristocratic pedigree was paramount. In 1938 he was drafted. He trained as a commando near Berlin until October when he joined the 11th Cavalry Regiment in recently annexed Sudetenland. A month later he was back in Vienna, active in the SA. In 1939 he was transferred to the 45th Infantry Division with whom he occupied France, 1940-41. After a stint back home he rejoined the 45th as a lieutenant. The 45th was part of Army Group Center whose goal was capturing Moscow. Here Waldheim first witnessed “cleansing operations” – razing villages, machine gunning suspects, deporting women and children to slave camps. For bravery in the battle of Brest-Litovsk he was awarded the Iron Cross and promoted to commanding a cavalry squadron. (26) His commander, General von Pannwitz, repeatedly praised him. (Von Pannwitz was hung as a war criminal.) Waldheim also received Assault Cavalry and Eastern Front medals. On December 14, 1941 he was wounded in his right thigh and shipped to an Austrian hospital. (27) On March 6, 1942 he rejoined the 1st Dragoon who transferred him to Yugoslavia to be a staff officer in the 12th Army’s Bader Combat Group. (28)

Waldheim thus entered another atrocity-ridden theatre of war. In 1942 the multi-national Axis army enacted a system of reprisals for acts of resistance including punitive executions of suspects. SS units randomly lynched Serbs from Belgrade street-posts to meet quota. Worse atrocities were committed by the Axis puppet state of Croatia – a front for the genocidal Ustasha movement. (29) On March 19, 1942, after a spike in resistance, the German 12th Army decreed:
“The most minor case of rebellion, resistance or concealment of arms must be treated immediately by the strongest deterrent methods... It is better to liquidate 50 suspects than have one soldier killed.” (30)

These standards were mild. In Bosnia, where Waldheim was, ratios were: “100 Serbs to be executed for every German killed, 50 Serbs for every German wounded.” (31)

After a 2 month operation, ending May 23, 1942, Bader Combat Group declared victory over the Bosnian resistance. Waldheim was cited for valour. (32) On May 29 he joined General von Stahl’s 72,000-troop Battle Group West Bosnia on the Kozara plateau along the Montenegro border; an area of rail lines and mines where partisans had driven out Croatian forces. Stahl ringed the plateau with barbed wire, then moved in. This operation ended in late August after 71 of Stahl’s men had been killed; 4,735 insurgents/suspects were executed and 70,000 civilians were shipped to camps. Rape and robbery were rampant. Waldheim, as intelligence officer, kept casualty statistics and arranged for trucks and trains to transport detainees. His name appears on a fine paper commemorative “list of honour” Wehrmacht document for distinguished service in Kozara. The Croatians awarded him a silver Crown of King Zvonimir medal “for courage in the battle against the rebels in West Bosnia.” (33) 

On August 31, 1942 Waldheim re-joined 12th Army HQ in a town overlooking the Greek port city, Salonika. (34) Salonika’s pre-war Jewish population was 65,000; one third of the city. On July 11, 1942 several thousand Jewish men were corralled into the city square and forced to perform difficult yoga positions under the hot sun while German soldiers hooted, clapped and took photographs. Elderly Jews died on the spot. The photos circulated widely in the Axis press including in a Croatian newspaper popular where Waldheim was then stationed. Real estate and personal belongings of all Greek Jews were sold and the proceeds transferred to German authorities. 800,000 Greek Jews were deported; most to Auschwitz. Salonika’s Jews went to Auschwitz or to camps near malaria-infested swamps. The last trainloads were leaving Salonika as Waldheim arrived. (35) Deporting Jews was a labour intensive operation, much discussed by the soldiers, and unavoidable to an intelligence officer like Waldheim who later pled ignorance.

In November 1942 Waldheim was granted 4 months leave to work on his PH D. His thesis, ”The Concept of Reich according to Konstantin Frantz”, argued the Germanic Reich was the new ‘body of Christ’; a privilege formerly reserved to the Catholic Church. This theory was traced to Prussian statesman Konstantin Frantz (1817-1891) who envisioned a Reich covering western and central Europe. The prime objective was containment of Russia – an Asiatic power “which must be pushed back not only beyond the Danube but even beyond the Dniester.” Waldheim’s thesis advocated incorporating Poland, Belgium, Switzerland, the Balkans, and the Netherlands into the Reich. (36)

Returning to duty, March 1943, Waldheim was assigned to Group E HQ under General Loehr. In May 1943 Group E launched “Operation Schwarz” led by SS General Phleps. Waldheim was Phleps’ staff officer. “Schwarz” wiped out entire villages, killing 16,000 in a month, mostly in blind reprisals. (37) After “Schwarz” Waldheim became liaison officer to General Vecchiarelli’s 11th Italian Army in Athens. Waldheim was entrusted with intel on all operations and empowered to make executive decisions. (38) The Italians did little fighting but lots of pilfering of fountain pens, medicines and even weapons which they sold to partisan guerrillas. On July 26, 1943 Lohr flew in for an emergency meeting with Vecchiarelli. The Fascist Grand Council in Rome had overthrown Mussolini. King Victor Emmanuel III had ordered Mussolini’s arrest. This was problematic for the Wehrmacht, particularly in Athens where Italians outnumbered Germans 10 to 1. Tensions already existed between Vecchiarelli and German generals fighting partisans in eastern Greece who wanted to detain all men in the area. Vecchiarelli would not sign-off on this. Waldheim’s office studied the situation and on August 7 recommended summary executions of partisans and deportation of male civilians to labour camps. On August 20 Waldheim received orders okaying these recommendations and he quickly passed them on. (39) (On August 15 Waldheim processed a communiqué designating the “Jewish committee of Ioannina” a resistance centre. While he adhered to protocol and placed a copy in his files and sent another to HQ, he deviated from protocol by making no reference in the staff war diary. This communiqué would have been followed by the extermination of Ioannina Jews. Treating this information differently is evidence of awareness of special ops regarding Jews. Little else directly connects Waldheim to the Jewish Holocaust which was the job of the SS, not regular Army.) (40)

On September 8 Italy surrendered. On September 22 Waldheim recommended Italians soldiers in Greece be sent to work camps and specified the number of trains needed. Based on personally conducted interrogations, Waldheim claimed Italians were aiding the resistance. Thus unfolded “Case Axis” – a secret operation to disarm Italians and ship them to camps. Vecchiarelli was conned into handing over his heavy weapons on the promise his troops could keep their light weapons and return home. Italians were surreptitiously relieved of most of their small arms as they were rearranged into smaller units. They boarded trains and were told they were going home. On board they were disarmed. The trains went to concentration camps. One-hundred and fifty-eight thousand Italian soldiers were sent from Greece to camps. After one rebellion 4,000 Italians were shot. (41)

By December 1943 Waldheim was “O3” for the 300,000-troop Army Group E. O3s were in charge of office staff, maps and files. O3s were the Army’s best informed men. They reviewed intelligence operations and informed higher and adjacent formations about enemy intelligence through daily reports and special briefings. They read reports, initialled them and made recommendations. A December 19, 1943 document bearing Waldheim’s “W” recounts how Germans burned down a monastery and shot 13 monks; levelled a village and shot 82 inhabitants (half under the age of 15); then entered the town of Sparta, rounded up 128 civilians, including Sparta’s teachers, and placed them before a firing squad. (42) On August 9, 1944 Waldheim assessed positively “Operation Viper” which consisted of wiping out villages in accordance with detailed plans prepared by his office. Waldheim’s August 11th evening report targeted southern Crete. On August 13 two villages in south Crete were destroyed, 20 hostages executed. On August 15 he detailed how the 22nd Mountain Division “mopped up” entire villages yet encountered no armed enemies. Twelve German officers were convicted of war crimes for involvement in “Viper.” (43) On October 12 as Army Group E withdrew westward, Waldheim reported a worrying presence of partisan activity near villages along their escape route. On October 13 Waldheim flew over the area pinpointing three villages. On October 14 German soldiers burned these villages and executed 114 inhabitants. The Captain in charge was later tried and hung. At trial he said he was merely following Hitler’s orders as recommended and elaborated by Oberleutnant Waldheim. The operation to protect the escape route resulted in 739 suspects being executed. Sixty-three weapons were recovered; 13 were modern. Even the reconnaissance officer of this operation was hung as a war criminal. (44)

On May 7, 1945 Yugoslav partisans met General Loehr in Zagreb to negotiate the Germans’ surrender. Waldheim was present. Loehr surrendered, then immediately broke his word when Group E bolted to British-American territory where he surrendered again. He was shipped back to the Yugoslavs. They hung him. (45)

Yugoslavian authorities accused Waldheim of involvement in razing 13 villages and in massacres in several more. (46) They charged him with “murders and massacres, executions of hostages, destruction of goods by fire.” Regarding these atrocities, Yugoslav investigators contended: “Orders were planned in detail with the cooperation of the [intelligence] unit at the army corps headquarters, and in particular with the collaboration of Lieutenant Waldheim.” They relied on numerous direct witnesses including three officers from General Loehr’s staff who confirmed Waldheim’s job was “to offer suggestions for reprisals, the fate of prisoners of war and imprisoned civilians.” (47) The Yugoslavs possessed 244 German military documents connecting Waldheim to war crimes. (48) In December 1947 Waldheim’s file was handed to the London-based UN War Crimes Commission by the Yugoslav legation. (49) The British-chaired UN Commission typically rejected 75% of Yugoslav prosecution requests. Waldheim’s case, however, was processed quickly and approved. On February 19, 1948 the UN Commission recommended Waldheim’s prosecution for “putting hostages to death and murder.” Ten British and US veterans recall seeing Waldheim inside POW camps including one who remembers the “swine Waldheim” overseeing the tossing of executed British soldier’s corpses from the back of a truck “as if they were unloading sacks of manure.” (50) The US National Archive has 19 intelligence reports signed by Waldheim detailing interrogations. In 1987 the US Justice Department declared Waldheim and his wife dangerous agents and banned them from ever entering the US. (51)

Waldheim spent the summer of 1945 in an American POW camp where: “the deal was struck which allowed the young Oberleutnant to begin a new life. In exchange for information (and he had plenty to offer!), he was authorized to return to Vienna and act as though nothing had happened since 1942.” (52)Waldheim gained certificates from the Socialist Party and People’s Party stating he was anti-Nazi. A government inquiry into his past ended in November 1945 when he was hired by the Austrian Department of Foreign Affairs. The UN War Crimes’ prosecution order reads “whereabouts unknown” but the Yugoslavs, Brits and Americans knew where he worked. (53) To intelligence agencies, east and west, Waldheim’s past was an open secret. Each hoped to use this information to influence him. According to one scholar: 

“Throughout the postwar period, including his tenure as UN Secretary-General, Waldheim was a US intelligence asset who expected to be – and always was – protected by his friends in the American intelligence community.” (54)

The Soviets also exploited their knowledge of Waldheim’s past. When Waldheim ran the Austrian diplomatic corps in Czechoslovakia, he dismayed many by slamming the door on refugee claimants during the Soviet invasion following Prague Spring (1968). (55)

Austria joined the UN in 1955. Waldheim led Austria’s UN delegation from 1955 to 1965 when he left to become an Austrian diplomat in Czechoslovakia. After running unsuccessfully for the Austrian Presidency with the arch-conservative People’s Party in 1971, he became Europe’s choice for UN Secretary-General. He was the first pick of neither Soviets nor Americans who vetoed each other’s prime candidates. When the Security Council voted on Waldheim, Britain abstained and never explained.

Oberleutnant as Secretary-General 1972-1981

A Secretary-General (S-G) is more than the UN’s chief administrative officer; he is the UN’s personification. Waldheim introduced a capricious ostentation to the UN. Previous S-Gs lived in humble residences at their own expense. Upon Waldheim’s arrival, philanthropist Arthur Houghton donated No. 3 Sutton Place to be his official New York residence. Waldheim cluttered it with Louis XV sofas, Saxe Porcelain, and English Lace – at UN expense. Museums donated famous paintings to adorn the walls. (56) No. 3 Sutton became the soiree venue for UN potentates. When Waldheim was given a valuable antique clock from the Mexican President, he immediately shipped it to his home in Austria – at UN expense. Gems from the Shah of Iran were shipped straight to Kurt’s pocket. (57) The generosity didn’t go around: “There’s not a waiter in a New York cafe who ever saw him leave a penny as a tip.” (58)

Some thought Waldheim was “a scheming, ambitious, duplicitous egomaniac ready to do anything for advantage or public acclaim.” Others found him: “dull”, “conceited”, “unimaginative”, “an obsequious vacuous neuter”, “an unexceptional but well-trained valet”, “a creepy maitre’d”. (59) One critic said he was “basically a Feudalist”. Waldheim: “loved the red carpet, the salvos salutes, loved traveling to Africa where he was treated as a king.” His favourite toilet paper was flown around the world by diplomatic pouch. He enjoyed making underlings work late if he knew they had evening plans. He fast-tracked his daughter’s career on up to being UN Head of Protocol. He was a tall-person freak who complained shorter people lacked elegance: “Even when he was Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he wanted at all costs to restrict entry into the diplomatic corps to very tall people.” (60)

Waldheim oversaw a leap in UN executive salaries, the advent of “ex gratia payments, amounting on occasion to several hundred thousand dollars” and “the corrupt sale of certain profitable posts within the Secretariat.” (61) Waldheim was complicit in the Charter-contravening practice of national governments topping up the salaries of “their” UN officers. By the end of Waldheim’s terms, scores of UN officials earned more than the US President. “Senior officials” one critic quipped: “assume that a show of wealth supported by public funds in no way impaired their claim to speak on behalf of the destitute.” (62) Waldheim’s tenure was characterized by an “insistence on unconditional loyalty to a personality whose requirements are equated with those of the UN.” (63) Thus despite the “extreme operational and administrative chaos into which the organization would sink under Waldheim’s stewardship”, in the “higher levels of the UN Secretariat he had more defenders that critics.” Under Waldheim an elite circled the S-G’s office who viewed themselves an authoritative clique “whose oracular pronouncements connoted absolute knowledge.” (64)

A labour lawyer hired by UN staff, likened Waldheim’s administration to “the court of King Henry VIII.” He said Jimmy Hoffa was easier to work with than Waldheim for even if Jimmy was “a bum and a thief” at least he kept his word. (65) Waldheim certainly did not honour commitments to Alicja Wesolowska. She was a UN staffer arrested in 1979 by Polish authorities for “contacts with foreign intelligence”. Waldheim did nothing for her even after her seven-year jail sentence. This was the last straw for many UN employees. They held an emotional rally in front of Waldheim’s office on behalf of Wesolowska and 20 others arbitrarily imprisoned while on UN assignment for whom Waldheim did zip. (66) A Waldheim spokesman said “Western” standards should not be imposed on other cultures. (67)

Waldheim and the European-centered UN

The Waldheim-as-imperious-snob portrait is painted over the Waldheim-as-dedicated-fascist canvas. Contrary to UN commitments to merit-based hiring, Waldheim declared “geographical distribution of the staff is the over-riding factor” in appointments. He was the first S-G to lobby for the post and the first to connect the number of senior positions given a country to the support they gave him and his agenda. A “Western Ambassador” complained to the New York Times “You try to get as many posts as possible for your own nationals. This is wrong, but everyone does it.” (68)

Geo-political favouritism was part of the UN’s transition from an American to a European centered entity. In the year Waldheim took the helm J. William Fulbright, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair, summed up existing affairs: “Having controlled the UN for many years as tightly and as easily as a big-city boss controls his party machine, we got used to the idea that the UN was a place where we could work our will.” (69) This changed under Waldheim.

Declining Western influence was evidenced by Waldheim’s refusal to appeal to North Vietnam on behalf of refugees trapped by the Vietnam War. On this issue the New York Times reported Waldheim “expressed bitterness over accusations published in the United States that he was biased.” The International Herald Tribune reported: “Waldheim said he had no intention of resigning because of criticism directed against him. ‘The criticism comes from the West exclusively’ he said ‘From no other part of the world. On the contrary, the rest of the world seems satisfied.’” (70) Waldheim ordered Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago removed from bookstores on UN premises. (71) He transferred the Human Rights Commission from New York to Geneva. (72) He struggled to locate United Nations Environment Programme’s headquarters in Geneva and was miffed by the choice of Nairobi. He condemned as “a serious violation of the national sovereignty of a United Nations member state” the 1976 rescue by Israeli commandos of hostages from Uganda’s Entebbe airport. (73) (In 1973 while visiting Israel’s Tent of Remembrance Crypt he recoiled at wearing a skull-cap. To make amends he later agreed to be photographed wearing a white one.) (74)

The Waldheim era is mistakenly seen as the rise of Third World in the UN. Starting in the 1960s the UN was inundated by states with territories, populations and resources too small to allow them to carry out Charter obligations. In 1969, when the Security Council debated mini-states, the US recommended they be admitted as “associate” members. Waldheim impaled this idea. He welcomed as full members 30 super-powers such as: Vanuatu, Cape Verde, Comoros, Djibouti, Dominica, Fiji, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Sao Tome-Principe, Seychelles, Bahamas, Suriname, Saint Vincent, Antigua, and Belize. (He also welcomed Germany in 1973 – the last ‘Axis’ state to gain admission.) As mini-states crowded into the UN General Assembly (UNGA), several conjoined political struggles eroded US influence. Mini-states were recruited into a “non-aligned” movement (later the ‘Group of 77’) programmatically opposed to both UN founding pillars (USA and USSR). An overflowing UNGA became the venue of a protracted “anti-colonialist” campaign against Israel, Rhodesia and South Africa that consolidated into an anti-Western bloc. Consequently, according to the UN Encyclopedia, the UNGA now makes decisions “by consensus wherever possible.” This “consensus” is achieved through “prolonged informal consultations in which the protagonists now tend to be the delegations holding the presidency or chairmanship of, respectively, the ‘Group of 77 and China’ and the European Union whose statements were normally supported by a dozen or so Central and East European and Mediterranean countries.” (75) The West is thus marginalized in the UNGA.

The UNGA is marginalized in the “UN system”. Only UNGA budget and apportionment decisions are binding. The hundreds of decisions agonized over every year by the UNGA are mere recommendations. (They do have normative effect when adopted by an overwhelming, European-led, majority.) Regarding substantive matters, proposals emerge from within UN bureaucracies and are later “endorsed”, after prolonged informal consultations, by the UNGA. The UNGA suffered further devaluations since the 1990s as its role of international negotiating forum was usurped by “summits” on the environment, population, settlement, and women’s rights.

European conquest of the UN is considered a triumph in Europe. (76) As they must, pursuant to the Treaty on European Union, EU Member States meet regularly, to ensure they vote and lobby in concert in the UN. They target agencies and programmes across the range of UN activities but betray an affinity for things green. EU groups sit down regularly with the main committees of the UNGA and the main commissions of ECOSOC. At last count EU groups and UN reps were holding one thousand private meetings per year. (77) The European Commission (EC) as a “permanent observer” directly addresses the UNGA. The ‘Council of Europe’ also has UNGA observer status. The EU’s opening address to UNGA occurs alongside, and carries as much weight, as does the address by the Secretary-General. By herding EU members, and EU wannabe members, the EU is guaranteed support from one-sixth of UN members and one third of Security Council seats. (78) In 1991 the EC was accepted as full member at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization’s headquarters in Rome. The EC then obtained special, full-participant, status at the Earth Summit (1992). Now the EC has this unique status on the UN’s Committee for Sustainable Development and on its Intergovernmental Forum on Forests. In 1994 the EU Council Secretariat established a liaison office at UN offices in New York and Geneva.  Now they have permanent delegations ensconced in UN offices in Paris, Nairobi, Rome and Vienna as well. (79) Collectively EU states are the largest financial contributors to the UN system. They supply 40% of the UN’s regular budget and 50% of contributions to UN funds and programmes (with an emphasis on green funds and programmes). Nordic countries and the Netherlands are the UN’s largest per capita contributors. In 2005 the European Community, as a separate entity, made a bloc $1 billion grant to the UN. (80) Most UN head offices are located in Europe. This is certainly the case regarding the UN’s environmental system. Two thirds of UN enviro-offices and staff are situated in Europe. (81)

The UN and Euro-environmentalism are interpenetrated. Environmentalism made deep inroads into European governance independent of UN efforts. This was evidenced in 1972 when nine European states met in Paris to forge a joint environmental program later broadened to include all Europe via the Helsinki Final Act (1975). However the UN did contribute to the greening of Europe. Starting with the 1983 Long Range Trans-boundary Air Pollution Convention, the UN’s Economic Commission of Europe (ECE) negotiated five major environmental treaties each hatching ECE subsidiaries to oversee implementation. ECE negotiated European treaties regarding: Trans-boundary Watercourses (1996); Environmental Impact Statements (1997); Trans-boundary Effects of Industrial Accidents (2000); and the transformative 2001 “Aarhus Convention” giving Euro-environmentalists wide access to information about, and rights to participate in, industrial and land-use decisions. ECE lobbied for Single European Act provisions giving prominence to environmental policy. (82)

ECE is basically another green activist group; albeit a well-connected one with a $30 ml annual budget. Every four years it hosts “Environmental Performance” meetings for European Environment Ministers. The 2005 conference dispatched ECE to better coordinate European implementation of UN Millennium Development Goals and to improve EU cooperation with UNDP. Although its mandate covers all economic issues, it has a green agenda euphemized as the “rational use of natural resources and sustainable development.” ECE works with UN’s European Forestry Commission to promote sustainable forest management. Its Statistical Division measures, “the distorting effect of globalization on national statistical measuring systems” andseeks “sound methods of measuring sustainable development.” Its Sustainable Energy Committee promotes “energy security” through reducing European dependence on imported fuel. ECE also works closely with European Environment Agency headquarters in Copenhagen. (EEA was created by the EU in 1990 to inform and coordinate European Environment Ministries.) (83)

Environmentalism in the UN; Waldheim and Beyond

Waldheim chaired the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. Although boycotted by the East Bloc, the Conference was attended by 113 states. (84) In preparation for Stockholm the enviro-movement released Only One Earth (an alarmist tract by 100 ‘prominent’ scholars) and the Club of Rome’s apocalyptic Limits to Growth (one of the most widely distributed and advertized books in history). These texts were condensed into the Stockholm Declaration – a 900-word manifesto repeating “environment” 24 times along with references to “biosphere,” “Earth,” “the planet” and “the surroundings”. The Declaration begins: “With the growing recognition of global population, development and environmental interdependence, the opportunity to adopt suitable macro- and socio-economic policies to promote sustained economic growth in the context of sustainable development ... has never been greater.” It then sounds the alarm about: “dangerous levels of pollution in water, air, earth and living beings; major and undesirable disturbances to the ecological balance of the biosphere; the destruction and depletion of irreplaceable resources.” It was up to the UN to defendtheenvironmentfor “future generations” because environmentalproblemsare “global in their extent.” Stockholm’s “26 Principles” drum on the dangers of over-population and the need to conserve “natural ecosystems”. The Principles seek to safeguard “non-renewable resources” and assert that “discharge of toxic such quantities or concentrations as to exceed the capacity of the environment to render them harmless, has to be halted.” Principle 19 stresses the importance of “education in environmental matters, for the younger generation” and the necessity that the “mass media... disseminate information of an educational nature, on the need to protect and improve the environment.” (85)

Many Conference attendees found the Declaration/Principles insufficiently “anti-colonialist” despite their call for eliminating: “colonial or other forms of oppression and foreign domination” and for abandoning “projects which were designed for colonialist and racist domination.” (86) On sovereignty the Declaration/Principles are duplicitous. Nations may exploit their natural resources as they wish yet not in a manner that pollutes the environment or diminishes reserves.

Stockholm’s Action Plan called for a UN-led enviro-activist program of mass education, organizational training and financial mobilization. Within months the UN launched the United Nations Environment Programme. UNEP, inter alia, was to organize regulation of industrial agricultural products, gather data on the detriments of mining, and formulate a global energy balance sheet. UNEP’s inaugural budget financed 100 air pollution measuring stations and 10 stations to record environmental change. By 1975 UNEP’s monitoring system was operating in 14 countries. (87)

Other UN agencies turned greener under Waldheim. In 1972 UNESCO initiated “Man and the Environment” and “Man and the Biosphere” programs. UNESCO-UNEP’s Tbilisi Declaration (1977) called for a global “environmental education” crusade. ECOSOC’s 1974 World Population Conference was the first UN-led meeting of states dealing with over-population and the first linking population to environment. The subsequent Action Plan expanded the UN Fund for Population Activity and kicked-off an unprecedented, and coercive, global population control blitz. (88)

Waldheim’s UN was “dense with irreproachable statements on global peril.” (89) In his opening address to the 1978 General Assembly Waldheim decreed:
“The progressive exhaustion of known cheap supplies of oil, while energy demands continue to increase, poses a formidable challenge for the international community. It also has profound political implications. Nations will have to change from a pattern of energy consumption dominated by oil to a more energy saving pattern of growth, relying on more diversified sources of energy... considerable efforts will be needed to harmonize the interests of producers, processors, users, poorer consumers and environmentalists... we must find ways to ensure sustainable supplies of energy for the world economy while avoiding the excessive depletion of natural resources... We need to deal vigorously with the area of energy, which is a major challenge, and to launch a coordinated and imaginative effort by the world community in this field.... high-level meetings could play an essential role in this process...I stand ready to lend all necessary assistance in furthering such an approach.” (90)

Propaganda about exhausted hydro-carbon fuel reserves is a Big Lie used to justify shifting the world’s energy industry away from oil and coal. World coal production increased from 1.4 billion tonnes in 1950 to 2.6 billion tonnes in 1980 while West European output declined because of high costs of deep-pit mining. (91) Western Europe has no oil. The US North-East and Japan suffer a similar “energy crisis.” Steering the world away from oil and coal is to their comparative advantage. Subsequent Big Lies about acid rain and global warming share the anti-coal, anti-oil motive. These atmosphere hoaxes (aeromancy) were what Waldheim was referring to with: “coordinated and imaginative effort”. It is worth noting his trusted Under-Secretary once said, “The worst way to make an argument is by reason and good information. You must appeal to emotions and to their fears of being made to appear ridiculous.” (92)

Under Waldheim the UN began facilitating the international chemical cartel’s replacement of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) with new, patented substitutes. In 1976 UNEP turned its attention to the atmospheric ozone layer. A 1977 meeting of the UN-led Coordinating Committee on the Ozone Layer prompted the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to take up ozone layer monitoring. In 1981 UNEP announced plans for a convention protecting the ozone layer from CFCs. Mass panic was generated about “ozone holes” over Antarctica and the North Pole. (These holes are natural phenomena.) In 1985 a convention on protecting the ozone layer was adopted in Vienna. In 1987 UNEP organized the Montreal Protocol which mandated replacing CFCs with the new products. (93) A Multi-Lateral Fund (MLF), co-managed by UNEP, was established in 1990 to promote new chemical processes and their transfer to developing countries. By 2007 MLF had spent $2 b on 5,500 projects in 144 countries. (94)

Now the MLF’s Ozone Hole/CFC phase-out campaign is held out as a “best practice” by UN authorities:
“The MLF is an exceptional but tangible example of a model of a financial mechanism to fully meet incremental costs for normative activities...while successfully mainstreaming environmental activities within the broader framework for sustainable development in the field.” (95)

The MLF is the “primary example of a dedicated multilateral environmental financial mechanism whose success largely derives from a sustained transfer of resources to developing countries to assist them to comply with the control measures of the Protocol.” (96)

The Montreal Protocol’s disciplined global coordination of scientific panels is also praised as was its patient strategy of “awareness-raising, capacity-building, and institutional strengthening.” (97) Three conventions launched at the 1992 Earth Summit – the Convention on Biological Diversity, Convention to Combat Desertification, and most importantly the Framework Convention on Climate Change – were each designed to replicate the Ozone Hole campaign. (98) Thus the climate change campaign is another “coordinated and imaginative effort” run by the UN. It too began under Waldheim.

In the 1950s ‘climate change’ was an inchoate, insignificant academic discipline. The first journal dedicated to the topic, Climactic Change, appeared in 1977. The number of articles published per year on atmospheric science tripled between 1965 and 1995. Environmentalists flirted with a climate change cause celebre in 1963 when the Conservation Foundation warned of melting ice and rising sea levels. In 1965 Edward Lorenz’s address to the National Center for Atmospheric Research (Boulder, Colorado) warned of a tipping point whereat “human technological intervention” could trigger “huge change in the future climate.” In 1971 a small gathering met in Stockholm under the banner: “Man’s Impact on Climate.” (Their report contained a prayer to Mother Earth.) In the mid-1970s a few elite environmentalists like Crispin Tickell and Stephen Schneider wrote books promoting climate change as an eco-cause. Lord Zuckerman (former UK government chief scientific advisor) warned of “major changes in climate” in the preface to Tickell’s book. (99)

In 1979, shortly after Waldheim’s enviro-decree, a World Climate Conference was organized in by UNEP, WMO, and International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU). (100) (Paris-headquartered ICSU is fully integrated into environmentalism and the UN.) The Conference dealt with adaptation, not prevention. In 1980 the troika held a follow-up in Villach, Austria focussing on CO2 emissions. (Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concedes there was little factual basis for an anthropogenic global warming belief in 1980.) (101) The ICSU then founded its Scientific Committee on Pollution of the Environment while UNEP lobbied for a UN climate change institute. (102) Then the media embraced the cause. In 1981 the New York Times splashed an article quoting NASA’s James Hansen on the “greenhouse effect” across its front page.

In 1985 UNEP, emboldened by its ozone success, “saw a window of opportunity through which they could push climate change” and summoned a second Villach Conference after which 89 “experts” issued a warning about fuel emissions. Typical of 1980s environmentalism, the Conference blended acid rain/ozone depletion/global warming into a single concern. The “experts” included engineers, biologists and naturalists, many of whom first learned of global warming at the Conference. (103) Conclusions reached at Villach 1985 were shrill compared to Villach 1980 and the difference cannot be explained by new science. (104) In 1986 UNEP/ICSU/WMO created the Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases (AGGG) which held two workshops in 1987 (Villach and Bellagio). Dissatisfaction with AGGG and disputes between the Reagan administration and environmentalists embedded in US federal government agencies led UNEP to redouble its lobbying for an intergovernmental climate change mechanism.

In June 1988 enviro-veteran Senator Tim Wirth organized a well-timed Congressional hearing on global warming featuring testimony from James Hansen. The media gave enormous attention to Hansen’s claim that catastrophic man-made global warming was sound science. Days later a UNEP co-sponsored global warming conference was held in Toronto. Major media firms sent so many reporters extra press rooms had to be added. Only 73 of 341 conference delegates were scientists and not all of them were climatologists. They were outnumbered by the 50 leading environmental activists, 30 social scientists, 20 politicians and scores of government reps, notables and alternative energy lobbyists. (105) The London Times gave a very supportive account of the conference. Weeks later British PM Thatcher gave a universally publicized address to the Royal Society warning of acid rain/global warming/ozone depletion. Two months later UNEP and WMO launched the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Within a year 80% of Americans were aware of global warming. (106)

The global warming scare was “welcomed” by the UN after the fact via resolutions dated December 11, 1987 and December 6, 1988. The 1987 resolution rubber-stamped UNEP’s pre-existing focus on climate change and its earlier decision to participate in the inter-agency World Climate Programme. The 1988 resolution (Protection of Global Climate for Present and Future Generations) acknowledges “valuable work, particularly at the scientific level and in legal work, has already been initiated on climate change, in particular by UNEP.” The 1988 resolution then “endorses the action of the WMO and UNEP in establishing an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.” The resolution notes “emerging evidence indicates that continued growth in atmospheric concentrations of ‘greenhouse’ gases could produce global warming with eventual rise in sea levels, the effects of which could be disastrous.” The UNGA belatedly ordered “the Secretary-General of WMO and the Executive Director of UNEP, utilizing the IPCC, immediately to initiate action leading, as soon as possible, to a comprehensive review and recommendations with respect to the science of climate change.” The resolution also “urges Governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and scientific institutions to treat climate change as a priority issue, to undertake and promote specific, cooperative, action orientated programmes of research... (And) ...calls upon all relevant organizations and programmes of the UN system to support the work of the IPCC.” (107)

UNEP helped organize a Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and received subsequent UN authorization on December 21, 1990. UNFCCC opened for signature at the 1992 Earth Summit and became active in 1994. UNFCCC’s objective is “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere” through reducing the use of oil and coal and through increasing forest area. UNFCCC’s Secretariat has created scientific and technological subsidiaries with funds from the Global Environment Facility. (108) The first UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) was Berlin, 1995. At the 1997 COP, 160 governments signed the Kyoto Protocol to compel developed countries to reduce CO2 emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2012. Because the Protocol had to be ratified by 55 nations responsible for 55% of CO2 emissions, it was not until Russia was brought on board that the treaty went into force (February 16, 2005). Kyoto’s principal target, the USA, never ratified and the other intended victims, Canada and Australia, are far from compliance. Thus, all eyes are on the 15th COP (Copenhagen, December 2009) where new goals, deadlines and enforcement procedures will have to be negotiated. 

The 1986 Austrian Presidential Election

Waldheim’s career demonstrates how superficial European de-Nazification was. Although the theory is often wildly misconstrued, some Waldheimologists, including a team of La Monde journalists, believe:

Waldheim might have been involved in the enigmatic Nazi International which at the fall of the Third Reich, had ordered its members to infiltrate the machinery of the state and occupy important positions while awaiting better days.” (109)

When the UN War Crimes Commission was dissolved at the beginning of the Cold War prosecutions were suspended against 36,000 accused Nazi/Fascist criminals. (110) In one of Waldheim’s stomping grounds, Greece, prosecutions concerning 5,050 suspected war criminals began in 1945. Only 51 proceedings went to trial; 31 verdicts were pronounced. Proceedings were suspended in 1953; files pulped in 1975. Greek intelligence services welcomed Nazi collaborators into their ranks with British approval. The new enemy was communism. (111) In 1970 Alex de Marenches, French information services chief, while surveying the cellars of a French intelligence building found ten tonnes of Gestapo documents “all piled in a mess.” His staff began organizing these files when: “I pulled out a few documents at random. The result was unpleasant, even painful. There were the prominent men of today who had been or had claimed to have been members of the resistance and true patriots. In reality, they had been in the pay of the Germans... since one of the most pernicious of French vices is divisiveness, we do not need to go rummaging around in trash cans and stirring up the dirt.” He stopped work on the pile. (112) Francois Mitterrand, a Nazi collaboro, became French President in 1981.

In 1945, 500,000 Austrians belonged to Nazi organizations. (113) De-Nazification from April 1945 to January 1946 involved dismissals, internments, trials, even death sentences. By mid-1946 de-Nazification committees were “finding the best ways to white-wash the individuals under the jurisdiction.” In 1948 the amnesty began. Political parties authorized to give de-Nazification certificates engaged in horse-trading. Serious war criminals were protected. A joke circulating Vienna was that Hitler must be dead because the Archbishop wasn’t hiding him. A poll conducted by an American firm in 1948 revealed 40% of Austrians thought Nazism was a good idea. (114) Former Nazi leaders returned to prominence in all parties. The Freedom Party’s avowed objective was winning over former Nazis. Party founder, Anton Reinthaler, was Secretary of State in the Nazi-Austrian regime. A Socialist Party provincial chairman was the national leader of the Hitler Youth. Austrian President Kirschlager as a Wehrmacht captain ordered boys into suicide charges against Soviet tanks on the eve of surrender. (115) During Waldheim’s 1986 presidential campaign an editorial in Austria’s major daily paper (circ. 900,000) declared: “Former National Socialists...consider themselves to have been sufficiently punished and no longer see any reason why they should cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes.” (116)
Before the 1986 Austrian presidential election, the accepted version of Waldheim’s past was that he was a persecuted anti-Nazi drafted in 1938, wounded in 1941, who sat out the rest of the war as a student. This story appeared in his autobiography, media interviews and official bios. As late as February 1986 Waldheim denied being in Nazi organizations or of having served in Greece or Yugoslavia. (117) Joining these lies was his self-portrait of a man without political affiliations. He was deeply attached to an arch-conservative political Catholicism historically connected to Austro-fascism, the contemporary organized expression of which is the Austrian People’s Party (OVP). (118) The OVP self-describes as an “ecological party” and is referred to as “environmentally-sensitive”. In 1986, while nominally independent, Waldheim was the OVP’s presidential choice. The rival Socialists chose a lacklustre former Health Minister to oppose him. The Socialists were embarrassingly divided over the construction of a power station that the Ecology Party, and most Austrian environmentalists, opposed. The Austrian media swirled with scandals concerning financial scams and allegations of antifreeze in Austrian wines, which played into Waldheim’s campaign theme: “Vote for a man whom the world trusts.” His main poster depicted Waldheim and wife dressed in traditional Austrian garb against a backdrop of iconic wilderness. (119)

On March 3, 1986, two months before the election, a Viennese magazine published revelations about Waldheim’s past. (The author received a tip from Socialists.) The next day, the New York Times revealed Waldheim’s prewar membership in Nazi groups and involvement in Balkan atrocities. The story made international headlines. (120) Waldheim ducked and dodged; then, when pressed about why the allegations were all over the world press, he replied, “The international press is dominated by the World Jewish Congress. It’s well known.” (121) The Austrian media took up this theory of an international Jewish conspiracy to discredit Waldheim. On the stump Waldheim bellowed, to hysterical applause, that New Yorkers with names like “Steinberg and Rosenbaum” will never “tell the Austrian people how to vote.” (122) He won by a landslide. The Arab media hailed his election as a “slap in the face for Zionism”. The Abu Nidal terror group placed Waldheim’s grinning mug on the cover of their rag. He was warmly received by John Paul II and cordially greeted by Mitterrand. (123)

The UN System's Environmental Programs

By 1990 the UN was so big and complex one exasperated investigative journalist complained:

“UN ‘regular budgets’ refer mainly to funds committed for administrative needs, and exclude the far greater operational costs of the UN system. The annual overall budget of the UN has of recent years, been informally estimated at $6 billion. However, I find it impossible to establish a reliable yearly total for the UN’s attestable overall expenditures, which appear to be vastly in excess of that sum. The organization informs me that no comprehensive figure can be provided. And piecemeal calculation cannot hope to include with accuracy the costs of every affiliate subsidiary and the ad hoc undertaking of the UN system; or to encompass the complex expenses of the UN’s financial institutions, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. So far as I am aware, no attempt has ever been made to assess the further extended financial commitment of member governments in maintaining within their foreign ministries bureaus of United Nations affairs and in participating, with a large diversity of offices, personal and counterpart expenditures, in United Nations projects and meetings around the globe. It is my impression that no one knows even the approximate cost, to world citizenry, of the UN.” (124)

The UN is much larger, complicated and out of control now. It generates millions of pages of documents every year. The S-G office alone now employs 9,000. UN’s environmental activities alone are now larger than the entire UN system was 20 years ago. No one knows how big the UN’s enviro-budget is. According to the UN, “Concrete estimates of the overall financial resources available to the various components of the environmental governance system are not available.” (125) A 2006 guestimate put the total annual budget for UN environmental organizations at $1.65 billion. (126) This is an underestimation as it does not fully account for the “sustainable development” component of UN environmentalism.

One problem in auditing UN environmentalism stems from the fact that: “Development organizations believe their core mission is to promote growth and reduce poverty and that environmental degradation as a corollary of poverty can be reversed through the eradication of poverty.” (127) Green rhetoric is sometimes used to justify traditional pro-growth development programs. At the same time, some ostensible “anti-poverty” programs have a green ulterior motive. Thus it is hard to separate “development” from “sustainable development”. Some indeterminable portion of the UN’s (2007) $16 bl development budget went to alternative energy, eco-tourism, and reforestation. This confusion is not confined to the UN. According to the OECD, in 2005, out of $110 bl in (non-UN related) bilateral, rich-country-to-poor-country, development aid, about $35 bl went to “environmental-related activities in support of sustainable development.” However, again, some of this was for water-works, sanitation and other conventional aid programs. About $2 bl in of this bilateral aid was explicitly for non-developmental environmental protection. (128)

While there is no comprehensive database, a 2004 UNEP study estimated the UN system had, over the years, initiated sixty-thousand (60,000) environment-related projects. Pressed by auditors in 2007, UNEP came up with a “sample list” of 49 major overlapping inter-agency UN eco-programmes. UNEP repeatedly requests the UN Environment Management Group (EMG) for a strategy to catalogue UN enviro-activities. EMG has not gotten around to this. (129)

UN enviro-activism consists of the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) and a larger multi-agency UN environmentalist program. While over a dozen UN agencies have their own environmental operations (including World Bank, FAO, IMF and even the International Civil Aviation Organization), the nucleus of enviro-action (apart from UNEP) is ECOSOC – a veritable UN-within-the-UN. ECOSOC has its own 36-state “general assembly” (8 African, 7 Asian, 5 Latin America/Caribbean, 12 West European and “other”). ECOSOC subsidiary machinery encompasses: 9 functional commissions, including the Commission on Science and Technology; 5 regional commissions, which increasingly manage development projects; and 4 standing committees, including one on NGOs. Over 2,000 NGOs are integrated into ECOSOC operations. ECOSOC links the World Bank, WMO and Industrial Development Organization to the rest of the UN system. Between 1988 and 1992 ECOSOC reorganized itself to prioritize science and renewable energy, which led to the launch of several energy expert groups. (This was later endorsed by the UNGA.) (130) UN Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Committee for Sustainable Development (CSD) are ECOSOC subsidiaries.

UNFPA’s 1984 Mexico City conference was all about “environment and population.” (131) Its next conference (sanctioned by ECOSOC in 1991, held in Cairo in 1994) declared “universal access to reproductive health and family planning services” was essential to achieving “sustainable development”. With assistance from governments and philanthropic foundations, UNFPA helps 112 poor countries integrate population control into sustainable development strategies. UNFPA strategizes on how to supply affordable contraceptives, sterilization and abortion services to “the poorest sectors of society.” To UNFPA, “women’s health” means abortions. UNFPA protects women from forms of coercion that cause pregnancy. UNFPA is the inter-agency UNAIDS member responsible for “young people and condom programming.” In 2006 UNFPA spent $537 million (34% Africa; 30% Asia; 13% Eastern Europe; 9% Latin America). The money was spent: 61% to “reproductive health and family planning”, 21% to “population and development”, and 13% to “global programmes.” (132)

UNDP is the UN’s main development agency. Its five regional offices oversee 132 national offices each headed by a resident rep responsible for coordinating all UN development activity in that country. UNDP works with the World Bank, IMF, and regional development banks. Japan, Netherlands, USA, Sweden, Norway, UK and Denmark account for two-thirds of UNDP donations. Top per capita donors are West European. Poor countries contribute significantly to project costs. Most UNDP assistance is non-monetary: consultation, equipment and training. UNDP also tops up other UN project budgets with administrative and technical support costs. In the 2008-11 period UNDP will disperse $21 bl: $5.3 bl from “regular resources”, $5 bl from “bilateral contributions”, $5.5 bl from “multi-lateral contributions”, and $4.8 bl from recipient countries. (133)

In the 1990s UNDP was a victim of “donor fatigue” resulting from the Cold War’s end and from tensions between developed and undeveloped states. In response UNDP replaced its Governing Council with an Executive Board in 1993 and took on a pro-active, integrative role within the UN. In 1997 UNDP launched a UN Development Group (UNDG) to “ensure environmental sustainability” and “integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes.” The focus became energy, AIDS and “democratic governance”. These changes did not immediately stem the decline in UNDP revenues, which fell to $2 billion a year in the late 1990s. The post-2000 turnaround came partially as a result of enthusiasm generated by the Millennium Summit whereat UNDG was designated coordinator for achieving Millennium Development Goals. Part of its re-invention involved new partnerships with the European Commission and major philanthropic foundations. In 2002 UNDP launched the Oslo Governance Centre to change poor counties through: “civil society”, “capacity building”, and “public information.” (Translation: parallel governance to impose ecofascism.) (134)

Under the motto “sustainable development through capacity development” UNDP is involved in a bewildering array of programs each arcing to a green objective. The party line has it that “desertification and land degradation is a major cause of rural poverty” so to fight poverty UNDP’s Drylands Development Centre lobbies to ensure poor nations protect drylands via tree-planting, wilderness preservation and the dissemination of global warming propaganda. UNDP’s Biodiversity Programme: “assists developing countries integrate issues relating to sustainable practices and diversity into national and global practices.” Their Small Grants Program bankrolls thousands of small eco-activists groups. Their Equator Initiative “reduces poverty” through “promoting conservation and sustainable practices” in equatorial countries. Other UNDP programs include: Water UNDP, Capacity 2015, and the Sustainable Development Networking Programme. Pursuant to the Climate Change Convention, UNDP runs the Clean Development Mechanism to transition developing countries toward “alternatives to conventional fuels”. (135)

CSD’s 53 members meet annually to monitor Agenda 21 implementation, particularly the tapping of the promised 0.7% of rich nation GNP to finance green technology transfer. CSD also promotes “sustainable development” across the UN system; evidence of which abounds. (136) In 1993 the UN-led World Conference on Human Rights extended human rights to include the right to economic development meeting the environmental needs of future generations. The 1994 Secretary-General’s “Agenda for Development” affirmed “sustainable development” as the guide for all UN policy. (137)

CSD was a product of the “Earth Summit” the origins of which date to a 1983 UN endorsement of the World Commission on Environmental Protection and Development (a private clique of bureaucrats, scientists and economists). It was the Commission’s 1987 “Brundtland Report” that branded the “sustainable development” logo onto the UN. The UN also endorsed the Brundtland Report’s recommendation of an Earth Summit. At the Summit itself (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) 178 governments signed the “Rio Declaration” which, like the Stockholm Declaration, championed the right of nations to manage their own resources and industries while demanding restrictions be placed on resource development and industrial strategy. Like Stockholm, Rio declared development should benefit angelic “future generations.” The Rio Principles are a 1,000-word manifesto using “environment” 35 times and “sustainable development” ten times to promote “transfers of technologies”, “environmental impact assessments”, and “the precautionary approach.” The latter means: “lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.” (Translation: hysteria trumps science.) Rio stressed: “The creativity, ideals and courage of the youth of the world should be mobilized to forge a global partnership in order to achieve sustainable development.” (Translation: brainwash kids.) Rio focused on “indigenous people” about whom “states should recognize and duly support their identity, culture and interests and enable their effective participation in the achievement of sustainable development.” (Translation: blood and soil.) (138)

Also unveiled at Rio was Agenda 21 – a catalogue of ecofascist euphemisms. Agenda 21: “Set a bold new unprecedented global partnership to confront and overcome the threat of environmental collapse.” The first of Agenda 21’s four sections promotes “making trade and environment mutually supportive.” Section 2 proposes solving ozone depletion, soil degradation, deforestation and desertification through: “enlightened management of fragile ecosystems” and by “enhancing the protection, management and conservation of all forests, as well as the greening of degraded areas, through rehabilitation, afforestation, reforestation and other means.” Governments are urged to manage forests to meet the ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of future generations for medicine, recreation, wildlife habitats, landscape diversity and carbon reservoirs. (Translation: suppress commercial forestry and land development.) Small islands, mountains, deserts and beaches are also declared as deserving protection from humans. Section 3 proposes involving women, children, indigenous people, NGOs, local authorities, unions, and scientists in economic decision making. (Translation: subordinate businesses to unelected elites.) Section 4 deals with paying for Agenda 21, in particular “the transfer of environmentally sound technologies.” Estimated costs were $600 billion a year with $125 billion to come from rich countries and the rest from poor countries. (139)

The UN System and Multi-Lateral Environmental Agreements (MEA)

Multi-lateral Environment Agreements (MEAs) play a major role in “international environmental governance”. While MEAs date to an 1868 agreement regarding the Rhine, practically all 500 active MEAs were adopted post-Stockholm Conference (1972). The 1992 Earth Summit’s encouragement of exploiting trans-boundary issues engendered further MEA proliferation. The vast majority of MEAs are regional agreements; however, 45 are “global” (having over 70 signatory countries). (140) Many MEAs were adopted under the aegis of UN agencies. The International Maritime Organization created 50. The International Atomic Energy Agency created five. FAO and UNESCO are also in the MEA biz. While some MEAs morph into large bureaucracies, many do not require significant resources from their host UN agency. At a minimum new MEAs require funds for a “Secretariat” with a director and at least three staff. The UN’s Economic Commission for Europe provides five MEAs and 12 Protocols with Secretariat facilities from a single 20-employee office. Some MEAs were adopted by plenipotentiary conferences or negotiating committees convened by UNEP or non-UN bodies like the International Union for Conservation of Nature. These MEAs designated UNEP as their host. UNEP runs Secretariats for nine global and eight regional MEAs. Other MEAs are linked to, but not fully integrated into, the UN’s management structure. Examples are the UNFCCC (climate change), UNCCD (desertification) and to some extent CBD (biodiversity). These MEAs have trusteeship arrangements with the UN recognizing MEA autonomy regarding policy and budget. (141)

MEAs evolve through a chain of phases: identification of an environmental issue, conceptualization of an international policy, formation of the MEA, implementation/enforcement of the MEA, and incorporating the MEA into a sustainable development strategy. Typically UNEP is involved in the earlier “normative” phases while organizations like UNDP and World Bank are involved in the “sustainable development” phase. (142) Forming an MEA requires an activist entity (often a UN agency) to organize a multi-government conference. Conference attendees signing the “convention” (agreement) become “contracting parties”, collectively referred to as “conference of parties” or COP. The COP is the MEA’s supreme authority. A Secretariat is formed to manage the MEA between COP meetings. COPs and their UN hosts often wrangle over the allocation of resources and the appointment of executives. The subsequent confusion delays action and undermines the MEA. Scientists, technicians and other members of an MEA’s “epistemic community” are either government or COP designated experts whose cost are borne by their employers, their governments or by special voluntary funds. Epistemic community members go through processes of “oath-taking and disclosure of personal data.” (143)

MEAs are financed through general and special trust funds. General trust funds cover convention expenses, staffing, administration, overhead, preparation and translation of documents, etc. While every “contracting party” is obliged to make payments, “the legal basis for these contributions is precarious since they have been treated as voluntary under the UN Financial Regulation.” (144) Special trust funds cover “the participation of developing countries and countries with economies in transition in convention meetings.” These funds experience shortfalls “despite the fact that their (developingcountries) attendance was a sine qua non for the normative process of treaty implementation.” (145) While environmentalists boast of eco-treaties signed by 100+ nations, the majority of these nations can’t come up with plane fares for their delegates. (How embarrassing is that?)

A separate, more substantial, system of financial mechanisms helps contracting parties comply with conventions. The Washington DC-based Global Environmental Facility (GEF) is a major MEA funder. (146) The UN launched the GEF prior to the Earth Summit. GEF also makes grants to developing countries for green infrastructure projects. Much of GEF’s $600 ml per year in spending flows through UNDP for “capacity-building”, “targeted research” and “pre-investment activities”. In 2006, 32 countries pledged $3.1 bl to replenish GEF. GEF is currently funding 560 joint ventures with cumulative project budgets of $7.5 bl. (147) Although legally subordinate to UNEP, UNDP and the World Bank, GEF is effectively autonomous. It picks the NGOs, MEAs and projects it wants to fund. When GEF caprice was criticized by the Center for International Environmental Law, GEF brandished a letter from the World Bank Legal Office saying an MEA could not challenge its resource allocation framework. GEF was also criticised for having an elastic definition of “incremental costs. In response GEF complains MEAs rarely submit specific, accurate information, particularly regarding “incremental costs.” (148)

MEA contribution to environmental governance/sustainable development is controversial. MEAs are more attuned to restraint than development. Even MEA restraint can be ineffectual because enforcement “requires the development of nationally owned mechanisms or platforms.” While developing countries simply lack infrastructure, rich countries often have “platforms” or “focal points” scattered over large ministries and provincial governments without a central authority to coordinate practices with MEAs. One exception is the Kingdom of Thailand where a National Environment Board comprised of national and provincial Environment Ministers, NGOs and think tanks constitutes a solid “platform” upon which to build an effective national consensus on environmental issues in general and MEA compliance in particular. (149)

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP’s 58 Governing Councillors are selected on a geo-politically correct basis by the UNGA for four-year terms. They meet annually, steered by a Committee of Permanent Representatives, and report to the UNGA through ECOSOC. UNEP is financed from the UN budget and the Environment Fund. Although there are conflicting estimates, UNEP’s overall annual budget is around $200 ml per year with about one-third designated for managing MEAs. (150) UNEP’s Nairobi HQ has departments for: Resource Mobilization, Public Information, Policy Development and Law, Implementation, Technology and Economics, Conventions, and Global Environment Facility coordination. UNEP has an office at UN HQ in New York and regional offices in Cairo, Bangkok, Geneva, Mexico City, Washington, and Bahrain. UNEP supervises an array of MEA Secretariats: Trade in Endangered Species (Geneva); Marine Environment (The Hague); Caribbean Environment (Kingston); Hazardous Waste (Geneva); Mediterranean Action Plan (Athens); Montreal Protocol Fund (Montreal); Migratory Species (Bonn); Chemicals (Geneva); Technology, Industry and Economics (Paris); Environmental Technology (Osaka); Ozone (Nairobi); East Asian Seas (Bangkok); Biodiversity (Montreal); and Atomic Radiation (Vienna).

The Environment Fund was established alongside UNEP in 1972 as a central banker for eco-initiatives inside and outside the UN system. However, “due to the intensification of multifaceted environmental problems, lack of consensus among States on the financial role of the UNEP and inadequate contributions, the Fund ceased to be the principal source of financing for the implementation of the international initiatives.” (151) The Fund is not pro-active. It acts at the request of agencies, NGOs and MEAs. Both UNEP and the Fund were “equipped with a formidable system-wide governance framework” but these dissolved amidst a proliferation and fragmentation of UN enviro-initiatives. (152)

UNEP also failed as MEA coordinator. UNEP-administered MEAs are to some degree coordinated because UNEP has signing authority for their Environmental Fund accounts. Even here disorganization prevails. Due to the geographical dispersion of MEAs, UNEP uses complex administrative channels that force MEAs to undergo cumbersome consultations and clearances. (153) Most UNEP-administered MEAs, lacking access to real time information on their Fund accounts, rely on manual books. UNEP, like all UN ‘hosts’, creams 13% off every MEA budget. MEAs complain the 13% rule is disconnected from services provided. Large MEAs complain they get “little value for the money”. (154)

Two-hundred and eighty “observers” sit like a star chamber over UNEP. Some observers simply help UNEP get its message out (Africa Council of Churches, Baha’i International, World Council of Churches, Red Cross, Girl Guides, Rotary International and Lions International). UNEP’s controlling mind consists of “observers” who are also the leaders of international environmentalism. Executives of the following NGOs meet collectively, formally and regularly with UNEP executives: Climate Action Network, Climate Alliance, European Environment Bureau, European Renewable Energy Council, Conservation International, Earth Council, Environmental Defence, Forest Action Network, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, IUCN/World Conservation Union, Natural Resources Defence Council, Planned Parenthood, Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, WWF and World Watch Institute. Also steering UNEP are business lobby “observers” like: International Chamber of Commerce, International Public Relations Association, European Chemical Industry Council, US Council of International Business, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, European Wind Energy Association, Global Wind Energy Centre and International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements. (155) In UNEP’s controlling mind there is no pretence of global representation. These organizations are based in Western Europe or the US Northeast.

UNEP’s persistence resulted from a series of victories. In 1987 UNEP and the World Commission on Environment and Development lobbied the UNGA into passing the “Environmental Perspective to the Year 2000 and Beyond” resolution. In 1991 UNEP secured for itself the role of Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel for the Global Environment Facility. In 1994 UNEP cut the ribbon on its International Environmental Technology Centre in Osaka. In 1995 UNEP launched an influential series of regional enviro-reports (Global Environmental Outlooks) and their first Global Biodiversity Assessment. In 1996 UNEP began work with the Food and Agriculture Organization on restricting trade in agricultural products grown with pesticides. In 1997, 36 Environment Ministers were effectively inducted into UNEP’s Governing Council at a meeting that produced the Nairobi Declaration demanding UNEP lead the environmental movement and be the senior UN sustainable development agency, particularly in the Global Environmental Facility. These recommendations were echoed by a 1997 UN Task Force looking into the fragmentation of UN environmentalism and were endorsed by the UNGA. Also in 1997 UNEP partnered with corporate social responsibility movement leader, the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies, on the Global Reporting Initiative. In 1998 UNEP facilitated an accord to regulate “persistent organic pollutants”. In 1999 they helped create the Convention on Biological Diversity to regulate trade in bio-tech products. In 2000 UNEP corralled 130 Environment Ministers in Malmo Sweden for the first Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (GMEF). The Malmo Declaration calls on environmentalists to solidify soft international agreements into hard national laws through redoubling the mobilization of national and international resources and through better solicitation of business. In 2002 UNEP coordinated the World Sustainable Development Summit (Johannesburg), using the venue to launch new partnerships with governments, businesses, and NGOs and an initiative aimed at warning poor countries of the dangers of genetically modified crops. (156)

In 2002 UNEP/GMEF adopted the Cartagena Package to “mainstream environmental governance” through strengthening UNEP’s ability to organize MEAs into “a coherent system-wide policy.” While the Johannesburg Summit endorsed Cartagena, it also broadened the scope of environmental governance beyond UNEP’s capacity. The Summiteers said the UNGA, guided by ECOSOC and CSD, should guide the UN’s green agenda and that UNDP should be responsible for environmental operationalization. (157) After two years of negotiations, UNEP and UNDP concluded a memorandum of understanding delineating a division of labour. UNDP was to implement operational activities of “sustainable development” and “mainstreaming of environment in sustainable development”. UNEP was to engage in operational activities only if specifically entrusted to do so by a financial mechanism. (158) UNEP’s speciality is normative activities. “Normative” means changing the norms or standards of a country to make it comply with environmental governance. An example of an operational activity is the building of a geothermal power plant in the Caribbean. Normative activities are things like UNEP’s recent holding of international youth eco-conferences in Korea and Finland or its wholesale writing of the environment laws for the Emirate of Bahrain. The operational-normative border is fuzzy. UNEP continues operational activities like wilderness restoration and tree-planting. Moreover, since 2000, with development agency funding for “environment-related operational activities” far outstripping funding of normative enviro-agencies, development orgs have been encroaching into normative areas with little UNEP/MEA coordination. (159)

UNEP runs: the Global Tiger Action Plan, Sustainable Cities Programme, Coral Relief Action Network, Great Apes Survival Project, 2010 Biodiversity Indicator Partnership, Impact and Adaptation to Climate Change Assessment, Solar and Wind Energy Resource Assessment, and the Global Environment Monitoring System. The latter is a multi-agency data collecting project linked to the Global Resource Information Database’s 142-country operation. UNEP-Chemicals runs an information clearing-house about “potential toxins”. UNEP and UNIDO run 34 National Cleaner Production Centres to incorporate the “precautionary principle” into industrial design. UNEP’s Climate Neutral Network has been embraced by several European cities and by companies such as Deutsche Bank and Deutsche Post International (parent of DHL). As the UN’s lead agency for “sustainable” use of water, UNEP has a hand in over a dozen regional sea conventions, sponsors the Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Pollution and the Global International Water Assessment, which studies water topics with an emphasis on trans-boundary issues. UNEP is helping organize the May 2009, 140-country World Ocean Conference. 2009 is UNEP/UNESCO’s Year of the Gorilla. UNEP and the IEA have launched the 50-By-50 Campaign to improve car fuel efficiency by 50% by 2050. UNEP’s Billion Tree Campaign planted 2.6 billion trees between 2006 and 2008 (often on valuable agricultural land) and they hope to plant 4.4 billion more before 2010. (Tree Nation, a Barcelona-based group participating in this campaign, is planting an eight-million-tree forest in Niger in the shape of a heart.) UNEP puts on World Environment Day, photography competitions, the Sasakawa Prize, Champions of the Earth, Global 500 Awards for Environmental Achievement, and the Global Environmental Citizenship Programme. UNEP-INFOTERRA facilitates enviro-info exchange through a network of 177 national reps. UNEP is setting up Environmental and Natural Resource Information Networks in every developing country. UNEP has 25 regular publications: quarterly reviews, annual reports, newsletters, children’s magazines and an interactive internet facility. UNEP’s Liaison Centre maintains direct, real-time contact between UNEP’s headquarters and 6,000 environmental activist groups. (160)

The 2008 Joint Inspection Unit Report

Motivating the 2008 Joint Inspection Unit’s (JIU) inspection was a desire to “increase the UN system’s contribution to international environmental governance” through strengthening support given by the UN to Multilateral Environmental Agreements. (161) Authorizing the inspection was a 2007 report, Delivering as One, by the High-Level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence which called for assessing “international environmental governance” with a view to upgrading UNEP into an environment policy pillar. “International environmental governance” is the institutional architecture needed for coherent decision-making and objective-setting in international environmental policy implementation. (162)

The inspectors studied funding and inter-agency coordination. They reviewed documents, issued questionnaires and interviewed key personnel. They found a system where “decision-making largely depends on intricate and decentralized networks.” (163) Despite the “lack of coherent resource management”, they found agreement on green goals. In their words, “consensus exists within the UN system as to the aim and scope of environmental governance.” (164)The inspectors held out the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and UNEP’s Global Environment Outlook as accepted strategic blueprints; however, “there is no overall results-based management framework with objective-setting based on a conscientious reading” ofthese documents. (165) The upshot: “environmental governance thus outlined is not pursued in actual fact.” (166)

Disorganization of UN enviro-programs is not the result of a lack of trying to impose system-wide plans. In fact, imposing system-wide eco-management plans was an area of confusing duplication. Separate and competing UN eco-management coordinating forums were started by UNEP, CSD, ECOSOC, UNDP, EMG, CCA, UNGA, CEB and the S-G’s office. (167) This duplication was an obstacle to environmental governance as was confusion regarding the meaning of over-used phrases like: “mainstreaming environment into sustainable development” and “integrating the environmental dimension of sustainable development into the development process”. (168)

Efforts to impose environmental governance are a nuisance to people running “sectoral” organizations. (“Sectoral” refers to specific environmental issues or “sectors” like Amazonian forests, the ozone layer, migratory species, etc.). MEAs and NGOs seek to achieve compliance with specific environmental regulations, not impose holistic environmental governance. The inspectors gave poor grades to the Common Country Assessment (CCA) initiative which dispatched “country teams” to gauge performance. The inspectors found: “Almost all MEA Secretariats...found little relevance in the CCA.” In the critical area of integrating environmental governance and sustainable development, the CCA process accomplished little. (169) National “focal points” rarely interacted with the country teams. (170)

Other centralizing efforts were criticized. In 1993 the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) established an Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development (IACSD) to promote system-wide Agenda 21 implementation. In 2001 CEB abandoned holism and disbanded the IACSD in favour of an ad hoc program of inter-agency collaboration in the “sectors” (energy, oceans, fresh water, coastal areas, and consumption/production patterns), spawning 27 new orgs like UN-Water, UN-Oceans, and UN-Energy. (171) UNDG’s enviro-coordinating outreach had “yet to establish modalities by which to address the concerns of non-resident organizations such as MEAs, UNEP, IMO, WMO and IAEA.” (172) The CSD was supposed to develop a system-wide eco-funding monitoring entity but this has “yet to be accomplished.” (173) The inspectors even rapped S-G Ban’s knuckles for creating climate change and sustainable development coordinating positions without telling other agencies, not even ones with related mandates. (174) UNEP convened ten coordination meetings for MEA Secretariats. In 2004 the assembled Secretariats proposed UNEP provide more money. They did not convene again. (175) In 2006 UNEP tried merging the chemical-regulating MEA Secretariats. The Secretariats met three times. Each meeting cost $340,000. Solidifying this “cluster” is not likely until a 2010 simultaneous meeting of their COPs. (176) Other MEA “cluster” initiatives fared better. These include the Joint Liaison Group of the Rio Convention, the Liaison Group of the Biodiversity-Related Conventions, and the Scientific Task Force on Avian Influenza and Wild Birds (a cluster formed by Bonn-based migratory species MEAs to counter disturbing reports that migratory birds are disease vectors). CITES (endangered species) has formed clusters with MEAs of like feather. (177)

The inspectors uncovered chaos. United Nations Office in Geneva (UNOG) decided to replace the dollar with the euro as its accounting currency regarding the climate change convention but due to bureaucratic entanglement was unable to implement this decision. Elsewhere, inspectors found MEAs squirreling away multiple rainy-day reserves often in amounts equal to one-third of their total budgets. In 2004, UNEP, without prior consultation, launched a one-stop Administrative Service Centre (ASC) in Geneva to service European-based MEAs. ASC was not to provide normal administrative services (accounting, payroll, payments, treasury, etc.) but rather financial and personnel services usually performed by an Executive Office. The Basel Convention and CITES refused to work with ASC. In 2005 an arbitrator agreed that multiple offices to deliver administrative services to UN entities ran counter to the “One UN” concept but questioned the need for a new structure to support 150 staff. UNEP went ahead with ASC, which services UNEP’s Geneva offices; a few MEAs; and UNEP’s share of the Rotterdam Convention, which alone costs $500,000 a year. Previously UNEP transferred some MEA admin to United Nations Office in Nigeria (UNON). The S-G then merged UNON executive functions with UN-Habitat, which had no legal authority over MEAs. (178) (Things degenerated further after the JIU report. In March 2009 S-G Ban fired UNON exec Anna Tibaijuka but allowed her to remain on as head of UN-Habitat. UNEP Executive Achim Steiner assumed the directorship of UNON. This led to street protests in Nairobi and UNON staff obstruction. Steiner could not get an “Officer-In-Charge” in control of UNON offices. Underlying this are allegations of large-scale fraud at the $25 ml construction project for a new UNON HQ that after several years remains unfinished.) A further example of confusion, not covered by the inspectors, came at the 40th anniversary of the UN Statistics Commission. The top agenda item was improving UN environmental stats. Little progress was made due to disputes arising from European efforts to focus the meeting exclusively on climate stats. (179)

The inspectors concluded the UN’s international environmental governance operations were in dire need of a “holistic approach”. The problem: “The international environmental governance system is characterized by a great variety of complex synergetic efforts... (and) costly ad-hoc inter-governmental processes to reconcile contradictions between different treaties and organizations.” (180)

As for UNEP:
“UNEP will not be able to position itself as the leading authority that sets the global environmental agenda and promotes within the UN system a coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development...UNEP has fallen short in exercising effectively its original mandate to coordinate all environmental initiatives in the UN system. Responses to environmental challenges have become sector-specific, specialized and fragmented...UNEP is dwarfed compared to other institutions dealing with major environmental concerns such as climate change. (181)

The inspectors cited three ways forward: upgrading UNEP; strengthening existing ad hoc institutional frameworks, and/or creating a World Environment Organization. (182)

UNEP's February 2009 Global Ministerial Environmental Forum

UNEP’s 10th annual, week-long Global Ministerial Environmental Forum (GMEF) was held in Nairobi in February 2009. As is now the practice, GMEF is merged into one event with the annual meeting of UNEP’s Governing Council. Also in keeping with established practice UNEP’s executive meets with its key “observers” for a week prior to the Forum. The theme of GC/GMEF 2009 was: “International Environmental Governance, Help or Hindrance?”. Over 1,200 delegates from 140 countries attended including 110 Environment Ministers. Delegates from poor countries had their flights and accommodations paid for by a special fund. (183)

Kenyan President Kibaki gave the opening address but not before a nasty scuffle between Kibaki’s guards and UN Security at the gates of the UN compound which was not resolved until Kibaki’s men gave up their weapons. Kibaki was followed at the podium by S-G Ban. He said the “current financial turmoil” was a “tremendous opportunity to increase the momentum for sustainable development”. Ban outlined the Forum’s agenda: preparations for Copenhagen Conference of the Parties to the climate change convention, the Global Green New Deal, and mercury pollution. (184)

UNEP rolled out a cart of glossy new publications. These included a Rapid Response Assessment predicting a 25% fall in world food production by 2050 due to climate change, invasive species, and land degradation. Accompanying the Assessment was UNEP’s The Environmental Food Crisis to make the case for expanding organic farming. UNEP’s Achim Steiner said the research clearly demonstrated fertilizer-and-pesticide based agriculture was not the answer. Also on display was UNEP Yearbook 2009 which contains some of the wildest predictions of warming-induced sea level rises yet published. Another fresh release claimed Amazonian jungles and swamps are being “devastated” with the land then being squandered on “cash crops”. (Nasty things those.) Also out in time for the Forum was UNEP’s From Conflict to Peace-building – The Role of Natural Resources and the Environment. It blames the exploitation of natural resources for 18 recent wars. (185)

The most talked about new publication was Ed Barbier’s 154-page A Global Green New Deal. This book is the third in a UNEP trilogy following The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (May 2008) and Green Jobs Report (September 2008). The trilogy was the brainchild of a Deutche Bank exec, Pavan Sukhdev, who is moonlighting as Project Leader of UNEP’s Green Economy Initiative. Barbier was plucked to write the finale because of his notoriety as co-author of the classic Blueprint for a Green Economy. 25 UN agencies were consulted in the writing of Global Green New Deal, which calls for $750 billion in green investment. That’s seed money. The IEA estimates developing and deploying green technology over the next 40 years will cost $45 trillion. (186)

Another cause celebre at the Forum was mercury pollution. Getting this topic on the agenda was the culmination of several years of activism. The main mercury-emitting demons are coal-fired electrical powers plants. The Obama administration was out in front with US Environment and Sustainable Development official Dan Reifsnyder calling for an intergovernmental negotiating committee to develop a mercury-controlling MEA. (187) This was supported by a unanimously passed resolution followed by a grateful press release from the World Chlorine Council. (Commercial chlorine was formally produced through a mercury-based process, but major chemical firms now have mercury-free processes they are anxious to share with the world.) (188)

There  were other Forum highlights. UNEP and Microsoft announced their ONLINE partnership to provide global access to environment information. The Environment Fund presented a $4 million cheque to the Angolan Environment Ministry for their exemplary work on biodiversity and climate change. The closing speech came from Wangari Maathai who won a Nobel Prize in 2004 for tree-planting. She implored the delegates to become “soldiers for the environment”.

Fin de' Siècle

Jale is a village on a stretch of Adriatic beach renowned as “Albania’s Riviera.” In 2005 the World Bank, as part of its environment program, advanced $18 ml for a vaguely-worded “coastal zone management” project to clean up the area and “encourage community support for sustainable coastal management.” The project was connected to plans for a private eco-tourist resort funded by Japanese and Austrian investors. A March 2007 letter, on official letterhead, discusses the “importance of sustainable development” and why the “construction police” should demolish Jale “as soon as possible.” The letter was accompanied by aerial photographs and GPS coordinates. On April 3 Jale residents were notified of the demolition and given five days to appeal, which they did. The construction police did not wait for the hearing. They surrounded Jale on April 17 and by April 21 bulldozed it amidst “heartwrenching scenes of screaming and resistance.” Villagers were told the World Bank would give them nicer houses. No assistance has been provided. In the ensuing scandal the Albanian government and the World Bank blamed each other. Albania’s Minister of Transport is adamant the demolition was done because “the bank asked for it.” Albania’s Prime Minister accused the World Bank of lying. He said a clique within the World Bank is targeting Albania’s coast at the behest of an international “land mafia”.  (189)     


Kurt Waldheim was a former Brown-Shirt with an Iron Cross dangling from his lapel when he wrote a doctoral thesis deifying the Third Reich while simultaneously plotting war crimes which were actually carried out. Can you be more of a Nazi? So query: What’s a guy like that doing running the UN? Answer: he’s converting it into an environmental movement resource. The Stockholm Conference, the founding of UNEP, the start of the ozone hole and global warming scares, the global population control blitzes, the proliferation of multi-lateral environmental agreements, and the greening of many UN agencies, all date to his tenure. This is not to portray Waldheim as an eco-Horatio. Environmentalist appropriation of the UN slightly pre-dates his tenure. Installing Waldheim into the Secretary-General’s chair was a coup for the movement and a consequence of their growing clout. No one should be so naive as to think international environmentalism’s leaders were unaware of Waldheim’s past, or disapproving.

There was more to Nazism than anti-Semitism and militarism. A core ingredient was indigenous-ism – romanticizing the affinity between ethnicity and geography. A contemporary manifestation of this is the “anti-colonialism” emanating from Europe and purporting to assist Amazonian Indians, Australian Aborigines, etc. This anti-colonialism is an attack on the national sovereignty of Brazil, Canada, USA, Australia and other “colonial” countries. It serves the environmental movement by undermining economic development in the hinterland of these states. Half the UN’s founders were colonial states.

In 1942 the world was divided into two camps. The Axis powers controlled Continental Europe, Japan and areas of the western Pacific. The Allies’ sphere was the English-speaking world, South America and part of the USSR. The United Nations was 100% lodged in the Allied sphere. The UN’s purpose was to diplomatically isolate, and conduct economic warfare on, the Axis world and ultimately to impose regime changes on Germany, Japan, etc. Now the territories formerly under Axis control supply most of the money, staffing and head office locales for the UN. UN-led campaigns to suppress and retard development of the Americas and Australia, and campaigns to steer humanity away from abundant supplies of hydrocarbons, are economic warfare operations benefitting former Axis states. The socio-geographical pre-determination of fascism persists and underlies environmentalism.

Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and UNEP were born months apart (1971-72). UNEP is the youngest and smallest of the triplets. The trio have identical ultra-green ideologies. Each are multinational in operation and globalist in outlook. They conduct joint campaigns. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth routinely quote UNEP as an authority. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are integrated into UNEP’s management. UNEP is every bit as much of a biased eco-activist group as is Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth. UNEP launched “global warming” BEFORE the campaign was sanctioned by the UN General Assembly. The campaign’s policy goals – reducing the use of hydrocarbon fuels and expanding the world’s forests – were UNEP/Greenpeace/Friends of the Earth goals BEFORE the campaign. Scientistic factoids supporting the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis were harvested AFTER the alarm was sounded; after lavish funds were made available. Few people would pay heed to global warming if it were solely Greenpeace’s cause. The campaign depends on appropriation of UN imprimatur. The media acquiesces to and sustains the myth that UNEP and other UN agencies are honest brokers of scientific information with humanity’s best interests at heart.

Studying UN environmentalist efforts is an education on how large and institutionalized environmentalism has become. The image persists of environmentalism as an earnest, idealist grassroots protest movement. This is a media myth. True, the movement has its shock troops, its extremists, its radical flank, but these people are an exploitable flock amidst a much larger organizational field. The modern environmental movement encompasses several hundred state bureaucracies, over a thousand intergovernmental bodies and UN agencies, and tens of thousands of non-profit societies. The movement has built a constituency in the wind and solar power industries, in the international chemical cartel, in eco-tourism, in organic farming and food distribution, in environmental law firms, and in tens of thousands of other for-profit businesses. The movement has colonized the board rooms of scores of mass media firms, hundreds of philanthropic foundations and has established beach-heads in multiple faculties in every university. In spite of this, it retains crucial features of a social movement: it represents a marginalized solidarity network grasping for power. 


Behar, Richard; World Bank Spent More than a Year Covering Up Destruction of Albanian Village;; February 9, 2009.  (see also Inspection Panel Investigative Report; Albania: Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Clean Up Project at
Cohen, Bernhard; Rosenzweig Luc; Waldheim; Adama Books, New York, 1987
Europa World Year Book 2008; Routledge; London, New York, 2008
Franz, Wendy; “The Development of an International Agenda for Climate Change: Connecting Science to Policy” ENRP Discussion Paper W-97-07, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, August 1997. (as quoted in Gillard)
Gilland, Tony; “Digging up the Roots of the IPCC”;Spiked, June 28, 2007.
Hazzard, Shirley; Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case; Viking Penguin; New York; 1990
Herzstein, Robert; Waldheim, The Missing Years; Arbor House/William Morrow; New York; 1988
Historical Overview of Climate Change Science; Working Group I: The Physical Basis of Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, June 2007.
Inomata, Tadanori; Management Review of Environmental Governance within the United Nations System; Joint Inspection Unit, United Nations, Geneva, 2008
Lancaster, Justin; “The Developing Law of the Atmosphere and the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Convention on Climate Change” in Geyer, Richard ed. A Global Warming Forum
McGowan, Lee; A Dictionary of the European Union; Routledge, London, New York, 2006.
Osmancyzk, Edmund; Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements; Routledge, New York, 2003
Waldheim, Kurt; The Challenge of Peace; Rawson, Wade Publishers, Inc. New York, 1980.
Weart, Spencer The Discovery of Global Warming; Harvard University Press; 2004. (as quoted by Gillard)
Yearbook of the United Nations; (special fiftieth anniversary edition); Martinus Nijhoff Publishers; The Hague; 1995.

Website Bibliography

Overview: the European Union at the United Nations (January 1, 2009) European Commission at


    1. Osmancyzk, Edmund; Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements; Routledge, New York, 2003 p 604-6
    2. Ibid p 2448-9 & 604-6 see also Europa World Year Book 2008; Routledge; London, New York, 2008 p 58
    3. Ibid p 604-6 see also Europa 92-4
    4. Ibid p 637
    5. Ibid p 637
    6. Yearbook of the United Nations; (special fiftieth anniversary edition); Martinus Nijhoff Publishers; The Hague; 1995 p 256
    7. Cohen, Bernhard; Rosenzweig Luc; Waldheim; Adama Books, New York, 1987 p 18
    8. Ibid p 23
    9. Ibid p 19 & 22
    10. Ibid p 31
    11. Ibid p 30-1
    12. Ibid p 32
    13. Ibid p 24-5
    14. Ibid p 23
    15. Ibid p 27-8
    16. Ibid p 29 see also Herzstein, Robert; Waldheim, The Missing Years; Arbor House/William Morrow; New York; 1988 p 48-51
    17.  Ibid p 47-8
    18. Herzstein p 54
    19. Cohen p 29
    20. Herzstein p 52-3
    21. Cohen p 33-4
    22. Ibid p 35 & 47 see also Herzstein p 55
    23. Ibid p 35-8 see also Herzstein p 57
    24. Ibid p 38-44 see also Herzstein p 57
    25. Ibid p 55-6 see also Herzstein p 48-9
    26. Herzstein p 62-5
    27. Ibid p 65
    28. Ibid p 66
    29. Cohen p 55-6 see also Herzstein p 67
    30. Ibid p 60
    31. Ibid p 60-1
    32. Ibid p 60-1
    33. Ibid p 60-2 see also Herzstein p 75
    34. Herzstein p 77
    35. Cohen p 66-7 see also Herzstein 98-9
    36. Ibid p 49-51
    37. Ibid p 64
    38. Ibid p 66 see also Herzstein p 92
    39. Ibid p 66 see also Herzstein p 95-7
    40. Herzstein p 117
    41. Ibid p 100-1
    42. Cohen p 70-5
    43. Ibid p 82-4
    44. Ibid p 83-8
    45. Ibid p 87-9
    46. Ibid p 86
    47. Ibid p 85-7
    48. Ibid p 89
    49. Ibid p 95
    50. Ibid p 79-80
    51. Ibid p 153
    52. Ibid p 90
    53. Ibid p 90-7
    54. Herzstein p 257
    55. Cohen p 119 see also Hazzard, Shirley; Countenance of Truth: The United Nations and the Waldheim Case; Viking Penguin; New York; 1990 p 91
    56. Ibid p 137
    57. Ibid p 135
    58. Ibid p 131
    59. Hazzard p 127
    60. Cohen p 131-3
    61. Hazzard p 51
    62. Ibid p 53-4 & 27-8
    63. Ibid p 46
    64. Ibid p 65 & 123
    65. Ibid p 109
    66. Ibid p 111
    67. Ibid p 82
    68. Ibid p 27-8 & 130
    69. Ibid p 30
    70. Ibid p 34 & 91
    71. Ibid p 90
    72. Ibid p 81
    73. Ibid p 91
    74. Cohen p 126
    75. Osmancyzk p 2467-71
    76. McGowan, Lee; A Dictionary of the European Union; Routledge, London, New York, 2006 p 430
    77. Overview: the European Union at the United Nations (January 1, 2009) European Commission at
    78. Ibid see also Osmancyzk p 660
    79. Ibid
    80. Ibid see also Osmancyzk p 660
    81. Inomata, Tadanori; Management Review of Environmental Governance within the United Nations System; Joint Inspection Unit, United Nations, Geneva, 2008 p 27
    82. Europa p 33-5 see also Osmancyzk p 637
    83. Ibid p 33-5 see also Osmancyzk p 637
    84. Osmancyzk p 637
    85. Ibid p 2199 see also Yearbook p 256
    86. Ibid p 2199
    87. Ibid p 637 & 823 & 2457 see also Yearbook p 257 and Europa 62
    88. Ibid p 604-6 see also Yearbook p 254-5 and Europa 92-4
    89. Hazzard p 78
    90. Waldheim, Kurt; The Challenge of Peace; Rawson, Wade Publishers, Inc. New York, 1980 p 138-9
    91. Osmancyzk p 399
    92. Hazzard p 97
    93. Osmancyzk p 1715-6
    94. Europa p 65
    95. Inomata p 6
    96. Ibid p 9 & 23
    97. Ibid p 9 & 23
    98. Ibid p 3
    99. Gilland, Tony; “Digging up the Roots of the IPCC”;Spiked, June 28, 2007 p 2-4
    100. Lancaster, Justin; “The Developing Law of the Atmosphere and the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Convention on Climate Change” in Geyer, Richard ed. A Global Warming Forum p 543
    101. Historical Overview of Climate Change Science; Working Group I: The Physical Basis of Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fourth Assessment Report, June 2007.
    102. Lancaster p 543
    103. Gillard p 6
    104. Franz, Wendy; “The Development of an International Agenda for Climate Change: Connecting Science to Policy” ENRP Discussion Paper W-97-07, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, August 1997. (as quoted in Gillard)
    105. Lancaster 543 see also Gillard p 10
    106. Gillard p 8
    107. Osmancyzk p 388
    108. Ibid p 388-97
    109. Cohen p 115
    110. Ibid p 114
    111. Ibid p 154
    112. Ibid p 8
    113. Ibid p 98
    114. Ibid p 104-5
    115. Ibid p 101-3
    116. Ibid p 105
    117. Ibid p 55-6
    118. Ibid p 21
    119. Ibid p 141-4
    120. Ibid p 144-5 see also Hazzard p 125
    121. Ibid p 32
    122. Ibid p 148
    123. Ibid p 157 & 168
    124. Hazzard p 52
    125. Inomata p 21
    126. Ibid p 21
    127. Ibid p 6
    128. Ibid p 21-2
    129. Ibid p 19
    130. Osmancyzk p 598
    131. Yearbook p 254-5
    132. Europa p 92-4
    133. Ibid p 58-62
    134. Ibid p 58-61
    135. Ibid p 60-2
    136. Osmancyzk p 2660 see also Yearbook p 261
    137. Yearbook p 363
    138. Osmancyzk p 632 see also Yearbook p 260
    139. Ibid p 41-2 see also Yearbook p 260-2
    140. Inomata p 10 & 17-8
    141. Ibid p 10-1
    142. Ibid p 5
    143. Ibid p 9-11 and 26
    144. Ibid p 23
    145. Ibid p 23
    146. Ibid p 23-4
    147. Europa p 61-2
    148. Inomata p 24
    149. Ibid p 16
    150. Ibid p 7 - Europa 2008 estimates UNEP’s budget at around half that amount but it is not clear if they are accounting for the MEA component (Europa p 66)
    151. Ibid p 22
    152. Ibid p 3
    153. Ibid p 25
    154. Ibid p 28-9
    156. Inomata p 4 see also Osmancyzk p 2457-8 and Europa p 56-65 and Yearbook p 257
    157. Ibid p 4-5
    158. Ibid p 17
    159. Ibid p 6
    160. Europa p 635
    161. Inomata p iii
    162. Ibid  p 1
    163. Ibid p 30
    164. Ibid p 5 & 15
    165. Ibid p 20-1
    166. Ibid p 5
    167. Ibid p 20-1
    168. Ibid p 7-8
    169. Ibid p 6
    170. Ibid p 17
    171. Ibid p 18
    172. Ibid p 16
    173. Ibid p 22
    174. Ibid p 7-8
    175. Ibid p 14
    176. Ibid p 13
    177. Ibid p 20 & 25
    178. Ibid p 25-7
    179. New York Times, March 13, 2009  
    180. Inomata p 15
    181. Ibid p 30
    182. Ibid p 30-1
    183. see also BBC, China View, Kenyan Standard web reports for Feb. 16  
    184. Feb 17, 2009
    185. and for Feb. 17, 2009
    186. Washington Post March 8, 2009-03-25
    187. Ibid Feb. 21, 2009 see also The Jurist webcast for Feb. 17 2009
    189. Behar, Richard; World Bank Spent More than a Year Covering Up Destruction of Albanian Village;; February 9, 2009.  (see also Inspection Panel Investigative Report; Albania: Integrated Coastal Zone Management and Clean Up Project at

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