By Jake Smith, The Daily Caller News Foundation | July 12, 2023
- The U.N. is planning to unveil sweeping policy proposals that would massively expand its influence.
- The policies could attempt to impose strict regulations on individual democracies and put freedom of speech at risk, policy experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
- “It is clearly an effort to empower the Secretary-General and the United Nations,” Brett Schaefer, senior researcher in International Regulatory Affairs at Heritage Foundation, said to the DCNF.
The United Nations (U.N.) is unveiling proposals for a massive expansion of its influence in the upcoming “Summit of the Future” conference in 2024, including policies that would grant the organization an “emergency platform” during global crisis events and a digital code of ethics to censor “misinformation.”
The conference will bring together U.N. allied nations and non-governmental organizations to discuss a sweeping policy agenda that speaks to left-wing initiatives, like increasing size of government, digital censorship and drastic pandemic and climate proposals. These policies signal a concerning expansion of the U.N.’s influence over individual democracies, according to policy experts who spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“Back when Americans called themselves Englishmen, we couldn’t abide being ruled by people we didn’t vote for and never saw,” Michael Chamberlain, director of Protect the Public’s Trust, a government watchdog organization, said to the DCNF. “Self-government is in our national DNA. We elect representatives to enact the laws we live by… not so with the United Nations and other international and foreign organizations. That is why it is exceedingly dangerous for the United States to relinquish its sovereignty and allow any of these organizations the power to rule over us.”
In the event of a global crisis, such as a “major climactic event” or “future pandemic risk,” the emergency platform policy would give the U.N. the ability to “actively promote and drive an international response that places the principles of equity and solidarity at the center of its work,” according to the “Strengthening the International Response to Complex Global Shocks – An Emergency Platform” policy proposal.
The proposal was written by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who would have the authority to declare an emergency platform and extend it on his own whim if the policy was ratified.
“It is clearly an effort to empower the Secretary-General and the United Nations,” Brett Schaefer, senior researcher in International Regulatory Affairs at Heritage Foundation, said to the DCNF. “The Emergency Platform policy brief would grant the Secretary-General ‘standing authority to convene and operationalize’ a response to a broad array of international crises with minimal consultation with the member states, including the U.S.”
The emergency platform would also ensure “that participating actors make clear commitments that directly and immediately support the global response to a complex shock.” These participating actors include the U.N.’s member states like the U.S., China, and the U.K.
“While the member states would not be compelled legally to abide by the recommendations of the Secretary-General, the pressure to ‘contribute meaningfully to the response and [be] held to account for delivery on those commitments’ would be immense,” said Schaefer. “The U.S. should be willing to respond positively to assist other nations in times of crisis, but this should be a decision made by our elected leaders, not driven from Turtle Bay.”
Another one of the “Summit of the Future” proposals would seek to develop a “code of conduct” online that would demonetize and censor what the U.N. considers misinformation, titled “Information Integrity on Digital Platforms,” the DCNF previously reported.
The U.N. and the Global Disinformation Index (GDI) – which is funded by the U.N. itself, as reported by the DCNF – cite multiple conservative news outlets as sources of misinformation while accrediting left-leaning sources as highly reliable, according to the GDI’s “Disinformation Risk Assessment.” For example, the GDI gave the New York Times, the Washington Post and BuzzFeed News “low” risk levels, while giving the Daily Wire, the New York Post and the American Conservative “high” risk levels.
“From health and gender equality to peace, justice, education and climate action, measures that limit the impact of mis- and disinformation and hate speech will boost efforts to achieve a sustainable future,” the U.N. Secretary-General wrote in the “Information Integrity on Digital Platforms” proposal.
The U.N.’s definition of “misinformation” poses a major risk to free speech, Schaefer said.
“We have seen firsthand how efforts to repress ‘disinformation’ and ‘misinformation’ instead are misused to silence opposing opinions and repress inconvenient evidence – such as the Chinese lab leak theory on the origin of COVID,” Schaefer said. “It is hard to see any U.N. Code that would not run roughshod over the First Amendment.”
Chamberlain agreed, and added that the U.N. has no basis to establish the policy in any democratic country.
“Americans still have the protections of the First Amendment that prohibit the government from infringing on their rights to free speech,” said Chamberlain. “Not only is the government barred from trampling on those rights, it is not allowed to outsource that trampling to others, not even to large, powerful international organizations, regardless of how highly regarded those organizations may be.”
Calling for guardrails to contain the proliferation of hate and lies in the online world, @antonioguterres puts forward proposals for a Code of Conduct for Information Integrity on Digital Platforms in new report. https://t.co/7ZoX9i81uk pic.twitter.com/Punt48XxYi— United Nations (@UN) June 14, 2023
Other policy proposals include a global vaccination plan for COVID-19, which would seek to administer a minimum of 11 billion doses worldwide and increase funding and authority to the World Health Organization.
“The independence, authority and financing of WHO must be strengthened,” wrote the U.N. Secretary-General in the “Our Common Agenda” report. “This includes greater financial stability and autonomy, based on fully unearmarked resources, increased funding and an organized replenishment process for the remainder of the budget.”
Another proposal seeks to enforce climate change initiatives by reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 “or sooner” via abolishing fossil fuels and coal energy worldwide, and coercing financial actors to shift away “from high-emission sectors to the climate resilient and net zero economy.”
“We should be shoring up our populations, infrastructure, economies and societies to be resilient to climate change, yet adaptation and resilience continue to be seriously underfunded,” the U.N. Secretary-General said in the “Our Common Agenda” report.
Schaefer told the DCNF he remains skeptical that the U.N.’s climate plan is possible.
“China’s priority – and the priority of many other countries, especially developing countries – is to maximize economic growth and increase standards of living. To the extent that net zero and phasing out fossil fuels impede those goals, they will not abide by limitations,” Schaefer said.
The United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.