U.N. Uses 'Eradication' Programs to Fight Poverty

Author: Theresa Bell

U.N. Uses 'Eradication' Programs to Fight Poverty

by Theresa Bell

The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them

(Mark 14:3-7)

The term "eradication of poverty" is heard frequently these days, especially with the United Nations designating 1996 as the . They will soon proclaim 1997-2006 as the . At first glance this seems an honorable and worthy cause. After all, charity and justice demand that we do all we can for the poor.

Webster's definition of poverty is "the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions." Speaking from this material perspective, who, then, are the poor? They are our neighbours, near or far, who are wanting in the minimal requirements to live in this world, such as food and water, clothing, a decent place to live, and basic health services.

Someone could be in this kind of poverty temporarily through the loss of employment or health. Others may be in a more permanent situation of poverty perhaps due to natural and/or man-made droughts and disasters, or because of geopolitical situations such as unjust economic structures, totalitarian governments or war.

From a faith perspective, the abstract term "eradication of poverty" is suspect. First of all, is it a bad thing to be poor? No, because God gave us the best example by sending us His only Son to be born into poverty. God did not make a mistake by choosing a life of poverty for His Son. There was no room at the inn, and Our Lord's birthplace was a stable where he was dressed, not in fine garments, but in swaddling clothes. Our faith is replete with examples of how the poor are very close to Our Lord.

Second, Jesus did not teach us to "eradicate poverty" but to help the needy because, "The poor you will always have with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them ..." (Mark 14:3-7). To help the poor is to practice love of God and neighbor and increases in us a host of virtues, not the least of which is charity.

A deceptive agenda

So, does the U.N. apparatus want to do good to the poor? Could it be that they want to help correct the economic and/or political systems and structures which perpetuate the poverty of people and of nations? If this were the case, U.N. efforts would be laudable and most worthy of support. But the body of evidence in print and action emanating from the U.N. system lately suggests a global agenda to eliminate the poor themselves through population control programs.

This deceptive agenda is confused further by the use of other innocuous and seemingly harmless U.N. terms such as "sustainable development" or "environmental sustainability"—and here's a bold one: "environmentally sustainable economic development." It's important to understand what "sustainability" means in the heart and soul of the U.N. and its agencies.

The U.N. apparatus believes that there are too few resources for an increasing world population; therefore, actions have to be taken to reduce growth so that there will be enough resources for existing and future populations. The U.N. holds up the "sustainability" carrots of education, food, housing, clean air, water, green forests and employment for all. So far we've devoured the carrot whole and entire, and at whose expense?

The "UNophiles," as one author terms them, see the poor and the weak as the main perpetrators of our environmental and economical problems, our unresourcefulness, our wasteful appetites. This understanding of the meaning of "sustainability" is not exaggerated. Read carefully what Canadian Maurice Strong, secretary-general to the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 at Rio, had to say about the poor: "Hunger and poverty—which are both a cause and an effect of global environmental degradation—are still appallingly pervasive in the developing world, where population growth compounds the problems of alleviating them."

The catalyst for global depopulation

From this Rio conference emerged a global plan of action called "Earth Summit, Agenda 21" adopted by 178 governments. The Agenda was masterminded to "devise integrated strategies that would halt and reverse the negative impact of human behavior on the physical environment and promote environmentally sustainable economic development in all countries."

Two decades prior to this conference there was much talk about "sustainability," but since the adoption of Agenda 21, talk has fumed to action on a global scale: "[Agenda 21] stands as a comprehensive blueprint for action to be taken globally—from now into the 21st century—by Governments, United Nations organizations, development agencies, non-governmental organizations and independent-sector groups, in every area in which human activity impacts on the environment."[1]

Consequently, all the major U.N. World Conferences, the U.N.'s principle organizations and agencies frequently speak of and refer to Agenda 21 and its actions for sustainable development worldwide.

For example, the U.N. World Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994; the World Summit for Social Development in Copenhagen and the Women's Conference in Beijing (both held in 1995), all spoke of and referred to Agenda 21's sustainability rhetoric. Even the U.N.'s upcoming conference on Human Settlements/Habitat II will not escape the all-encompassing credo of sustainability.

The Habitat Agenda Link

This Human Settlements conference was called because the U.N. claimed that by the year 2005 half of the human population will live in urban settings and by 2025, two- thirds of the world's population will live in cities.

Set on controlling world population, the U. N. has a vested interest in knowing where the majority will be and needs to target those segments of society deemed a hindrance to global environmental and developmental sustainability.

As I write, the final negotiations by about 150 nations are taking place at U.N. Headquarters in New York City for the global plan of action on human settlements, now called the Habitat Agenda. From here, The Habitat Agenda will go to Istanbul, Turkey in June for final ratification by the United Nation's member states.

Here's just a few excerpts from the Habitat Agenda, written in the usual U.N. jargon: "Sustainable development is essential to human settlements development ... eradication of poverty is essential for sustainable human settlements and for preserving peace ... sustainable human settlements ensure economic development, employment opportunities and social progress with the least possible detrimental impact on the environment ... [human settlements] should not exceed the carrying capacity of ecosystems, nor should they inhibit the opportunities of future generations."[2] Note well the "sustainable" carrots of employment and future generation opportunities, social progress, peace, etc.

A depopulation hierarchy

The U.N. system is involved in population control from its top echelons to the bottom ranks via multiple agencies and organizations. Their agendas are cooked up in the U. N. boardrooms and served to the world table by way of global conferences with action plans to be consumed and ratified by U.N.-member national governments. The Habitat Agenda itself was extensively shaped by no fewer than 18 U.N. agencies, their related regional commissions and the World Bank.

Among the most notable of the U.N. agencies involved in the drafting and finalizing stages of the Habitat Agenda are the UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, UNESCO, UNEP and UNDP. These and other U.N. agencies and organizations will also be used to "implement and follow up" the Agenda.[3]

Here's what UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) has planned for the implementation of the Habitat Agenda: "First is the area of poverty alleviation and eradication through suitable reproductive health programmes, including family planning and sexual health ... [and] in the area of research into linkages between population, migration and urban growth and their implication for human settlements."[4]

On 8 February, I attended one of the U.N.'s preparatory meetings for the Habitat Agenda called "Health in Human Settlements." Focusing on what is termed "bulging mega-cities," Istanbul, Turkey was on the discussion table due to its population of 12 million. (Mega-cities are U.N.-defined as cities with populations exceeding 10 million.) Also in attendance at this meeting was Ms. Demet Gural, representative from the Asian and Near East office of Pathfinder International (PI). Gural proudly announced that PI had initiated—with help from regional government and non-government organizations (NGOs)—a community based "service" aimed at poor immigrant women.

Once targeted, these poor women in Istanbul were given lessons in "hygiene" which included instruction in "family planning." They also were given free contraceptives. Gural said it is quite easy to implement these types of programs for the poor within cities because groups like Pathfinder International can utilize existing community health services.

U.N. programs target the poor

From the international arena to local levels, evidence abounds that the U. N. (especially through its conferences in the 1990s) and its allies have targeted the poor with a vengeance to gain "sustainability" for the planet. A U.N. pamphlet titled 1996 states that, "Throughout the 1990s, the U.N. has been holding a series of international conferences on global development issues.... This conference continuum, with its interlinking themes, has emphasized the need for people-centred, sustainable development, with the eradication of poverty as a crucial cornerstone."

In the same pamphlet, the U.N. states that, through national action, they will "combat the root causes of poverty in the areas of basic education, primary and reproductive health care, and basic social services..."my emphasis!. In other words, to improve the lot of the poor it is necessary to provide "reproductive health care"—a.k.a., sterilization, contraception and abortion.

The U.N. has also published "school kits" which promote the poor as the cause of poverty. In the Intermediate School Kit on the United Nations under a section on environment and development, children are told: "The population grows because people are poor—get rid of poverty and provide every one with clean water and basic health care and the population will not grow so fast" (p. 43).

Yes, the U. N. credo of sustainability, with its humanist outlook, has permeated every sphere of life for well over a decade. What is the cost? It is at the expense of human lives, especially those who are poor and uneducated in the eyes of the U.N. It began and continues with the poorest of the poor — the unborn child in the womb of its mother.

Find out the truth

What can we do? In our day-to-day lives we can, as Our Lord wished, "do good to the poor." Find out how much money goes to world depopulation programs and protest by visiting and writing our government leaders. Tell them that you do not want your tax dollars contributing to eradicate poverty when it means the elimination of the poor.

Theresa Bell is executive director of HLI Canada.


1 Both quotes are taken from , 1993, p. 3.

2 , issued for debate at Habitat II's final Prep Com at U.N. Headquarters, 5-16 February 1996).

3 , 1 December 1995.

4 Ibid, 15 January 1996.

Taken from the March 1996 issue of "HLI Reports." To subscribe contact: HLI Reports 7845 Airpark Road, Suite E Gaithersburg, MD 20879

Copyright (c) 1996 EWTN