Why a Corporate Power Grab at the UN Threatens Our Most Critical Resource
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Early this month, pharmaceutical titan Merck became the latest multinational to pledge allegiance to the CEO Water Mandate, the United Nations’ public-private initiative “designed to assist companies in the development, implementation and disclosure of water sustainability policies and practices.”
But there’s darker data beneath that sunny marketing: The CEO Water Mandate has been heavily hammered by the Sierra Club, the Polaris Institute and more for exerting undemocratic corporate control over water resources (PDF) under the banner of the United Nations. It even won a Public Eye Award for flagrant greenwashing from the Swiss non-governmental organization Berne Declaration. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
“There is no admission of problems with the Water Mandate, or the United Nations Global Compact itself” — the strategic policy initiative committed to human rights, labor and the environment — Blue Gold and Blue Covenant author and activist Maude Barlow, who also chairs the National Council of Canadians and Food & Water Watch, explained to AlterNet. “These initiatives continue to flourish, not least because the most powerful member states of the United Nations are fully behind them. This also means that the United Nations is not funded fully. Programs and agencies often rely on private sponsorship to function, and are often barely getting their core administrative budgets funded.”
Another major problem is that routinely compromised and controversial institutions like World Bank, International Monetary Fund and regional development banks in general are in control of the United Nations’ biggest projects. In April, the World Bank assumed control of the United Nations Climate Conference’s new $100 billion Green Fund, which is the opposite of a comforting proposition, considering the World Bank’s repeatedly noxious financing of oil and coal projects.
“That gives control of billions of dollars to those who have been the most ardent promoters of water privatization,” added Barlow, whose foreword for the Council of Canadians’ recently damning report on private sector influence over the United Nations (PDF) argued that the planet is on the verge of a water crisis of terrifying proportions. “We’re also seeing the IMF forcing indebted nations to sell off public assets, including water systems, as a condition of receiving financial support. The whole system is rigged for these corporations, and they still are losing contracts, not meeting their obligations and watching as remunicipalization moves forward in France and other core markets.”
That kind of illogical corporate performance would logically lead to less control, not more. But the United Nations continues to hand over the reins to multinationals like its new cosigner Merck, which has repeatedly settled in court over everything from carcinogenic pollution to deceptive marketing. Despite the fact that the United Nations’ own Joint Inspection Unit stated in a 2010 report (PDF) that the Global Compact’s corporate partnerships were an unregulated mess.
“The lack of a clear and articulated mandate has resulted in blurred focus and impact,” the report stated. “The absence of adequate entry criteria and an effective monitoring system to measure actual implementation of the principles by participants has drawn some criticism and reputational risk for the Organization, and the Office’s special set up has countered existing rules and procedures. Ten years after its creation, despite the intense activity carried out by the Office and the increasing resources received, results are mixed and risks unmitigated.”
The report suggested that not only was a clearer mandate from Member States required to “rethink and refocus” the Compact’s corporate partnerships, but that the United Nations’ General Assembly must better direct the Secretary-General to delineate the Compact’s overall functions “in order to prevent a situation whereby any external group or actor(s) may divert attention from the strategic goals agreed to promote interests which may damage the reputation of the United Nations.” The short version? It’s not working, and won’t work in its current form for the foreseeable future.Uncategorized | Comment (0)
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 6:51 AM
Subject: FW: Obama orders a News Blackout of the pending Nuclear Emergency in Nebraska…so much for a Free Press…Obama won a Transparency Award…what a JOKE
Subject: Obama orders a News Blackout of the pending Nuclear Emergency in Nebraska…so much for a Free Press…Obama won a Transparency Award…what a JOKE
Here’s a message sent to me with some of the information about how
corrupt Obama is on the nuclear power issue. This is just one issue.
Below that are some links I previously sent regarding the Fort Calhoun
Nuclear Plant Please forward to your networks.
Obama orders a News Blackout of the pending Nuclear Emergency in
Nebraska…so much for A Free Press…Obama won a Transparency
Award…what a JOKE
Date: Sunday, June 19, 2011, 1:37 PM
Subject: URGENT!NUCLEAR PLANT NEAR MELTDOWN in NEBRASKA–OBAMA
ORDERS NEWS BLACKOUT
The Obama regime has ordered a “total and complete” news censorship relating to any information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant [photo top left] located near Omaha Nebraska
US Orders News Blackout Over Crippled Nebraska Nuclear Plant
A shocking report prepared by Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (FAAE)
on information provided to them by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) http://www.iaea.org/ states that the Obama regime has ordered a “total and complete” news blackout relating to any
information regarding the near catastrophic meltdown of the FortCalhoun Nuclear Power Plant [photo top left] located in Nebraska.
According to this report, the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Calhoun_Nuclear_Generating_Station
Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant suffered a “catastrophic loss of cooling”
to one of its idle spent fuel rod pools on 7 June after this plant was deluged with water caused by the
historic flooding of the Missouri River which resulted in a fire causing the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) (http://www.faa.gov/ to issue a no-fly ban over the area.
Located about 20 minutes outside downtown Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska, the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant is owned by Omaha Public Power District OPPD) who on their website denies their plant is at a
“Level 4″ emergency by stating “This terminology is not accurate, and is not how emergencies at nuclear power plants are classified.”
Russian atomic scientists in this FAAE report, however, say that this
OPPD statement is an “outright falsehood” as all nuclear plants in
the world operate under the guidelines of the International Nuclear
and Radiological Event Scale (INES) which clearly states the “events”
occurring at the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant do, indeed, put it
in the “Level 4″ emergency category of an “accident with local
consequences” thus making this one of the worst nuclear accidents in
Though this report confirms independent readings in the United States
of ”negligible release of nuclear gasses” related to this accident
it warns that by the Obama regimes censoring of this event for
“political purposes” it risks a “serious blowback” from the American
public should they gain knowledge of this being hidden from them.
Interesting to note about this event was the Nuclear Regulatory
Commission (NRC) Chief, Gregory B. Jaczko, blasting the Obama regime
just days before the near meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power
Plant by declaring that “the policy of not enforcing most fire code
violations at dozens of nuclear plants is “unacceptable” and has tied
the hands of NRC inspectors.”
This report further notes that the “cover-up” of this nuclear disaster
by President Obama is being based on his “fantasy” of creating so-
called green jobs which he (strangely) includes nuclear power…
Obama’s fears of the American people turning against nuclear power,
should its true dangers be known, appear to be valid as both Germany
and Italy (whose people, unlike the Americans, have been told the
truth) have turned against it after the disaster in Japan and vowed to
close all of their atomic plants.
Perhaps even more sadly for the American people is this report
stating that the Obama regime is “walking in lockstep” with Japan in
their attempts to keep the truth of nuclear accidents from their
citizens; which in the case of the Japanese can only be labeled as
horrific as new evidence points to them knowing hours of the Great
Tsunami that their atomic reactors had melted down, but have only
today ordered an evacuation of pregnant women from what are called
With a country that some scientists are now warning soon become
uninhabitable due to radiation damage, and with reports of mutant
rabbits and radioactive whales now being reported, one wonders if in
knowing the truth the American people would really want to follow
Japan’s ”example” instead of those people in Germany and Italy?
But, with an already documented increase in the infant mortality rate
for American mothers living in the western coastal regions of the US
caused by radiation blowing onto them from Japan being ignored by
these people there doesn’t seem to be much hope for them.
“If you’re still living under the delusion that the TSA is just
restricted to airports then think again. A joint VIPR “security
exercise” involving military personnel has Transportation Security
Administration workers covering 5,000 miles and three states,
illustrating once again how the TSA is turning into a literal
occupying army for domestic repression in America.
The TSA, in alliance with a whole host of federal, state, local
agencies as well as military personnel, is currently conducting a
massive ”security exercise” throughout Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.
“The participating teams are composed of a variety of TSA assets
including federal air marshals, canine teams, inspectors and bomb
appraisal officers. They will be joined by state and local law
enforcement officials to supplement existing resources, provide
detection and response capabilities. The exercise will utilize
multiple airborne assets, including Blackhawk helicopters and fixed
wing aircraft as well as waterborne and surface teams,” reports the
Although the exercise is couched in serious rhetoric about
preparedness, it relates to “no specific threat” and the details are
nebulous to say the least and seems to revolve around little else than
testing out high-tech surveillance equipment and reminding Americans
who their bosses are.”
Thank you to Robert Knight of WBAI for reporting on the Fort Calhoun,
NE, nuclear plant situation:
Here is a link for search results on KMTV Action 3 website in Omaha on
the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Plant:
Help close GE Mark I reactors: Become a Co-Petitioner to the NRC
June 9, 2011
On April 13, our colleagues at Beyond Nuclear submitted a formal emergency petition to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to immediately suspend the operating license of all General Electric Mark 1 reactors in the U.S. (the same reactor design that failed so catastrophically at Fukushima) and to hold public meetings near every Mark I site. A list of the Mark 1 reactors can be found here. A factsheet on the 40-year history of the design deficiencies of the Mark I’s can be found here. The full text of the petition can be found here.
On June 8, the NRC held a “public” meeting on this petition. Hundreds of people tried to call in and the NRC’s system crashed, delaying the meeting for 1/2 hour. Eventually, more than 100 people successfully called in to the meeting. Only co-petitioners were allowed to speak, however.
Now we are asking all organizations and every person–especially the more than 7,500 who already have sent letters to their Congressmembers and President Obama demanding shutdown of these dangerous reactors–to join NIRS and other organizations and individuals in becoming Co-Petitioners to this petition. Let’s make sure the NRC doesn’t get off easy–let’s make sure they know the people of the world are watching them. The Mark I’s account for less than 4% of the U.S. electricity supply. Unlike the homes and livelihoods of the people near Fukushima, their power can easily be replaced. We need to close these reactors now.
Special Instructions for this Action:
Please edit the text of the message where appropriate and include in the text your name, organization (if you are co-petitioning on behalf of an organization, delete if you are acting for yourself), address and e-mail address. You may also add to the text of the message to include your own concerns–however, please do not delete any of the existing text.
By becoming a co-petitioner, you are joining a legal process–although there are no legal requirements or costs placed on you. However, all information that you submit to the NRC will become part of the public record and may be published by the NRC on its website. We thus advise you NOT to include your phone number. The NRC may contact you via e-mail about the status of this petition.