The Copenhagen Con: Same Demand, Different Excuse


The Copenhagen Con: Same Demand, Different Excuse


“The same old dream.

 

In 1970, the United Nations called on rich countries such as Australia to give 0.7 per cent of their wealth to the Third World – minus handling fees for the UN, of course. This was necessary to ensure “human dignity”:

(43) In recognition of the special importance of the role which can be fulfilled only by official development assistance, a major part of financial resource transfers to the developing countries should be provided in the form of official development assistance. Each economically advanced country will progressively increase its official development assistance to the developing countries and will exert its best efforts to reach a minimum net amount of 0.7 per cent of its gross national product at market prices by the middle of the Decade.

No go? Then let’s try again, this time wrapped in green.

In 2002, the United Nations called on rich countries such as Australia to give 0.7 per cent of their wealth to the Third World – minus handling fees for the UN, of course. This was necessary for “development” and to “conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem”:

Make available the increased commitments in official development assistance announced by several developed countries at the International Conference on Financing for Development. Urge the developed countries that have not done so to make concrete efforts towards the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product as official development assistance to developing countries.

Damn. Try yet again.

In 2004, the United Nations called on rich countries such as Australia to give 0.7 per cent of their wealth to the Third World – minus handling fees for the UN, of course. This was necessary to ensure “peace”, “collective security” and a “more secure world”:

The many donor countries which currently fall short of the United Nations 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) for official development assistance (ODA) should establish a timetable for reaching it.

Still not? Hmm.

In 2005, the United Nations called on rich countries such as Australia to give 0.7 per cent of their wealth to the Third World – minus handling fees for the UN, of course. This was necessary to ensure “millennium development goals” and fight poverty:

Ours is the first generation in which the world can halve extreme poverty within the 0.7 envelope. In 1975, when the donor world economy was around half its current size, the Goals would have required much more than 1 percent of GNP from the donors. Today, after two and a half decades of sustained economic growth, the Goals are utterly affordable.

Still not! OK, let’s go for broke at Copenhagen next month.

In 2009, the United Nations in a draft treaty calls on rich countries such as Australia to give 0.7 per cent of their wealth to the Third World – minus handling fees for the UN, of course. This is necessary to ensure “serious adverse effects of climate change as well as threats to their future economic potential due to insufficient access to shared global atmospheric resources”:

[Financial resources of the “Convention Adaptation Fund”] [may] [shall] include:

(a) [Assessed contributions [of at least 0.7% of the annual GDP of developed country Parties] [from developed country Parties and other developed Parties included in
Annex II to the Convention] [taking into account historical contribution to concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere];]

The excuses change, and global warming is the most recent. But the hunger for 0.7 per cent of your cash is a constant.”

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