A joint resolution that calls for the rejection of a somewhat obscure United Nations document was passed out of a Senate committee on Tuesday on a 5 to 1 vote.
Senate Joint Resolution 11 is concerned with Agenda 21, a voluntary action plan that came out of discussions by national governments and the United Nations at the 1992 “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Republican Senator Todd Weiler, of Woods Cross, says that the legislation he’s sponsoring would help address what he sees as a dangerous UN plan.
“It would urge local governments to be well-informed regarding the underlying harmful implications of implementing agenda 21’s strategy for sustainable development.”
In recent years, opposition to the voluntary UN plan has grown in the United States. The official Republican platform in 2012 even called Agenda 21 “erosive of American sovereignty.” Though Weiler said he couldn’t site specific examples of damage caused by the plan, he said he was most concerned with potential infringement on property rights, and that some changes come too gradually to recognize.
“I watched City Creek built out my window and for the first two or three years you couldn’t tell what was happening because they were doing all of the foundation work. And I suspect that’s what’s been going on with the sustainable development proponents as well.”
He went on to say that because Salt Lake City, Park City and Summit County belong to a network of communities called the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives, they might unwittingly be being subjected to the United Nations agenda. But Democratic Senator Luz Robles, the only dissenting vote from the committee on the resolution, said that Senator Weiler’s testimony didn’t convince her.
“Are we seeing UN 21 actions in the state of Utah? The answer is no. But because they are affiliated with an organization…guilty by affiliation makes me a little bit worried. And to now be interfering in some of the work done by cities and municipalities is insulting to their officials as well. I think its more of a message bill and I’m still trying to figure out what the message is.”
The resolution passed out of the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee with a favorable recommendation on Tuesday afternoon on a 5 to one vote.