Dear Friends of America’s Survival, Inc. Below you will find the contents of the letter that we have sent to Senator Lugar requesting an opportunity to respond in person at the October 4 hearing to his accusations against our organization. Lugar attacked our ad in the Washington Times, saying it was misleading. Please contact the following numbers:
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-6225
Majority Phone: (202) 224-4651
Minority Phone: (202) 224-6797
Also please contact Senator Lugar through his Senate offices:
President, America’s Survival, Inc.
VIA Federal Express and FAX
September 28, 2007
Senator Richard Lugar
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
439 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Lugar:
We take strong exception to your attack on our organization, America’s Survival, Inc., and request the opportunity to reply at the October 4 hearing on the Law of the Sea Treaty. It is unfair and an abuse of your power to have used the podium at the September 27 hearing to attack the advertisement we sponsored in the Washington Times on September 26.
You read only a part of the ad, mostly having to do with the connections between the U.N. and the Law of the Sea Treaty, suggesting to the witnesses and those in the hearing room that it was not based on facts and was misleading. As such, your comments were an attack on my integrity and honesty. I am a journalist and citizen-activist representing thousands of our fellow citizens seriously concerned about this treaty. In addition to my work at America’s Survival, Inc., I serve as editor of the Accuracy in Media Report. Our ad was based on facts and evidence easily available to you and your staff.
Your desire to keep people from finding out about the U.N. connection to UNCLOS (the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea) is understandable from the point of view of a Senator who has accepted campaign contributions from the Citizens for Global Solutions, a component of the pro-U.N. and pro-world government lobby. As you yourself noted in the hearing, the U.N. doesn’t have a good reputation among the American people.We note that you previously released a letter from eight former Legal Advisers stating that “…the LOS Convention does not award any decision-making authority on any issue to the United Nations. The fact that the term ‘United Nations’ appears in the title of the LOS Convention is legally meaningless and is an accident of history.”
It turns out that the preamble to UNCLOS alone has three references to the United Nations. First, it refers to UNCLOS as emerging from a United Nations conference. Second, it refers to UNCLOS being based on a resolution passed by the United Nations General Assembly. Finally, it declares that the treaty shall be implemented “in accordance with the Purposes and Principles of the United Nations as set forth in the Charter.”
Are we to believe that all of this, to quote the former Legal Advisers, is just an “accident of history?”
On the website of the U.N. Division of Oceans Affairs and Law of the Sea, where the history of UNCLOS is kept, we read the following:
“Throughout the years, beginning with the work of the Seabed Committee in 1968 and later during the nine-year duration of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, the United Nations has been actively engaged in encouraging and guiding the development and eventual adoption of the Law of the Sea Convention. Today, it continues to be engaged in this process, by monitoring developments as they relate to the Convention and providing assistance to States, when called for, in either the ratification or the implementation process.”
It goes on to say that “The United Nations also gives assistance to the two newly created institutions -- the International Seabed Authority and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.”
The treaty contains numerous references to the authority of the United Nations, noting in Article 301, “Peaceful uses of the seas,” that members of UNCLOS shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent “with the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations.”
The instruments of ratification of UNCLOS are deposited with the Secretary-General of the U.N.
Under Annex V of UNCLOS, the U.N. Secretary-General draws up and maintains a list of “conciliators.” He can then appoint them to a commission in order to resolve certain disputes.
If this is not authority, what is it?
The eight former Legal Advisers also claim, in the letter released by you, claim that President Reagan’s objections to the pact were “limited to the deep seabed mining regime” in the treaty and that a 1994 side agreement resolved all of this. This claim is also false.
Reagan’s own diaries, just released in book form, include an entry in which the former president talks about refusing to sign UNCLOS “even without seabed mining provisions.” It was clear he opposed the treaty on broad grounds.
James L. Malone, Reagan’s special representative for Law of the Sea negotiations, delivered testimony in 1995―after the 1994 agreement supposedly “fixed” the pact―rejecting UNCLOS as badly flawed in concept and detail. It is not true that Reagan rejected the treaty only because of the controversial seabed mining provisions, he said. Rather, “The collectivist and redistributionist provisions of the treaty were at the core of the U.S. refusal to sign,” Malone asserted. He was referring to the parts of UNCLOS that facilitate the transfer of funds, some through a global tax on U.S. corporations, to the foreign bodies established by the treaty.
These are just a few of the misleading statements made in the letter signed by the former State Department Legal Advisers that you distributed to the public and the press.
Your comments attacking our ad have only served to further muddy the waters.
If the institutions created by the U.N.'s Law of the Sea Treaty are independent of the U.N., why do the International Seabed Authority (ISA) and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) maintain formal and written relationship agreements with the U.N.? The ISA's relationship agreement, approved by the U.N. General Assembly on November 26, 1997, declares, "The Authority recognizes the desirability of establishing close budgetary and financial cooperation with the United Nations aimed at benefiting from the experience of the United Nations in this field."
Article 11 of the agreement concerns "personnel arrangements," declaring that, "The United Nations and the Authority agree to apply, in the interests of uniform standards of international employment and to the extent feasible, common personnel standards, methods and arrangements designed to avoid unjustified differences in terms and conditions of employment and to facilitate interchange of personnel in order to obtain the maximum benefit from their services." Hence, U.N. personnel can move between organizations.
The International Seabed Authority and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea have already joined the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund as member organizations. The U.N. pension fund, the best-managed program at the world body, has assets surpassing $36 billion. Such a move enables ISA and ITLOS employees to dip into these lucrative assets. The other body created by the treaty, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS), maintains its website through the U.N.’s Division for Oceans Affairs and the Law of the Sea.
The treaty also creates various commissions for the ISA, including an “Economic Planning Commission” and a “Legal and Technical Commission.” Article 163 declares that members should have “appropriate qualifications,” be competent, and “have no financial interest in any activity relating to exploration and exploitation in the in the Area.” It also declares that the members of the commissions should not disclose “any industrial secret” or “proprietary data” which are “transferred” to the ISA.
Where are the mechanisms to make certain that members of these commissions act ethically? We searched in vain for any provision for members of these commissions to file financial disclosure forms. So how do we know they’re not getting behind-the-scenes bribes and payments? You may recall that U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan himself received a $500,000 personal gift from the government of Dubai. And that was NOT considered a violation of U.N. rules.
The nature of UNCLOS, with its provisions for massive payments from corporations and governments for access to oil, gas and minerals, makes it an inevitable conduit for money transfers that could dwarf the magnitude of the oil-for-food scandal.
Even after the oil-for-food scandal, the U.N. has still failed to police its own employees. The world body had announced that employees would be filing financial-disclosure forms. But then it said that the forms would only be filed by some senior employees and they would not be made public.
The new U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has filed a financial disclosure form which has been made public. But it is so vague as to be meaningless. It says such things as that he maintains checking and savings accounts and owns an apartment but only gives a general estimate of the worth of these items. Certain personal information was removed, we are told, for “security purposes.” The U.N. says that the form was provided to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the financial firm, which “determined that no further action is required of him with respect to his compliance with the requirements of the financial disclosure program.” This is “trust me” from a bureaucracy that violated our trust.
An October 2006 report from the Government Accountability Office tells the story. “United Nations: Management Reforms Progressing Slowly with Many Awaiting General Assembly Review.”
It is even worse with the new U.N. institutions established by the Law of the Sea Treaty.
It is imperative that we be given an opportunity to set the record straight on these and other matters before the Committee on October 4.
Please have your staff immediately call to arrange my testimony.