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Utah Legislature fighting U.N. fears

Published March 4, 2013 7:32 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A resolution to reject the United Nations Agenda 21 — a regime of guidelines that opponents say promotes socialism and eugenics over private property and liberty — won committee approval Monday, even though its sponsor admits it has a "tin-foil hat" element.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, said he based SJR11S1 opposing Agenda 21 on model legislation used in Alabama and Virginia and watered it down to "make it less tin-foil hatty."

But, Weiler said, Agenda 21 is a "real thing." Some would argue, he said, that the Obama administration has embraced "smart-growth" strategies and "with the current administration, they're poised to strike."

Agenda 21 was a non-binding sustainable development plan passed by the United Nations in 1992. Conservative groups, like the Utah Eagle Forum, fear it is a blueprint for globalization, population control and socialism.

Weiler said he is not one of the "sky-is-falling-conspiracy theorists," but the non-binding resolution makes sense to warn cities to "keep your guard up."

Salt Lake City Councilman Soren Simonsen said that the smart growth group that critics point to as an out-growth of Agenda 21 has put forward some excellent ideas, but "nothing that has to do with taking away private property rights and sovereignty of the United States of America."

He said it makes sense to seize on the good ideas about managing growth and opposed Weiler's resolution.

The House Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee approved the resolution on a 5-3 vote, moving it to the full House for consideration.