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Unmasking ‘new diplomacy’ (Scripps Howard News Service) September 4, 2002

Posted by daviddavenport in Newspaper Columns/Essays, Op/Eds.

If this were a tabloid at the grocery store check stand, the headline would read: “Massive Plan To Take Over World Uncovered.” Since this is, instead, a reputable newspaper, we should tone it down a notch and say that there are, in fact, people meeting in New York this week who are part of an ongoing plan to change global governance. They have made remarkable progress and their agenda is one that should be of real concern to the United States and other nations.

Like the mild-mannered Clark Kent, who disguised a powerful man with a larger agenda, this determined group meets under a seemingly harmless banner: The Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court. They compromise representatives of the 78 nations that are establishing the court. But by creating a court they knew the United States could not support, proponents of “the new diplomacy” took another step toward their larger goal of altering the global playing field.

If, like most, you have followed the only headlines of the International Criminal Court act of this larger play, you might have concluded that the United States is the ugly protagonist in a drama about American isolationism. Indeed part of the new diplomacy strategy is to position the United States as the isolationist bully who will not play along with widely supported “improvements” to international relations. In fact, it is the practitioners of the new diplomacy who are introducing bold changes to international law and attempting to shame those who, like the United States, will not follow their lead.

So who are these people and what are they trying to do?

Who? The new diplomacy leaders are hundreds of nonprofit organizations that have previously been powerless in international diplomacy since statecraft is, by definition, practiced by states. They tend to be liberal, human rights organizations with a very limited and focused agenda. Their partners are small and medium-sized nations, such as Canada and European Union countries, who have also been longing for a larger role in a superpower world.

What? The agenda is to move international relations away from nations dealing with other nations and, instead, to develop overarching international organizations and treaties. In a sense, the new diplomacy seeks to achieve internationally what most of these organizations could never do within a powerful country like the United States.

When? The new diplomacy started with smaller treaties, such as the convention to ban landmines, and the Kyoto climate treaty, and has now moved to create an International Criminal Court over the objection of larger powers. The ongoing agenda is to create additional international norms and treaties about the rights of women and children, arms limitation, the death penalty and other traditionally decided by nations, not world bodies.

Where? Interestingly, the nonprofits are primarily from the United States. The nations, which in the case of the new world court constitute only 78 of the 189 states in the United Nations, are largely from Europe and Africa. The meeting in New York this week includes people from fewer than half the countries of the world representing less than half the global population, yet the group purports to create an “international” court of universal jurisdiction. To read the media accounts, you would think the United States was on the outside alone, but also absent from the assembly this week are China, India, Japan, Russia, and Israel, to name but a few.

Why? The new diplomacy is cloaked in moralism, claiming to represent the rights of human beings as the nonprofits and smaller states define them. Below the surface are attempts to gain power and leverage in the new world order, and to contest the influence of the United States.

For years, there have been claims that globalists or internationalists sought to create a new world order, one that did not respect the sovereignty of individual nations. Although these claims usually sounded like silly conspiracy theories, the new diplomacy suggests there is some basis for those fears. There are persistent and committed nonprofits who have commandeered the attention of previously powerless states to pursue a global governance agenda.

Our allies must understand that the United States, built upon individual freedom and limited government, does not cede sweeping powers even to its own officials. It will not be easy or popular, but the United States is right to oppose the International Criminal Court and other elements of the expansive new diplomacy agenda. There is more at stake here than meets the eye.

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