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Agenda 21 may resurface at state legislature
Lawmaker sees need for debate
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Forsyth County News

The 2013 Georgia General Assembly doesn’t convene until January, but lawmakers have begun meeting with ideas for the upcoming session.

Among them was a gathering last month, attended by at least one member of Forsyth County’s state legislative delegation, which raised some eyebrows.

Sen. Majority Leader Chip Rogers, a Republican from nearby Woodstock, called the meeting to talk about Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations plan reportedly geared toward helping developing nations deal with global, environmental problems and accelerate sustainable development.

Nearly 180 governments signed onto the Agenda 21 plan in 1992, but it’s been garnering attention at recent political debates.

Rogers last year proposed a resolution, co-sponsored by Republican District 51 state Sen. Steve Gooch of Dahlonega, which characterized Agenda 21 as destructive and insidious.

District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy, a Republican from Cumming who attended part of Rogers’ recent meeting, said he would not be surprised to see similar legislation introduced this session.

“I think it’s going to be debated and I certainly think it has a chance of succeeding in the legislature,” Murphy said. “People are just getting tired of people telling them what to do with their property.”

Rogers’ resolution called the plan one of “extreme environmentalism, social engineering and global political control” and a “plan of radical so-called 'sustainable development' [that] views the American way of life of private property ownership, single-family homes, private car ownership and individual travel choices, and privately owned farms all as destructive to the environment.”

Murphy said he’s concerned about the impact on property rights in the United States.

Though Agenda 21 has been around for two decades, Murphy said it’s something that’s just gaining traction in terms of how much the general public, including himself, know about it.

According to its Web site, the UN describes the plan as one that encourages conservation and management of resources for development, international cooperation to help developing nations reach sustainable development and would be implemented by each country “according to the different situations, capacities and priorities of countries and regions.”

Murphy said he wants to know more, which was the purpose of the meeting last month.

“The UN is involved in this and they are trying to say that this is one-size-fits-all and they don’t,” Murphy said. “Different countries have different problems with their properties and different laws concerning properties. I just don’t think you can paint from that broad of a brush.”

As for Agenda 21’s place in the upcoming session, Murphy said: “I just think it needs to be debated … let’s let people ask questions and let’s hear from both sides of it.”