The UN doesn’t have a plan to abolish private land ownership

17 May 2022
What was claimed

Agenda 21 means people can’t have private property, mostly, or land of their own.

Our verdict

This is not true. Agenda 21 is a non-binding plan intending to improve sustainable development. It explicitly mentions respecting land ownership rights.

A Facebook video, which has been viewed more than 100,000 times, falsely claims that the United Nations’ Agenda 21 programme aims to achieve “total collectivism”, meaning that people “can't have private property”.

This isn’t what Agenda 21 means at all.

What is this video?

The video appears to show G Edward Griffin, an author who has previously said that the medical establishment is covering up a cure for cancer, and that HIV does not exist, and given his support to the chemtrails conspiracy theory.

In the video, Mr Griffin says:

“Agenda 21 is kind of a code name for a master plan originated at the United Nations to change the political and economic system of the world to one of total collectivism. And in order to do that, people must not be allowed to have independence. They must be dependent on the state for everything. Otherwise they won't be easily controlled by the state. That means they can't have private property, mostly. They cannot have land of their own.”

What is Agenda 21?

According to the UN: “Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.”

The plan was first agreed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. The original Agenda 21 document says: “Agenda 21 addresses the pressing problems of today and also aims at preparing the world for the challenges of the next century.”

The UN also has a plan to achieve its Sustainable Development Goals or “Global Goals” by 2030, which is sometimes known as Agenda 2030. The Facebook post connects the two by titling the video: “Agenda 21 - 2030 in a Nutshell”.

Neither plan is legally binding, nor does either intend to introduce “total collectivism” or prevent people from having private property.

For instance, Agenda 21 says nations should “Encourage the private sector and foster entrepreneurship by improving institutional facilities for enterprise creation and market entry.”

It does talk about managing land resources, but notes that “private property rights…should be taken into account.”

While Agenda 2030 says: “We acknowledge the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinationals, and that of civil society organizations and philanthropic organizations in the implementation of the new Agenda.”

We’ve fact checked posts about both agendas before, including false claims that Agenda 2030 was going to begin the “enslavement of humanity” and that Prince William presides over Agenda 21 and that it’s a global depopulation plan.

Image courtesy of UNDP

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because neither Agenda 21 nor Agenda 2030 is a plan to abolish private land ownership.

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