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United States Republican opposes the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and believes rights of governments should be respected.

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HAMISH ROBERTSON: The government’s lobbying effort in Paris will be joined by US Republican, Helen Chenoweth, a staunch opponent of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. In the United States, she’s linked environmentalism with Marxism. She told Alexandra Kirk in Canberra that it’s wrong for a group of unelected people in Paris to shut down a valuable economic asset like a uranium mine against the wishes of a federal government.


HELEN CHENOWETH: It goes right to the heart of respect for a nation’s ability to govern its own people in a sovereign manner. This is what really creates world peace - mutual respect.


ALEXANDRA KIRK: You’re planning to lobby the UN committee personally in Paris next week. Are you going there with the imprimatur of the Australian government?


HELEN CHENOWETH: No, I’m not. I have absolutely no economic interest; I’m not going on behalf of the Australian government; but I do think that there is a place where we have to draw the line in the sand, as we say here in America, and say: we’ve had enough of this.


ALEXANDRA KIRK: And where does Marxism come into this?


HELEN CHENOWETH: Extreme environmentalism means that more and more people are unable to enjoy the fruits of a free society enjoying a free economy.


ALEXANDRA KIRK: You’re on the record as a strong defender of the US Militia Association and, in some quarters, regarded as a poster child for the militia. Australia’s just tightened its gun laws and there’s a lot of public support for that. You don’t think that those views might offend the Australian government as you lobby in Paris?


HELEN CHENOWETH: I don’t have any idea what people may think, but the fact is that if a person belongs to a militia - and it is still legal in America to belong to a militia just as it’s still legal to belong to the Masons or to a Baptist Church or to any organisation. I’m not personally comfortable with the way some people have acted in militia organisations but that’s freedom. So long as they are peaceful and respect their neighbour, then I don’t think that the force of any government should come down and dictate to people who they should enjoy their association with.


ALEXANDRA KIRK: But your belief is that they should all be able to own a gun as well?


HELEN CHENOWETH: My personal belief is yes, that lawfully abiding people should be able to own a gun, yes. And in fact in Australia, actually incidences of robbery and some crime have increased since Australia’s - I think the Australians had to turn in about 630,000 guns, as I understand it.


HAMISH ROBERTSON: Republican Congresswoman, Helen Chenoweth.