Pro-lifers Celebrate Huge Win at UN Commission
By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.
NEW YORK, April 7 (C-Fam) The UN Commission on Population and Development ended Friday afternoon with a frustrated chairman withdrawing her draft of a resolution and the meeting ending without an agreement. The meeting had become bogged down in conflicting views of human sexuality.
The backdrop of the meeting was U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw over $75 million from the UN Population Fund, an action that sent shockwaves through the annual commission. European countries retaliated by loading up a document with controversial sexual rights language that caused member states to reject the resolution for the second time in three years.
While delegations traded blame in their parting statements at the end of the commission, the intransigence of abortion groups and their supporters from Europe and Latin America was plainly in sight.
The controversial issues included a notion called “comprehensive sexuality education” which proposes to teach young children about masturbation, homosexuality, and gender identity.
The General Assembly rejected the term last November and again only a few weeks ago at the Commission on the Status of Women. The term is a priority for UN agencies and European countries. Additionally problematic for many delegations were nine references to the phrase “sexual and reproductive health” without any qualification to make clear the phrase cannot include abortion. These issues were enough to kill the document altogether, yet another set-back for abortion advocates at the UN.
At the close of the session Europeans complained that UN agreements on social policy are outdated and need to be re-calibrated to include sexual rights, LGBT rights, and comprehensive sexuality education. Norway called for “decriminalizing abortion” and “sexual rights” during the general discussion of the commission. Sweden touted the launch of the “She Decides” campaign and the pledges of over $180 million to bailout the abortion industry following the adoption of the Mexico City Policy.
Many nations from Africa and Asia countered this narrative. Egypt said the commission should not stray into controversial topics, and fulfill its “real role” to address development by, among other things, “supporting family.”
The Russian Federation also argued that UN policy should “strictly” adhere to existing commitments, without seeking to “backdoor” new human rights and other non-consensual notions—a not so veiled reference to sexual and LGBT rights.
The ambassador of Nauru, alongside other Pacific Island States, delivered a biting statement on the need to protect the family. “The best formation of a child happens in the context of the family,” she said. “And mother and father are fundamental,” she added.
She further argued, “UN development policy should not imply controversial, ideological topics” or “impose an external social agenda. It is highly destabilizing for our community.”
There is little question how powerful UN actors view such terms as “sexual and reproductive health.” At a “side event” during the week, “Access to safe abortion” was the first item on a list of “sexual and reproductive health services” rattled off by Ian Askew, Director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the World Health Organization”
The head of the controversial UN Population Fund, Nigerian doctor Babatunde Osostimehin, appeared upset and bothered during another event Monday where he lamented the “pushback” and “resistance” of “conservative forces” to the sexual and reproductive health agenda.
Pro-life and pro-family groups consider the results a massive victory.