A Look Back and a Peak Forward

african-mother2UN radicals are rightly peeved at their lack of progress. Last year, like in the previous twenty, they did not advance their agenda on abortion even one syllable beyond what they got at the Cairo Conference in 1994.

We noticed this a few years ago at the 20th anniversary of the Rio Conference on the Environment. The phrase “reproductive rights” was actually taken out of that document and leftist women, like Hillary Clinton, howled with rage. It occurred to us then that these radicals had spent twenty years, hundreds of millions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of man-hours all for naught.

In all those years and blowing through all that cash they had not gotten any closer to an international right to abortion than they tried to get at Cairo. And think about it. What a criminal waste of resources that should have gone to genuine assistance for poor people and underdeveloped countries.

Hundreds of millions of people still get by on only a dollar a day. Hundreds of millions of people cannot get a clean glass of water. And all the while the UN radicals have spent their time and our treasure on dreams of unfettered killing of unborn babies.

The good news is that we have stopped them, at least in the documents.

Where we have lost is in the implementation of these documents and the only reason we have lost there is that the radicals simply lie about them and exert raw power. Whether they are binding treaties or non-binding resolutions, the documents are decided by the General Assembly and then turned over to bureaucrats to implement or explain and what they inevitably do is lie about them.

There is no right to abortion in any UN document. We have settled that time and again. But, according to these radical bureaucrats, there is a right to abortion. This is a hideous distortion of what passes for the democratic process at the UN. This is a clear violation of one of the central planks of human rights law, the right to political self-determination. Governments representing people may decide something, but the bureaucrats always insist on going their own way.

We see this playing out with the question of homosexuality. Those with same-sex desires and those with the various sexual permutations of “gender” are already covered by every single human rights treaty because first and foremost they are human. But they clamor for special recognition.

Time and again the member states of the UN have rejected the notion that “sexual orientation and gender identity” (SOGI) may have special status in human rights law. Even so, the bureaucrats insist that SOGI has precisely that special status.

In the coming year we will see these issues hotly debate once more. The negotiations for the Sustainable Development Goals will once more see the radicals insisting that a right to abortion is essential to societal wellbeing. Once more, we will see SOGI advanced as a new protected category.

In the coming year, C-Fam will carry out our essential mission in helping governments understand and advance a proper notion of human rights and international law.

It has been an amazing year, our 17th year of operation. The 18th promises to be just as fraught with danger and with fun. Thanks for sticking with us.

This article is courtesy the "Friday Fax" of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).