Battle Lines at UN Commission: Poverty Reduction v. Sexual Rights

By | March 7, 2024

NEW YORK, February 28 (C-Fam) The Biden administration faces an uphill battle to promote “sexual rights” at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women. Many delegations anticipate a change in U.S. administration in November and may be more willing to defy what they perceive to be a lame duck administration as a result.

Biden and the European Union will push the UN system to the brink in long and difficult negotiations that are expected over the next two weeks to impose “sexual rights” on African, Asian, and Middle Eastern countries in the commission’s annual agreement. Whether there will be an agreement may depend on how far the West wants to drive this sexual agenda, which includes abortion, the homosexual/trans agenda, and sexual autonomy for children.

The annual commission is the second largest annual conference in New York and is expected to draw over 13,000 delegates this year.  Negotiations on the commission’s “agreed conclusions” began two week ago.

The working draft of the agreement, obtained by C-Fam, draws the battlefront along familiar lines as past years. Western countries want the agreement to promote permanent bureaucratic mechanisms and funding streams for sexual rights policies and organizations. The buzzword for all this is including a “gender perspective” in policies and programs. Developing countries prefer to focus on programs to reduce poverty.

Negotiation insiders tell the Friday Fax that Western delegates are aggressively promoting “comprehensive sexuality education”, even arguing that it should be compulsory. They said this kind of sex education is necessary to keep girls out of poverty.

UN manuals for comprehensive sexuality education promote explicit sexual concepts at extremely young ages without the involvement of parents or over their objections, including moral relativism on homosexuality and transgenderism, and even encourage children to experiment with sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Biden administration is also reaching in ways it hasn’t in the past. This year, for the first time, the administration proposed the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” in the negotiations. In the past, U.S. diplomats asked for language about reproductive health instead—which has less opposition from traditional countries. If the Biden administration insists on making sexual rights a priority it could derail the whole agreement.

Other Western delegations are pushing the envelope on transgender issues specifically. The United Kingdom sent a man who identifies as a transgender women as delegate to the commission.

Much will depend on the Dutch Ambassador leading the negotiations who will produce a final draft of the agreement for adoption on March 22. Any one of the forty-five members of the commission can block the agreement when the Chair calls for its adoption.

So far, the Dutch delegation has shown a bias for sexual rights. It has kept multiple identical proposals on “sexual rights” in the working draft including dozens of mentions of sexual and reproductive health and rights, comprehensive sexuality education, homosexual/trans language, and sexual autonomy for children. At the same time, it whittled down several pro-family proposals from traditional countries to a single paragraph. This creates the appearance of a conflict of interests with the European Union, who is also an active participant in the negotiations, pulling the strings behind the scenes.

In light of this, the best hope for an agreement may be a pragmatic intervention of the Chairman of the commission, the Ambassador of the Philippines. If negotiations break down, he has the option of proposing a sanitized text for adoption as has happened in past sessions of the commission.