C-FAM’s Long Journey to Official UN Recognition
WASHINGTON DC, January 31(C-FAM) A UN committee agreed this week by consensus that C-FAM be granted “special consultative status” with the United Nations. Such status allows non-governmental groups access to the UN system, including the conferences where documents are negotiated.
Though C-FAM had our application blocked last summer, we were approved this week when the pro-abortion governments of Israel and Belgium struck a deal with C-FAM’s governmental supporters for the approval of another group they feared would be blocked.
C-FAM waited 16 years to apply for UN status because we had been warned long ago by then Papal Nuncio Renato Martino that because of our positions on life and family we might be blocked as Human Life International had been the year before we were founded.
In fact, one of C-FAM’s chief opponents, then head of the UN Population Fund Nafis Sadik, visited then Archbishop now Cardinal Martino at least twice demanding that he shut us down. C-FAM is an independently incorporated non-profit so the Church wouldn’t even try to shut C-FAM down and Martino consistently demurred at her request.
Such vociferous opposition from powerful UN actors only underscored our reluctance to apply for UN status. C-FAM has become such a part of the UN furniture over the years. We are so well known, and though despised by many governments, nonetheless loved by many others. I decided to throw caution to the wind and apply, fully expecting trouble. And trouble came.
At our first “hearing” last summer we received tough questions from Israel, Belgium and Turkey. Israel was aghast that we oppose abortion in all circumstances, even though that is the position of many governments at the UN including several on the NGO committee. Belgium quoted one of the writers on our blog who questions the idea of absolute equality in the context of women in combat. And Turkey was upset that we have criticized the UN committee on human rights.
While I was in the room last summer, I suspected that the US delegation was pulling the strings and so did other delegations. We were not helped by the fact that Secretary of State John Kerry’s sister was sitting in the delegation since we publically opposed her appointment to the US Mission years ago.
So, we were blocked, the official term is “deferred” until the next session which was this week.
As the week began we started receiving signals that our approval might be possible. The Belgian delegate met with Wendy Wright, C-FAM’s head of government relations, and told her they would stand aside if we lobbied Russia and the Holy See to accept a Canadian youth group that favors abortion. She did not commit and the request was never raised again.
Then we began hearing that the organization they really wanted was the Kinsey Institute, a group we actually reported on in the Friday Fax last week. The Belgian mentioned the Friday Fax story on Kinsey to Wendy Wright.
The Kinsey Institute was founded by Alfred Kinsey, a sexual deviant who used data from the sexual torture of children to write his highly influential Kinsey Report that was one of the main drivers of the sexual revolution around the world. This is a group that could have easily been deferred for years.
As the week progressed C-FAM allies on various delegations, including Russia, the Vatican and Nicaragua told us they thought there would ultimately be no problem. In the end, Wendy Wright was called before the committee, asked a few perfunctory questions, before the chairman, who incidentally was the Turkish delegate who blocked us last summer, announced consensus that we were approved for UN status.
When it was all over a woman who works for the UN Church Center told one of our colleagues that “we got one through.” She was talking about Kinsey. And then she added, “It was a dirty trade.” That was a reference to us.
On a sad note, Human Life International, which had never reapplied since they were deferred in 1996, and which had reapplied and deferred last summer, was deferred once more. This could go on for years.
The thing about the American political system is you do not have to apply for special status to participate. Any person and any group can march up to Capitol Hill, go into anyone’s office, or into almost any committee meeting and make your case. At the UN, you have to jump through hoops sometimes for years just so you can walk through the door. I like the American system better.