Delegations Accuse Japan, Sierra Leone, and Western Powers of Manipulating UN Debate
NEW YORK, September 9 (C-Fam) Twenty-one delegations, including Nigeria, Egypt, and India have lambasted the tactics and misrepresentations of Western countries in their efforts to impose new human rights related to contentious social policies.
The Ambassador of Japan, Kimihiro Ishikane, and the Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone, David Francis, introduced the first ever UN General Assembly resolution on access to justice for survivors of sexual violence last week. The resolution included a paragraph that suggests access to abortion is a human right and included controversial new terms that UN agencies use to promote homosexuality and transgenderism.
During the debate on Friday, both Ishikane and Francis delivered long and winding lectures to any delegation that might object to the contents of the resolution. They listed several previous non-binding resolutions where similar language was used and insisted such language could not be objectionable because it had been used before. The term of art is “agreed upon language” which UN debates demonstrates is a rather slippery term.
They insisted their resolution contained “longstanding agreed language” and that the same terms had been “adopted by consensus or by vote on multiple occasions.”
Ishikane said that no one should “dare to object” to the contents of the resolution.
Delegates from around the world fought back against the notion that “access to safe abortion” is a human right or that gender policies should include the promotion of homosexuality and transgender issues. They reminded the sponsors of the resolution that the controversial terms of the resolution had been voted on several occasions, and that many countries have outstanding reservations on the terms, so that they cannot be considered universally accepted.
They accused the sponsors and facilitators of the negotiations of acting in bad faith and failing to take into consideration the views of all member states.
“Let it be clear. This is not agreed language,” said a delegate from Malaysia.
“Copying, pasting, and compiling language from other sources cannot be considered agreed language,” an Egyptian delegate said.
Many delegations objected to the paragraph that included abortion as a human rights issue, insisting that abortion cannot be considered a human right.
The lively debate led by Nigeria and Egypt in the General Assembly about what exactly is “agreed language” spilled over from last Friday into a second full meeting of the General Assembly on Wednesday this week.
Statements objecting to the paragraphs containing the controversial terms were made by Saudi Arabia, Nicaragua, Indonesia, Philippines, Russian Federation, Iraq, Senegal, Guatemala, India, Syria, Belarus, Pakistan, Sudan, Egypt, Algeria, Brazil, Libya, Mauritania, Nigeria, Malaysia, Ethiopia, and the Holy See.
Ishikane, who was directly leading negotiations for most of the five months leading to adoption, called on countries to show “maximum responsibility and restraint” and insisted that the resolution struck a “balance” between competing views.
In fact, several delegates objected to the way Sierra Leone and Japan led the negotiations, pointing out that the facilitators had been intransigent and never seemed “genuinely interested” in finding consensus among all member states.
A delegate from Malaysia said Japan and Sierra Leone had done a “disservice to such an important issue” and that they had “shown no interest” in finding common ground.
The Nigerian delegate said the facilitators had showed an “outright display of contempt” for diverging views.