Opinion: Who Will Fight for the Family at the UN?

By | February 8, 2018

Daniela Bas

NEW YORK, February 9 (C-Fam) Even on the seventieth anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Commission on Social Development did not refer to the family as “natural and fundamental group unit of society, entitled to protection by society and the state” at its annual session this week.

Following the Universal Declaration, the phrase has been repeated in every UN human rights treaty since 1948. Pressure from the LGBT lobby and their supporters at UN headquarters has led the Commission to limit references only to “families” in the plural in its main resolution, and without the Universal Declaration’s signature phrase.

It is not an isolated incident either. UN agreements increasingly call for “family-oriented” policies without any clarity on what constitutes a family. They do not even refer to “the family” as distinct from other “households” as the General Assembly has done in the 2030 Agenda.

The UN bureaucracy has already exploited this ambiguity to promote all manner of LGBT family policies, including homosexual marriage.

Just this week, Daniela Bas, a top official of the UN Secretariat, attempted to sabotage an event at UN headquarters organized by Poland and Hungary to promote family-polices. The two socially conservative countries took a moderate position and did not promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, knowing it alienates progressive Europeans and UN bureaucrats.

Bas did not reciprocate their courtesy.

“Families is not just ‘the family’ as we consider it traditionally to be,” Bas said after arriving late at the event. “When we think of family we also have to enlarge our definition of family,” she added, saying that family just means “community.”

Bas said this even though she acknowledged being told that family diversity was “not the focus of the meeting.” She left after her statement without taking questions.

The UN Secretariat has been exploiting this backsliding for decades.

In the 1990s, UN agreements began to refer to family “diversity,” away from the natural family, composed of a man and a woman and their biological offspring, which international law affords singular protections no other social group is entitled to right.

Promoters of diversity say that so long as international law and policy reserves a special place for the natural family, it discriminates against all other family structures and homosexual relations. This has been the position of European nations, some Latin American countries, and the United States under the administrations of both Obama and, to the surprise of many of his social conservative supporters, Trump.

Defenders of the natural family point out that protections singularly reserved for the family in international law may be extended to family structures analogous or deriving from the natural family, such as adoptive families, single-parent homes, or multi-generational families, but not to homosexual relations, because only the natural family is entitled to such protections, and not just any communal living arrangement.

Language about diversity has been blocked by socially conservative nations in UN agreements. And the language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been blocked by socially progressive nations.

The outcome of this year’s Commission, including the first ever reference to sexual and reproductive health in its main resolution, may be chalked up to the left-leaning views of the chairman responsible for the final text, but backsliding on the family in UN policy has been in the works for decades.

So long as socially conservative nations are appeased by compromise and ambiguity the retreat will continue, and the UN bureaucracy will exploit it. On the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the time to stand up for the family is now.