Pro-Lifers Win Big at UN Commission
NEW YORK, February 22 (C-Fam) Progressives did not applaud or cheer as they normally do as the UN Commission for Social Development concluded yesterday at UN headquarters because the commission did not even hint at abortion or homosexual/trans rights.
In fact, the mood was somber when chairman gaveled the end of the session. The final agreement left out abortion buzzwords “sexual and reproductive health” and other abortion-related terminology and included provisions on family-policy instead.
“The Member States once again find themselves before a dysfunctional commission,” grumbled the delegate from Mexico, one of the more aggressive countries in promoting abortion-related terms and homosexual/trans rights in UN negotiations.
He accused socially conservative delegations, mostly from Africa and the Middle East, of making the commission “irrelevant” and holding back the commission to “dogmas and dichotomies of the past.”
Throughout negotiations the African group requested that the facilitators of the negotiations only to include previously agreed-upon language in document. This excludes any language related to abortion or homosexual/trans rights.
Speaking for the African Group, a representative from Djibouti highlighted the positive aspects of the resolution adopted by the commission. “There is a fine line between social policy and protection versus family policy. Family plays a fundamental role in social inclusion and so the policies for families will help reduce social inequalities and will help to combat poverty especially in Africa,” he said.
Last year was the first time since the Commission began meeting in 1962 that it included the controversial abortion-related term “sexual and reproductive health.” Negotiations had been heating up with regards to this topic in recent years.
Recent years had also seen protracted and heated debates about “family diversity” during the commission. This phrase is increasingly recognized by socially traditional countries as a trojan horse for homosexual marriage.
But European delegations did not push for “sexual and reproductive health” or even “family diversity”, what observers say reflects a lack of consensus within the European Union.
Insiders who witnessed the negotiations observed that the EU delegation appeared disoriented and disorganized. While the European Union has promoted the phrase “various forms of the family” in recent years, their lack of consensus within the group on this topic was unable this time to take a unified position.
The lack of a common European position is likely due to Poland and Hungary, both of which have a more traditional view of family than other European powers like Germany, the UK, and France. Both Poland and Hungary intervened in the general debate this week in order to highlight family policies in their countries.
Just this week, Hungarian Prime Minister announced a new seven-point plan to help the formation of marriage and the growth of families. The plan includes eliminating taxation for women with four or more children. The Hungarian delegation explicitly mentioned their efforts to increase fertility in a country that has had among the lowest rates in Europe but that has grown from 1.25 in 2011 to 1.5 today.
A victory at this Commission is good news for pro-lifers but does not remotely mean the fight is over. The promotion of abortion through “sexual and reproductive health” remains a priority for rich countries and the UN bureaucracy and the debate will resume in March when the Commission on the Status of Women convenes for two weeks.
Paloma Castillo contributed to the reporting in this article.