Traditional Countries Accuse EU of Bad Faith

By | February 17, 2023

NEW YORK, February 17 (C-Fam) Traditional countries defended the family against the European Union and progressive delegations, even accusing them of brinkmanship and bad faith, in a UN negotiation about social protection policies.

“We would like to remind everyone that the family is defined in binding international human rights instruments as the natural and fundamental group unit of society and that it is entitled to protection from society and the State,” said a delegate from Nigeria as the resolution was adopted in the UN Commission on Social Development on Wednesday.

“We regret that certain delegations tried to use language related to the family as a bargaining chip in the negotiations,” the delegate added, explaining that such language “should be non-negotiable.”

The resolution eventually included several hard-won references to the importance of family-oriented policy as well as a paragraph about the importance of the family to social protection, but not without a fight.

Progressive delegations obtained two references to “multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination” in the resolution. This term of art is defined by European donor countries, the United States, and UN agencies as requiring special protections on the basis of homosexual/trans status.

A delegate from Malaysia was highly critical of the delegations that attacked the family in the negotiations.

“We are deeply disturbed by the systematic attempt to undermine the role of the family,” he said forcefully.

He called the conduct of Western delegations during the negotiations a “rampant abuse of consensus” and accused them of stonewalling developing countries in order to only reflect concerns of the Northern hemisphere.

He was not alone in complaining about the behavior of Western delegations.

The Nigerian emphasized that it was “especially wrong for delegations to block attempts to protect the family as a pretext to obtain concessions on political priorities that don’t enjoy the same wide consensus.”

She said Nigeria did not accept interpretations of the term that include categories “that are not internationally agreed, or that are not recognized in our national laws and policies” and they also said that the use of the term “gender” in the resolution only referred to “the two sexes, male and female, in the context of society, and no other meaning beyond that” in line with past UN agreements.

Similar concerns were expressed by delegates from Senegal, Djibouti, Iran, Libya, and Mauritania.

A delegate of the Holy See said it was “regrettable” how language that recognized the family as the “basic unit of society” and as “the sole source of social protection” for over half the world’s population was not included in the draft.

Western delegations who have used the annual commission to promote homosexual relations as equivalent to the family and to attack the natural family in past years were restrained in their statements relating to family issues.

The delegation of the United Kingdom said it would interpret the adopted resolution as requiring protections on the basis of homosexual/trans status.

Mexico’s delegate complained that the resolution did not refer to “various forms of the family.” She said that the family was a “social construct” and that it is “subject to evolution.”

The European Union and the United States, delivered a statement on homosexual/trans issues through the LGBT Core Group of states in the first week of the commission. The statement criticized the Secretary General’s report for not including “express acknowledgement of LGBTI persons and the challenges they face.”

Traditional countries delivered a statement through the Group of Friends of the Family, calling on the UN system “to play an important and active role in strengthening international cooperation in family-related issues.”