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Alice in the Wonderland of the UN

Babette Francis - ON LINE Opinion - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate: 7 April 14

I am recently back from my annual foray to the UN's (58th) session of the Commission on the Status of Women - this is a yearly event held during the first two weeks of March in New York and it is dedicated to the advancement of women and girls in all areas of life, except in the role of full-time mother and homemaker. This year's priority theme was "Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls" and an "Agreed Conclusions" document is now available, but whether it was truly agreed is a moot question because a number of countries entered Reservations. For those not familiar with UN-speak, a Reservation indicates that country will not comply with the recommendation.

Pro-lifer Peter Smith, a Tasmanian who lives in Scotland, reports: "The last day at CSW is much like dropping down a rabbit hole and meeting Alice in Wonderland. This year was no exception. On Thursday they negotiated until 4am on Friday morning. Wisely I did not stay up late as nothing much happens the second last night except everyone getting tired and crabby.

"So around 3 pm on Friday (21 March) the negotiations were meant to start at 7.30 pm, but did not.... the chairman from the Philippines said 'a later time' several times and this went on until about 11pm. There had been a lot of arm twisting in the room over that time.

"Then a draft agreed conclusion on 'Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the millennium development goals ( MDGs ) for women and girls' was presented. However this document was not agreed. Two paragraphs were not agreed at all. You would think this high sounding document would measure some of these MDGs , but no. It is just a vehicle for the rich countries to ram their sick liberal ideology down the reluctant throats of the poorer countries.

"We were given less than a minute to read this 24 page document.....So then there were 22 countries who made reservations . Some of these countries were speaking for 50 plus countries in their group. So around half the countries in the world were unhappy. The rich countries lamented a reference to 'the family' as they wanted 'various forms of the family'. They were also upset that there was no reference to SOGI. In fact some NGOs were upset at security having confiscated their SOGI t-shirts. For the un-initiated SOGI means sexual orientation / gender identity.

"The poor countries complained about losing their paragraph on national sovereignty. This is how they escape doing all the daft things the rich countries do........"

At the UN I represent Endeavour Forum Inc., an NGO which has "special consultative status with the Economic & Social Council of the UN". The UN doesn't really consult us but does send us information about UN activities and sometimes invites us to make statements which may or may not be included in their voluminous documents. The NGO status does entitle us to be "Observers" at UN deliberations and to organise "Parallel Events", i.e. NGO workshops or meetings off campus, usually at a building called the Church Centre, located on lst Avenue opposite the UN itself. It is a kind of parallel universe....

Along with other pro-life and pro-family NGOs I have monitored CSW sessions and the various UN conferences on Women for several years: their significance is that the various "Agreed Conclusions" documents that emerge are used by feminists to pressure their national governments on policies which would not pass local Parliaments.

For example, a few years ago CSW debated a resolution recognising seven genders. This was unlikely to be adopted by the Australian Parliament, but it gave the impetus for the Australian Human Rights Commission to acknowledge 23 genders and Facebook is up to 50.

CSW resolutions on gender feeds into local (western countries') demands for "diversity" and affirmative action policies on behalf of the "transgendered", on the basis that these policies are now "part of Australia's international obligations"! All this esoteric debate when the real needs of women in developing countries is for clean water, reliable electricity and navigable roads.....

The real "dance" at CSW sessions is the contest between feminists and homosexual lobbyists for "reproductive rights" i.e. access to abortion to be recognised as a "human right" and for "marriage equality", i.e. homosexual "marriage", while pro-life and pro-family NGOs lobby for the right to life of the unborn, for pregnancy support and maternal health services, and for traditional marriage.

In our lobbying we rely mainly on the votes of African and Asian countries: most of Europe, with the exception of Eire, Malta and a few Eastern European countries which have escaped the Soviet yoke, are pro-abortion and pro-homosexual "rights". Ironically, Russia itself is becoming increasingly pro-life and is opposed to homosexual "marriage", while the USA under President Obama is adamantly pro-abortion and pro-homosexual "marriage".

What is iniquitous is that by threatening to cut off aid, wealthy donor countries such as the USA and Norway and Sweden often bully developing countries to the extent of demanding the exclusion of policies advocating abstinence before marriage or "decreasing the number of sexual partners" in recommendations regarding sexually transmitted infections.

Even if abstinence policies do not work perfectly, they do no harm other than to decrease the number of clients for Planned Parenthood's abortion clinics. But the nihilist philosophy of the pro-abortion countries is that everyone, including teenagers, must be encouraged to have as much sex as they want, the only qualifications being that it should be "consensual" and contraceptives and condoms be used.

A perfect illustration of this ethos was a news item in USA Today (18/3/14) headed "Socially responsible condoms set for sale". I hadn't realised there were socially irresponsible condoms, but Jeffrey Hollender co-founder of "Seventh Generation" a personal care brand for consumers concerned about the environment and social justice, together with his daughter Meika, has launched a brand of condoms named "Sustain". They decided on this project because surveys showed that the average age of first sexual intercourse in the USA was seventeen. The Hollenders have found a rubber plantation in India "that was certified for fair trade and by the Forest Stewardship Council". USA Today reports that "one of Sustain's biggest competitors will be Sir Richard's Condom Co. based in Colorado, which claims to be "chemical free and vegan certified". Next thing they will all be applying for Halal accreditation..... but there appears to be no suggestion that maybe it is not a great idea for unmarried 17-year-olds to be having sex with multiple partners, even with a "socially responsible" condom.

One of the main speakers at Endeavour Forum's NGO "Parallel Event" entitled "Violence Against Pregnant Women" was Reggie Littlejohn of "Women's Rights Without Frontiers". She said: "While many women in the United States and internationally suffer from domestic violence while pregnant, only in China are women dragged out of their homes and forcibly aborted and sterilized by their government. China's One Child Policy causes more violence against pregnant women than any other official policy on earth and any other official policy in the history of the world. Forced abortion is official government rape.

"China has not abandoned its One Child Policy: Reports abound that China has 'eased' the policy, giving the false impression that China has abandoned coercive family planning. It has not. Rather, China has merely lifted the ban on a second child, if either parent is an only child. This is not a wholesale 'easing' of the One Child Policy. It is a minor adjustment.

"As recently as March 6, 2014, Li Bin, minister in charge of the National Health and Family Planning Commission, stated, 'The basic family planning principle has not changed as the country is still the world's most populous'. She also stated that there is 'no timetable for allowing every couple to have a second child.'

"Regardless of the number of children allowed, women who get pregnant without permission will still be dragged out of their homes, strapped down to tables and forced to abort babies that they want, even up to the ninth month of pregnancy. Pro-choice and pro-life advocates can agree: no one supports forced abortion, because it is not a choice.

"Women's Rights Without Frontiers calls for an investigation of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). The UN's CSW should follow its own advice to 'condemn and take action to prevent violence against women' . . . by thoroughly investigating the activities of the UNFPA in China. Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell found the UNFPA to be complicit in coercive family planning in China. WRWF believes that any independent investigation of the UNFPA's current practices would arrive at the same conclusion."

Most Australians are blissfully unaware that our government has funded UNFPA with $38.5 million over four years (2009 -2013), and that we yearly fund delegations to attend the Alice-in-Wonderland sessions of the UN's Commission on the Status of Women. There surely are better uses for our taxes.

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