Kudos for Iran, Saint Lucia and the UN in general!
(NEW YORK – C-FAM) As the sun rose on the last day of negotiations at the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) at the United Nations (UN) today, delegations were still embroiled in a contentious debate over language concerning “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” which some radical NGOs and UN committees have interpreted and used to promote abortion. As UN member states came together at the closing meeting to adopt the document, delegations took the floor to define abortion out of the document.
Up until the eleventh hour, the contentious term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” remained in the draft document. Just prior to adoption, Iran took the floor to object to the phrase which has never before been included in any negotiated UN document. Iran stressed that the term remained problematic for a number of delegations and urged the Commission to revert back to previously agreed upon and carefully negotiated language from the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Program of Action, which is understood not to create any right to abortion.
In an attempt to get consensus, the chairwoman from Mexico suspended the meeting and after twenty minutes, returned to the room and announced that Iran’s proposal would be accepted and that the term “sexual and reproductive health and rights” would be removed from the text. The document was then adopted by consensus.
Several delegations, however, went further and made statements to explicitly define abortion out of the CPD document and to reiterate that the document created no new rights. Comoros, Peru, Poland, Ireland, Chile, the Holy See, Malta, and Saint Lucia spoke out against the other remaining reproductive health-related terms such as “reproductive rights,” “reproductive health services” and “sexual and reproductive health” and emphasized that these could not be construed to “support, endorse or promote” abortion.
Malta’s ambassador stated that his delegation was finding it more difficult in accepting the resolutions of UN bodies like the CPD where there were consistent attempts to expand “reproductive health” to include abortion.
Saint Lucia made an explicit objection to the term “safe abortion” because the term could “give the impression that abortion was a procedure completely free of medical and psychological risks.” Saint Lucia also highlighted a provision in the CPD document which called on states where abortion was legal to “train and equip health service providers and should take such measures to ensure that such abortion is safe and accessible.” The Saint Lucian representative stressed that her delegation understood this provision did not impact the right of healthcare providers to refuse to perform or be complicit in abortions as a matter of conscience, stating, “Again, no new rights are created or acknowledged in this document, and the universal right to conscience can in no way be overridden or weakened.”
Only the representative of Norway expressed regret that the term “sexual and reproductive rights” was not accepted in the text, saying that his country had widespread access to abortion and virtually no negative effects on women.
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Tolkien's Dark Lord at the UN;
Hobbit Alliance Brings Triumph of Hope
By Elizabeth LevROME, APRIL 9, 2009 (Zenit.org).-
It was an epic tale of triumph worthy of J.R.R. Tolkien. The events at the U.N. Population and Development Commission last week could have been taken straight out of his great trilogy "The Lord of the Rings."Last week, representatives from 47 countries gathered in New York for the annual meeting of the commission on population and development of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In view of a world population projected to hit 9 billion in 2050, the commission reviews and assesses the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development approved by the United Nations in 1994.Behind the optimistic façade of concern for the welfare of a burgeoning population, a darker, most sinister agenda loomed. A new language was insinuating itself amid the hopeful statements of the earlier U.N. documents. The main agenda item was "sexual and reproductive health and rights" -- the terminology under which many NGOs and U.N. committees promote abortion -- and the codification of a language that would open the door to an array of demands by homosexual activists.Like the one ring forged by Sauron in the depths of Mount Doom, this term revealed the master plan: "One Ring to rule them all" and to bring them into darkness. Changing the word 'ring' to 'agency,' the specter of the Dark Lord could be replaced by Planned Parenthood, one of the most active NGOs at the meeting.A prescient few saw the impending menace. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, noted that "one cannot help but get the impression that populations are seen as the hindrance to greater social and economic development." The prelate also warned that the commission "is giving priority to population control and getting the poor to accept these arrangements rather than primarily focusing upon its commitments to addressing education, basic health care, access to water, sanitation and employment."But the armies of darkness were strong and seemed invincible. China, Great Britain, Brazil, the Russian Federation, Spain and Germany could be expected to promote this language. The United States, under a new administration in thrall to the culture of death, would use all of its might to advance the reign of Planned Parenthood. All seemed lost.These international giants, the leaders in economy, development and technology, were certain that no obstacle remained to their plan.In the statement made by Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, the executive director of the United Nations Population Fund, the plan was revealed. She invoked the world financial crisis, and the subsequent difficulty in sustaining programs to improve the health and education of the world's poor. “The financial crisis was threatening to wipe out this hard-won progress." But her solution was to ensure that "greater attention is paid to population issues and more resources are devoted to women's empowerment and reproductive health, including maternal health care and family planning."Translating this to the common tongue, her proposal is to teach women that childbearing is dangerous and oppressive; therefore abortion is healthy and liberating. Even the Evil Lord of Mordor never tried to pass off his agenda of death and enslavement of the human race as something "positive" and "empowering."Obaid then reminded the commission that the Cairo conference had agreed that "every person has the right to sexual and reproductive health," and exhorted the commission "to keep the promise to ensure universal access to reproductive health by 2015."The great nations nodded and applauded, much like the ring wraiths whose will had long been bound to that of their wicked overlord. The culture of life braced itself to take another loss among the many it had already suffered.Then help came from an unexpected quarter. Iran took the floor and protested that the "right to sexual and reproductive health" could not be substituted with "sexual and reproductive health and rights."The Iranian delegate pointed out that this phrase had never been included in any negotiated U.N. document before and urged the commission to revert to previously agreed upon and carefully negotiated language from the original 1994 Program of Action, which is understood not to create any right to abortion.Immediately four Catholic countries -- Ireland, Peru, Chile and Poland -- picked up Iran's call to strike the wording. It was an unusual alliance, not unlike the dwarves and elves overcoming their differences to fight the common enemy.Although the Christian community and Iran find themselves opposed on many issues, it was a heartening vision to see the diverse nations cooperating in defense of alliance and dialogue through the culture of life.But as in Tolkien's great adventure of the fellowship of the nine, it was the smallest of all that saved the day. Like the four indomitable hobbits of Tolkien's epic, the Holy See (a tiny 104-acre state), Comoros (which I had to look up on Googlemaps -- it's in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar) Santa Lucia and Malta all joined the fellowship to break the stranglehold of the forces of evil.These four hobbit-like states, whose collective national products probably don't equal the operating budget for Planned Parenthood, spoke loudly and convincingly. Malta decried the consistent attempts by the commission to expand "reproductive health" to include abortion.The delegate from Santa Lucia saw to the heart of the proposed wording and stressed that her delegation understood that this provision did not threaten the right of health care providers to refuse to perform or be complicit in abortions as a matter of conscience.As Galadrial said to the wavering Frodo, "even the smallest person can change the course of the future."At the last moment at the close of the meeting, the ring of power was thrown back into the fires of Mount Doom from whence it came. "Sexual and reproductive health and rights" was struck from the text.In these days of imminent conscience coercion, massive government funding of abortion and other gloomy signs on the horizon, this little fellowship at the United Nations demonstrated what Tolkien's characters whisper during the darkest hours and Pope Benedict XVI exclaims from nation to nation: "There is still hope."