After a two year hiatus, Campaign Life Coalition returned to the United Nations on April 23-27, 2012, to attend the Commission on Population and Development in the 45th session of the UN’s Economic and Social Council. The theme of the meeting addressed “Adolescents and Youth.”
Together with other pro-life non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children and Manhattan Right to Life, CLC assisted the Holy See delegation and other member states in resisting a very aggressive push by the International Planned Parenthood Federation from spreading a radical anti-life, anti-family agenda at the U.N. This was visible through countless side events hosted by IPPF and like-minded NGOs which was presented to delegates as a growing demand for sexual and reproductive health rights and services in developing nations.
Slogans such as “sex rights are youth rights” and “our lives, our rights” flooded the UN hallways and meeting rooms. The pleas from many member states regarding access to education, employment opportunities, and basic health care needs for their nations’ young people were met with a constant chorus from pro-abortion delegates (all of which were backed up by a large coalition of IPPF-funded NGOs) demanding unrestricted abortion, comprehensive sexuality education, and widespread contraception, sexual orientation and gender identity rights.
The classic IPPF mantra of stigmatizing pregnancy and parenthood was at full force. According to some NGOs, young people would rather get HIV then become pregnant. The notion of abstinence, monogamy and healthy committed relationships are a thing of the past, and for as long as IPPF together with its affiliate NGOs continue to dominate these meetings, the future of 1.8 billion young people is at risk.
Throughout the week, delegates from member states spent hours negotiating a resolution document that ended up going through 11 versions before being set aside for a new chairman’s text which was then adopted as a “consensus document” even though there was never a consensus from member states. Chairman Hasan Kleib of Indonesia had broad discretion on what he included.
The shortened document contained language similar to the previous drafts and as a result the other side celebrated the outcome and through their own spin, made it seem like it was a great victory. This, however, is not true. Even though the meeting was hijacked by IPPF, the pro-life coalition, consisting of NGOs from Canada, the U.S.A., Europe and South America, together with a handful of key delegations (Holy See, Malta, Ireland, Poland, and several Arab states to name a few) were successful in reducing a significant number of references to abortion and reproductive rights. Furthermore, the final document did not contain any references to sexual rights, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Matthew Wojciechowski is a researcher with Campaign Life Coalition who attended the UN’s Population and Development meetings in New York in April.