Joins one of only a handful of pro-life groups
world-wide enjoying privileged access
Campaign Life Coalition scored a major victory at the United Nations when it was accredited for non-government organization (NGO) status by the Economic and Social Committee of the UN (ECOSOC).
Anna Halpine, who works for CLC in New York as part of the Coalition for Women, Children and the Family, told The Interimthat all that is needed now is the “rubber stamp approval” of the General Assembly. The hard part is all done, as CLC made it through the ECOSOC committee responsible for accreditation.
Halpine explains that the committee examines applicant organizations informally and places them in one of two lists. The first contains organizations which face no objections; the second list is for organizations about which any delegate has raised concerns.
Halpine said delegates from Turkey raised allegations of links between CLC and anti-abortion violence. Halpine guessed that Canada’s pro-abortion delegation, which does not sit on the committee, leaked the false charge to the delegate who raised the objection.
In response to the concern, CLC distributed a strongly worded statement reiterating its constant and firm commitment to non-violence, and the committee subsequently voted to grant the organization NGO status.
CLC now has the opportunity to influence the language of resolutions, which is vitally important, because ECOSOC is the arm of the UN that is responsible for the recent conferences on population and life issues. CLC can now send as many representatives as possible to future conferences where they will be able to lobby delegates and have access to all records.
Halpine said accreditation is important because often the conferences are “just a numbers game” where the side with the most representatives “are often the most effective.”
Dan Zeidler, the U.S. representative for the Latin American Alliance for the Family, confirms that NGO status is important.
“The international struggle to defend the right to life and protect the family,” he said, “takes place to a great extent at the UN. It is vitally important for the pro-life and pro-family cause to be represented there.”
Halpine said CLC is one of only a few pro-life groups to be accredited, along with Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC) and the U.S. American Life League and Eagle Forum organizations. Human Life International and REAL Women of Canada also have NGO status.
“With more pro-life representatives at these conferences, there is greater opportunity to build personal relationships that help with lobbying delegates and diplomats.”