06 Jan Preparing for Another Successful Year at the UN
As we begin a new year supporting the family as a vital concept and principle of law and society, we are grateful for our own families, for the support we receive from all of you, and for the accomplishments of past years. United Families International is one of a small group of pro-family organizations holding accreditation with the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council, and our status as a non-governmental organization (NGO) allows for direct access to U.N. conferences and delegates. After a short break to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, we turn to look forward to what 2010 will bring.
We are also moving forward in updating and making our established, valuable tool, The Negotiating Guide, even more useful to family supporters in the United Nations. It will be more accessible and more available than ever before, and will assist those who work for the family to demonstrate to a sometimes doubtful United Nations constituency, that family principles were embedded in the earliest founding documents of the United Nations and have been important to major efforts ever since, despite the denials and changes some entities and advocates advance.
The first 4-5 months of each year are the most demanding period of the year in the United Nations work cycle. This is when the working committees meet to discuss and develop the ideas and documents to be considered by the General Assembly in the fall. These preliminary meetings thus determine the scope and content of the steps the United Nations will vote on each year. And this is when the pro- or anti-family language is debated, when so much relating to the family is at stake in the policy debates.
On the surface, conference themes usually appear to be honorable and benign. The problem is that the themes are carried to extremes to suit the agenda and policy proposals of liberal, anti-family groups and delegations. These themes tend to promote extreme solutions in a world that is highly diverse in its characteristics, values, and needs. The effects of those solutions would greatly erode the vital and irreplaceable position of the family in world societies, to the detriment of the children and future generations everywhere.
United Families International will build on its legacy of working these conferences to uncover anti-family agendas and, along with pro-family delegates, develop strategies to assure that the conference outcome documents support life and family. The following conferences are of vital importance to families, and with your help each one will be staffed:
The Commission on Population and Development will meet April 12-16 to consider the environmental effects, among other things, of the “overpopulated world.”
The Commission on Sustainable Development will meet May 3-14.
Elsewhere, revisions to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court will be considered in May in Uganda to consider the crime of “forced pregnancy,” (i.e. preventing a woman from securing an abortion if she desires one), and the Human Rights Commission will meet in March, May and September in Geneva to consider, among other things, a women’s right to health as including a right to freely abort a pregnancy.
COMMISSION FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
February 3 -12
What to watch for: Heavy emphasis on women’s rights, gender parity, gender mainstreaming, homosexual rights and sexual orientation issues. There is always the standard “reproductive rights” (abortion) slipped into various paragraphs throughout the official conference document. We assume that “full employment” will be touted as a human right. Among the issues they will be considering is the possible recognition of “gender identification.” On its face this would not appear problematic, until one considers that many of the advocates for changes in this area recognize as many as seven genders.
COMMISSION ON STATUS OF WOMEN (CSW)
March 1 – 12
What to watch for: This will probably be the most heavily attended U.N. conference of the year with many non-governmental organizations participating. UFI will sponsor a side event aimed at uniting like-mind organizations in the cause of supporting the traditional family and giving these organizations the training to go back to their own home countries and work effectively.
One of the approaches UFI is focusing on this year is to create a network of in-country, pro-family groups that will work to educate their governments on the importance of public policy beneficial to marriage and family. We plan to select a region of the world, wherein we direct our educational support efforts to smaller groups in specific countries.
CSW is typically a radical feminist “love fest” positioning “reproductive rights” as the centerpiece of the conference, along with a smattering of other anti-family issues thrown in for good measure.
COMMISSION ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT (ICPD)
What to watch for: We expect to see a repeat of the same themes and issues we witness almost every year – a concerted push for abortion as a human right, sexual orientation and homosexual rights advocacy and an almost total exclusion of any mention of men and boys. One of the interesting things about ICPD is a steadfast refusal to acknowledge the declining fertility rate, often referred to as “demographic winter” in many of the industrialized countries of the world – particularly in Western Europe.
HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL
May (Geneva, Switzerland)
What to watch for: Opponents of the family try to use the idea of “human rights” as an opportunity and tool to promote their agenda. If the HRC succeeds in implementing a proposal to gain the authority to conduct a universal review of nations’ laws, it would give more compliance authority to conference treaties and threaten the sovereignty of nations, i.e. their ability to make their own political choices on these critical questions, rather than simply submitting to the “higher authority and expertise” of the UN.
The current high commissioner for human rights recently stated that she expects the HRC to pressure nations for compliance on sexual orientation and gender identity as human rights. Choices related to “sexual orientation” include approximately 22 behaviors (as stated by the American Psychiatric Association), such as pedophilia, exhibitionism, bisexuality, bestiality, and others.
It is necessary for UFI to be at the United Nations promoting the family and opposing the alarming, over-the-top policies emanating from the U.N. As always, we will rely heavily on social science, our professional staff, experienced volunteers and a steadfast determination to assure that we prevail. With your financial support, together we can create an invincible team that will work to preserve a future for the traditional family. Be part of that team today by giving a one-time donation. Together, we can make a difference!
This is a sampling of the issues we address each year at the UN. UFI is well positioned to be a voice of power and influence in that arena. Heading our international policy program is Scott Loveless whose experience at the UN over the last decade with the World Family Policy Center will magnify and enhance our effectiveness there.
Thank you for your ongoing support in our efforts at the UN to protect the family and the right of each nation to choose to protect its families, despite so many misguided efforts in opposing directions.
Vice President for International Policy
What they’re saying about the “United Nations Negotiating Guide”
“The Negotiating Guide is a phenomenal store of needed documentation, indexing and cross-referencing of UN documents relating to the family. It will be great use, not only for the pro-family movement, but also for UN professionals, who themselves have a very hard time finding their way around the UN’s own website, which at times seems more designed to confuse than to help. Here is one resource that everyone will welcome. It marks a new day in the family’s defense of its own at the UN, and is an indication of its growing sophistication in that defense.”
Patrick F. Fagan, Family Research Counsil
“The Pro-Family Negotiating Guide is a tremendous resource for NGOs, governments, scholars and journalists who want to make use of United Nations documents that relate to family issues. As this tool becomes widely available, it will be possible for people of good will to maintain the integrity of UN documents and to prevent their hijacking for ideological purposes.”
Concerned Women for America
“This compilation is a godsend. It makes easily accessible UN statements on the full range of topics relevant to the family. I will use it, and use it often. I urge you to do the same.”
Bill Saunders, Family Research Council
“Be assured that this document will be used by pro-life lobbyists and diplomats from around the world during actual UN conferences. It is an invaluable guide that the professionals will plumb constantly.”
Austin Ruse, President, Catholic Family and Human Rights
“This book is an invaluable aid for those who desire to support and strengthen the family- and life-based norms that have undergirded every successful society in human history. The book provides, not only the source documents used to forge new international norms, but a topic-by-topic discussion of the most distressing (and debatable) social policies now being derived from these documents.”
Dr. Richard G. Wilkins, Doha Institute
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