Canadian malfeasance at the UN
The 42nd session of the UN Commission on Population and Development (CPD) was held March 30 – April 3, just weeks after a UN Commission on the Status of Women meeting. Pro-life, pro-family forces did not have much time to rest, but their input and presence was instrumental at this year’s CPD.
The draft resolution presented to the delegations before the beginning of the CPD contained anti-life and anti-family language. The situation escalated during the week-long negotiations when Canada decided to push for the inclusion of more radical pro-abortion language in the document.
Pro-life non-government organizations on the ground at the UN, including Campaign Life Coalition, expressed concerns with a number of propositions made by the Canadian delegation.
Canada pushed for the inclusion of the following into the CPD text: “In circumstances where abortion is not against the law, health systems should train and equip health-service providers and should take other measures to ensure that such abortion is safe and accessible.”
This year, the CPD was asked to examine, among other things, the contribution of the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. This year will mark the 15th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development, which was held in Cairo.
Pro-life, pro-family advocates had to fight in Cairo to make sure this conference would not be used to promote a socially liberal agenda. As a result of their work, the 1994 Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development clearly stated that the conference did not create any new rights and that abortion should not be promoted as a method of family planning.
Through many of its suggestions, Canada ignored the international consensus that came out of Cairo, which clearly showed that the international community did not consider that there is a “right” to abortion and did not wish to create one.
When informed about the pro-abortion agenda that the Canadian delegation was actively promoting during the CPD, Campaign Life Coalition’s UN representative called upon MPs to contact the minister of foreign affairs, Lawrence Canon, and the prime minster’s office.
CLC tried to have an impact on the outcome of the negotiations by making elected officials aware that the Canadian delegation was introducing pro-abortion language into a UN document and that these types of actions were not representative of the wishes of Canadians.
Negotiations continued to the closing minutes of the meeting and some major contentious issues were discussed until the last hour of the CPD. In her April 3 Friday Fax, Samantha Singson of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute explained that it took a last-minute intervention by Iran to remove the controversial term “sexual and reproductive health and rights,” terminology that had never previously been included in a negotiated UN document. Many pro-abortion advocates interpret “sexual and reproductive health and rights” to include abortion.
The CPD showed that pro-abortion forces intend to be more aggressive in promoting their agenda. CLC’s UN representative told The Interim that it might be an indication they think the new Obama administration is going to be more sympathetic to their agenda than was the Bush administration.
The CLC representative also said Canadian elected officials must keep an eye on the country’s UN delegation, so that it does not promote abortion abroad.