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Reports of discussions and policies at the UN that have an impact on Catholic teachings and life.
The Mainstream Media in general and The New York Times in particular have set their crosshairs on the Holy See and their pro-life allies by accusing them of obstructionism during the negotiations on the outcome document for the United Nations 57th annual Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
Nothing could be further from the truth. The EU and the US and THEIR pro-abortion allies are the obstructionists by calling for the deletion of human rights language taken from several UN founding documents such as the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration and other human rights instruments. They don't even want them referenced!
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon courted controversy last week when he told nations on the Human Rights Council to place lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual rights and reproductive rights at the forefront of the United Nations human rights agenda.
Ban Ki-moon addressed UN delegations at the opening of the 21st regular session of the Human Rights Council, applauded the work of the Council in 2012, and said that "[i]n particular, I welcome the groundbreaking, first-ever intergovernmental discussion, in March this year, on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity."
The Secretary General was referring to a highly controversial panel discussion on LGBT rights that took place during the last regular session of the Human Rights Council. Seventeen of the 47 states that are members of the Human Rights Council staged a walk out on the panel of experts.
The following is an excerpt from a June 26 story on LifeNews.com.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is upset the document the United Nations adopted at its Rio+20 conference last week did not promote abortion by inserting terms like "reproductive rights" into he language of the text.
A diverse group of countries rallied together with the Holy See to successfully remove any mention of reproductive rights or population control from the final outcome
document produced during the last round of UN negotiations at the Rio +20 conference.
....Nations like Nicaragua, Chile, Russia, Honduras, Syria, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Egypt all rejected the introduction of "reproductive rights" into the Rio +20 outcome document.
Youth activists arrived at the UN in droves last week in an attempt to hijack the 45th session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) by promoting homosexual rights and abortion. However, countries rejected their demands and produced a fairly balanced outcome document that focuses on more pressing youth concerns like education, employment, health and development.
Sponsored by organizations like the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), the Youth Coalition, and the International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC), youth activists flooded the conference floor and were strategically placed on country delegations with the hope of shifting the conference's focus to sexual and reproductive health of youth and adolescents.
Throughout the week, they lobbied country delegates to place controversial language in the outcome document that would undermine the right and responsibility of parents in the sexual education of their children and include sexual and reproductive health "rights" as well as comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).
The UN Commission on Population and Development is considering "sexual and reproductive health and rights" for children as young as ten.
Even the Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon agrees. In a statement recently released he said, "Young people, as much as all people, share the human right to health, including sexual and reproductive health."
Currently international law does not recognize a "right" to sexual and reproductive health and certainly does not recognize this right in the case of minors. But just last year, the UN Special Rapporteur for Health, Anand Grover, stirred up significant controversy when he not only claimed that a "right" of sexual and reproductive health existed but attempted to define that right as including access to abortion, contraception, and sexual education.
Negotiations for a final document at the UN Commission on the Status of Women were supposed to end more than a week ago. However, they dragged on for another several days and resulted in a stinging defeat for the Obama administration and anger on the part of the developing world.
The US was trying to impose its sexual and reproductive rights agenda and in a dramatic showdown, delegations scuttled a final document rather than accept the US proposal.
Delegations openly resented the US emphasis on sexual and reproductive rights, and were particularly offended at being strong-armed by the US during negotiations for the resolution on maternal mortality. However, the US was able to push that resolution through without toning down their sexual and reproductive rights emphasis.
first World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), which will be celebrated at the UN Headquarters in New York on March 21 2012, with the focal point of the day being a conference titled "Building Our Future."
Monica Rafie, the co-founder of Be Not Afraid, an online pro-life ministry that supports parents who are grappling with a poor prenatal diagnosis, including Down syndrome, told LifeSiteNews that the event "presents a beautiful opportunity to showcase the genuine solidarity shared among organizations and families everywhere."
Diane Grover, co-founder of the International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life, pointed out that the greatest challenge facing people with Down syndrome "is actually being born." She said that she hopes the international celebration will draw attention to the extremely high abortion rate for Down's children.
The citizens of several countries are pushing back against President Obama's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender foreign policy imperative. Leaders in El Salvador launched a website on "Obama's Corrupting Foreign Policy" and are asking the U.S. Senate to reject Obama's nominee for ambassador to their country.
President Obama announced in December that the promotion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) behavior is a top foreign policy priority, even for the U.S. military oversees. At the same time, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a high-profile speech at the UN equating LGBT status with religion. The State Department told ambassadors worldwide to recognize "gay pride month," and it released a list of "accomplishments" including the fact that a U.S. ambassador had published an OpEd promoting the LGBT agenda on behalf of the United States .
Mari Carmen Aponte, a temporary ambassador to El Salvador, published an essay conflating disapproval of homosexuality with "brutal hostility" and "aggression" by "those who promote hatred." It is Salvadorans' "responsibility" to become advocates for LGBT issues and "to inform our neighbors and friends about what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender," she wrote. The OpEd ran in a major Salvadoran newspaper in June, igniting a firestorm by offended citizens.
More than three-dozen leaders in Latin American countries rebuked the ambassador. In a declaration in a Salvadoran newspaper, they accused the U.S. representative of "disregarding our profound Christian values, rooted in natural law," by trying to "impose . . . a new vision of foreign and bizarre values, completely alien to our moral fiber, intending to disguise this as 'human rights'" with "an air of superiority." The only thing they agreed with, they stated, is that violence should be repudiated "just the same as against skinny, fat, tall or short" people.
Tension between free speech advocacy and efforts to curb "hate speech" has arisen over the past year as the result of recent initiatives at the United Nations (UN) and by the Obama administration. Freedom of opinion and expression have long been recognized as fundamental, and a recent UN Human Rights Committee "General Comment" affirmed these twin liberties as "the foundation stone for every free and democratic society."
Yet while heralding these bedrock rights, others are seeking to curtail criticism of homosexual behavior and shelter certain religions from "defamation." Such efforts also butt against religious liberty and conscience rights, two other bright constellations in the firmament of fundamental rights.
The 47 Member States of the Council of Europe are close to finalizing a new convention that defines "gender" as a social construct, rather than as a distinction grounded in biology.
According to the new Council of Europe convention on eliminating violence against women, gender "shall mean the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men."
Even though "gender" has appeared in other documents, no binding definition of the word has ever been accepted by Council of Europe members. This draft Convention would be the first international treaty to add a sociological component of gender to the universally understood biological context.
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