INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: by John BarichNews Weekly
The culture of life and the United Nations
, March 13, 2004
Have you ever voted for a UN delegate? Do you know who they are? They usually represent the world's elites who are more libertarian than the ordinary people. Worldwide, 84% of people believe that marriage is one man and one woman. In Australia, 83% agreed that extra-marital sex was wrong and 63% said that homosexual couples should not be treated as married.
In America 72% of ordinary people believe abortion is a bad thing and should be restricted, but only 3% of the elite do. Over 90% believe it is wrong to commit adultery but less than 50% of the elite do. Over 50% attend religious services, but only 9% of the elite.Treaties
The UN has approved hundreds of treaties, which often become domestic law, by a less than transparent process. The US is more fortunate because its Senate has to ratify such treaties hence some have not been ratified. These treaties are used by the Courts, aided and abetted by secular libertarians and the media, to change our legal system without our consent.
The UN's human rights record is quite selective. It objects to the unjustified maltreatment of minorities but does little to stop religious persecution in such places as the Sudan, Indonesia and China.
The influence of Maurice Strong on the UN may yet turn it into a form of global government where only the human rights of some are respected, and where the "rights" of animals, plants and minerals have equal sway.
Soon he may actively manipulate against Christians and anyone adhering to one of the more "primitive" and "divisive" "ancient" religions. Certainly, there would seem to be little likelihood of respect for the rights of the Church under his authority.
It would be quite wrong to claim that the UN has not done some very good things - it led the fight against malaria, TB and now addictive drugs. However, in the last decade or so, the feminist agenda with its pronounced anti-life policies has been at the forefront. The child rights movement has produced a UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which derogates parental responsibility.
At the Second World Congress of Families in Geneva, Dr Allan Carlson reminded delegates and a senior UN official who attended that attempts by the UN to redefine the natural family would not be accepted. We were successful in stopping the UN redefining the family.
More recently the current Secretary General stated that homosexual relationships must be given recognition. It is one thing to tolerate certain behaviour; it is another to give endorsement. The tyrannical behaviour of the courts in this regard, aided and abetted by the media, is further ground for concern. The role of the media is amply demonstrated in the case of Bhutan where crime and anti-social behaviour increased markedly after the introduction of cable TV.
Goldberg and Medved in the USA and Flint and Sheehan in Australia have documented the secular libertarian agenda pursued by most of the media.
In Australia there have been calls for full recognition of same sex couples in Federal law. This was in response to the finding by the United Nations Human Rights Committee that Australia had breached Article 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by refusing to give a war widower's pension to Edward Young who had been the homosexual companion of a deceased war veteran.
It is worth noting that only one (Finland) of the twelve countries represented on the Committee that heard this matter gives national legal recognition to same sex couples and that homosexual behaviour is illegal in three of these countries (India, Benin and Mauritius).
Most of us have bought UNICEF Christmas cards or left our foreign exchange on overseas planes for use by UNICEF. It, therefore, comes as a shock to read a well-researched paper by the New York-based Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute
documenting the transformation of UNICEF from a child focussed, reputable body to one pushing, since 1995, a hardcore feminist agenda under the direction of the Clinton nominee Carol Bellamy - a fervent abortion proponent.
The UN International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS released in 1998 were prepared by a number of UN Agencies including UNICEF.
The Guidelines call for safe and legal abortions as well as the legalisation of prostitution (without reference to Article 34 of CROC which calls for protection against the sexual exploitation of children), the legalisation of homosexual marriage, complete sexual autonomy for children and the establishment of criminal sanctions for people who criticise homosexuality.
UNICEF continues to fund LoveLife (sic), a South African organization, even after it came to UNICEF's attention that LoveLife encouraged adolescents to engage in promiscuous sexual activity and encouraged girls to seek abortions.
LoveLife also tells children, "If you wanna be a great lover, learn good foreplay! ... Go on - experiment, make your partner melt. Take your time - only amateurs rush such pleasure." In response to criticisms, a UNICEF spokesman claims that LoveLife educates "young people about HIV and sexual responsibility" and that it is "empowering young people to make responsible choices."
HIV/AIDS prevention is the paramount public justification for the transformation at UNICEF. According to UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, "...young people have sex, something the world must acknowledge as a pre-condition to mounting effective [HIV] prevention programs."
One high-ranking UNICEF official has even called upon nations to legalise prostitution and to unionise prostitutes in order to protect children from AIDS, claiming that "when sex-workers are organised they are in a stronger position to negotiate safer sex with clients."Abortions
A UNESCO document, entitled "Unwanted Pregnancy and Unsafe Abortion," calls for sweeping government reform to make abortion available to all women and adolescent girls without restriction. It goes as far as to suggest that governments should subsidise abortions and offer "redress" to women who have been "denied" access to abortions "that should be made available to them."
The UNESCO document explicitly recommends that "governments should make abortion legal, safe, and affordable." UNESCO appears particularly concerned about adolescents' access to abortion.
It says that "legislatures should remove legal restrictions on access to abortion and family planning services to adolescents" and that "wherever the law allows, governments should guarantee the privacy of those seeking abortion services, especially adolescent women."
UNESCO takes aim at parental consent laws, stating, "It is common, for instance, to require adolescents to obtain parental consent for abortion services ... This alone can dissuade an adolescent from seeking a proper medical procedure and leave them to seek alternative, illegal and unsafe abortions elsewhere."
The document provides a candid view of attempts to increase access to abortion, apparently endorsing efforts to skirt domestic abortion legislation. In Bangladesh, for instance, "while abortion is illegal, the law does provide for 'menstrual regulation' services, whereby physicians can assist up to eight weeks after the last menstrual period.
This is conveniently considered family planning and not abortion. Furthermore, as the anti-abortion law requires proof of pregnancy, 'the use of menstrual regulation makes it virtually impossible ... to obtain the required proof.' Thus in practice, early term abortion is available; it is just referred to as menstrual regulation."
In India, "while abortion strictly on demand is not allowed, abortion for economic or social reasons is, and a very lenient reading of 'mental health' of the woman effectively legalises the procedure in all circumstances."
In an accompanying document, entitled "Review of International Standards for Rights of the Child and Adolescent Rights," UNESCO describes how to pressure individual nations that have not embraced this adolescent reproductive rights revolution, saying that it is now possible "to hold countries ... accountable on the basis of human rights violations" at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).
It is with great satisfaction that we learnt that as the US rejoins UNESCO, Tommy Thompson's concerns about these documents has resulted in their withdrawal.
While the UN has done some very good work against drugs it is surprising that Western countries refuse to take notice. In Australia we are told that we should not go to war without UN sanction and yet it is almost impossible to have governments and the media take notice of the anti-drug work of the UN.What is to be done?
When the UN was established in 1948, many of its supporters - Maritain, Adenauer, De Gasperi and Schumann - were Christians involved in the Democratic Christian Parties of Europe. At that time, the US also still held strong religious values.
The aspirations of the founders of the UN may be recaptured if the organisation accepted more democracy and more religion. A fundamental flaw in the UN structure is that it is undemocratic.
None of its officials is elected by the people.
Late last year I attended a meeting in Bangkok of over 70 NGOs from all parts of the world which are concerned about the policy direction being taken by the UN.
If, as Samuel Huntington and others say, it is religious differences which fuel world tension, then the UN should provide a forum for all the world's major religions to dialogue instead of some elements of them contemplating Intifadas or Jihads.
There is currently a plan to develop such a UN organisation to allow religions to have a say in the philosophical outlook of the organisation.
While this move faces enormous difficulties, none larger than the USA's misunderstood separation of Church and State, the proposal is worthy of consideration.