The 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly is drawing to a close for the year, bringing with it unprecedented victories for the protection of the sanctity of life and the natural family. The ADF International team collaborated with UN Member State allies on resolutions relating to a variety topics, including women migrant workers, rural women, torture and the death penalty, human rights defenders, children’s rights, and youth programs.
Resolutions very often become building blocks for future national legislation and international policy, determining how heavily funded UN entities prioritize their time and spend their money. They can also be used to reinterpret or circumvent existing human rights treaties by creating new international norms.
Pressure for abortion and same-sex rights
As has become normal at the UN, no document, regardless of the topic, is immune from the pressure of the abortion and “same-sex rights” agendas. This year, however, countries stood united against these efforts, and thus thwarted any attempts to introduce highly problematic language into these resolutions.
Pro-abortion advocates were determined to include a reference to abortion rights in the resolution pertaining to young people, which would include the right to abortion for minors, and even children. This flies in the face of country laws, and would make a mockery of the consensus-based approach to UN deliberations. Even in light of clear and immediate opposition, pro-abortion countries (the most vocal being the Scandinavian countries) were adamant that this be included.
Focusing on children
Although abortion references have become commonplace in UN texts, it has not permeated the discourse on children. A strong majority of countries understands that children require special protection and care, and abortion for children is considered culturally and morally abhorrent. In another resolution relating to children’s rights, a small but very vocal minority of countries were extremely forceful in demanding that language on “comprehensive sexuality education” be included. Known to include highly offensive information, this “education” is completely unacceptable to the African and Arab Groups, in addition to a great many other individual countries. Regardless, its proponents were relentless. They threatened to block consensus on the text and call for a vote (a rarity and a significant threat since resolutions are supposed to be finished consensually).
A spiritual fight
Both of these resolutions epitomized the intense moral and spiritual nature of the fight at the UN. In tackling issues of abortion or sexuality, country representatives are forced to answer the very essence of the questions: “What does it mean to be human? And what are the authentic needs of a person?” Delegates engage in very serious spiritual battles, especially when confronted with the bullying tactics of the opposition. It requires tremendous courage to stay steadfast in the negotiation rooms of the UN, and prayer is of utmost importance to strengthen the brave men and women who tirelessly advocate for the truth.
It is often the case at the UN that controversial agendas will triumph as a consequence of our allies’ inability to withstand the enormous pressure from powerful Member States and the UN system itself. However, this year, pro-life and family countries reached a critical point in which they were able to unite in defence of these vital issues. Representatives from the African Group were especially skilful in guiding the negotiation of the resolutions away from controversial issues and closer to answering the authentic needs of young people and children.
Safeguarding the innocence of the child
In the youth resolution, no abortion language was included at all, in large part due to The African Group’s refusal to accept any language that would have ushered in the first reference to abortion in the context of young people in the General Assembly. In the children’s texts, their unwavering commitment to safeguarding the innocence of the child resulted in the complete removal of offensive language.
Constant threats to life and family
Like clockwork, the fight on these issues resumes with the start of each new session. The UN is at the epicentre of the fight for life and the family, and for the countries that consistently show up to defend the dignity of the human person, the workload and spiritual strain is immense. ADF International maintains a daily presence at the UN to provide these valiant diplomats with the legal resources and support that they need to combat threats to the values we hold most dear. Against all odds, we are seeing groundbreaking victories in the defence of life and family—a true testament to the power of prayer.