UNITED NATIONS, May 6, 2002 ( – Delegates to the United Nations are still discussing ways to improve the international organization’s position on children’s rights and to strengthen its ability to enforce its philosophy. It is the final preparatory session for the three-day World Summit on Children that begins this Wednesday. Negotiations were originally expected to conclude last Thursday but are unlikely to be resolved even by Wednesday’s Summit start. The UN likes to put a positive face on all its negotiations, but battle lines have already been drawn between pro-family forces and delegates whose priorities are “reproductive health” (or abortion) and homosexual rights.  The Globe and Mail reports today that “little common ground is likely to be found Wednesday when the General Assembly begins [its] three-day session to draft a global plan to improve the conditions of children.” Canada’s “national” newspaper chose to use a strident advocacy slant in its early reporting on the upcoming conference. “Some religious and conservative groups in the United States and some Roman Catholic and Muslim countries do not believe that children should have rights at all,” said the paper, misrepresenting the pro-family position. “American ‘pro-family’ groups, which have won the endorsement of President George W. Bush’s administration, want any mention of birth control excluded, while others want the definition of ‘children’ to include fetuses. A push is also under way to keep out any mention of families not headed by opposite-sex, married parents.”

LifeSite’s reporter at the conference says that the US has been trying to remove the phrase “various forms of the family” even though it is agreed text from the Cairo document. They are seemingly alone in this endeavour as the Holy See does not plan to back the endeavour since it believes that trying to reverse agreed language could come back to haunt future negotiations.

The conference has been carefully planned with prominent celebrities such as Bill Gates scheduled to put in appearances in defence of the UN’s agenda. Prime Minister Jean Chrétien is scheduled to lead a roundtable discussion on the first day of the gathering.  See: