NEW YORK, February 11, 2008 ( – the UN began 2008 by focusing on reviewing achievements and short comings of 2007 and establishing a list of priorities for 2008. The budgets of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) were increased. The month of February promises to be a bit more agitated with the Commission on Social Development taking place February 6-15 and the Commission of the Status of Women opening on February 25 and extending into March.

January 7-11, 2008

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon provides an assessment of his first year in office

  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon conducted a self-assessment last week. He listed the Bali Climate Change Conference as his 2007 key achievement. Ban Ki-moon also outlined his priority for the coming year. In an article found on, he said “In the coming year, I shall devote great effort to strengthening the UN’s role in development. For the poorest of the worlds poor, economic and social advancement should be considered an innate human right. I have appointed a full-time Special Adviser for the Prevention of Genocide and Mass Atrocities and launched a global awareness campaign for the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human rights.” UN issued documents also mention preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping operations and internal reforms as other areas of priority for the Secretary General’s second year in office.

Consortium of pro-abort groups using ‘crisis situations’ as a mean to push forth their agenda

  The Reproductive Health Response in Conflict Consortium (RHRC), which includes Marie Stopes International, Colombia University and the Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children as members, is currently promoting the Minimum Initial Service Package (MIPS) for Reproductive Health in Crisis Situations. A training course was made available online. One of the objectives of the MIPS is to ensure the “provision of comprehensive reproductive health services, integrated into Primary Health Care”.

  Marie Stopes International was one of the co-sponsors of the Global Safe Abortion Conference held in London, England last October following the equally controversial Women Deliver Conference which was sponsored by various UN agencies. The consortium promotes “safe motherhood” and family planning. It bases some of its intervention on UN issued documents. For example, it mentions a brochure issued by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) which details various types of Interagency Reproductive Health Kits. Among the kits made available by the UNFPA and the RHRC, there is one for condoms, one for oral and injectable contraception, one for post-rape instances and one for management of complication of abortion.

January 14-18, 2008

  The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  An article published in the Times of India on January 15, 2008 states that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said last week that the Millennium Development Goals can still be achieved by 2015. In a speech to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Moon stated that “the council has a critical role to play in ensuring that we win the race to the Goals and that we advance our global development agenda”. ECOSOC functional commissions include the notoriously anti-family and anti-life Commission on the Status of Women which will take place February 25 to March 7, 2008 in New York.

  ECOSOC also appointed its new president for the year 2008. Haitian ambassador Léo Mérorès succeeds Lithuanian Dailus Cekuolis. In a UN News Service brief, Mr. Mérorès mentioned that “the Council can provide a forum for the integration of the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainable development.”

  Saudi Arabia challenged by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Last week, one of the members of the notoriously pro-abort CEDAW told the committee assembled in Geneva that “Only when women are free to make their own decisions on all aspects of their life are they full citizens”. The declaration was made as representatives of Saudi Arabia are appearing in front of CEDAW for the first time. Saudi government officials maintain that Sharia Law must prevail”. Under Sharia Law, a woman cannot be seen out in public without being accompanied by a male relative. When ratifying the CEDAW convention, Saudi Arabia had included a provision stating that Sharia Law would prevail if there were any contradictions.

  CEDAW has had a longstanding history of trying to force member states to remove reservations. As explained by Samantha Singson of Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, “a reservation is a statement intended to exclude them from one or more provisions or place certain interpretations on them.” The CEDAW was granted the opportunity to meet for one additional annual session in 2008, giving the Committee more power to push forth its anti-family, anti-life agenda.

China makes donation to Office of UN High Commissioner of Human Rights

  The Chinese Delegation to the Office of Geneva made a donation of $20,000 U.S. to the office of Louise Arbour. The UN High Commissioner of Human Rights said that the gesture was “a demonstration of China’s commitment to the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. In the wake of the upcoming Beijing Olympics, China has been under scrutiny and has made several attempts to part from a past littered with numerous human rights violation such as brutal forced abortions to ensure its one-child policy.

January 21-25, 2008

Harper Government announces Canada’s withdrawal from UN Anti-Racism Conference

  The Harper government announced that Canada will not participate in a UN anti-racism conference which will be held next year in Durban, South-Africa. Appearing on CTV’s Mike Duffy Live, Secretary of State (Multiculturalism and Canadian Identity) Jason Kenney stated that “(The conference) turned into a bit of a circus for intolerance and bigotry, particularly but not exclusively directed at the Jewish people”. 93% of the resolutions proposed by the UN Human Rights Council target Israel.

High-level ECOSOC symposium on south-south cooperation

  Ms. Asha-Rose Migrio, Deputy Secretary General of the UN addressed 140 participants during a symposium on south-south cooperation. The website reports that Ms. Migrio “pledged the commitment of the global group to ensuring more effective and coherent international cooperation to help countries achieve their development goals; and to strengthen the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) as a key body in this regard.” The ECOSOC is closely monitored by pro-life NGOs working at the UN due to the fact that many groups operating under its umbrella promote anti-family and anti-life measures.

Obstetric Fistula

  A meeting was held in Banjul, The Gambia, to assess the validity of the country’s first report on Obstetric Fistula. reports that Agnes M Kuye, the World Health Organization assistant representative to The Gambia stated that “over 300 million currently suffer from short or long term complication of pregnancy and childbirth globally”. Some UN agencies have been attempting to link different medical conditions to the need to promote family planning and abortion. Obstetric Fistula is a serious condition and women and girls who are at risk deserve to be helped, however, many Africans and non-ideological aid organizations complain that the appropriate solution is not condom distribution or greater access to abortion.

January 28-February 1, 2008

US Senate to decide if it will ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

  The site is encouraging ‘patriots’ to say no to the ratification of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child (CRC). On January 28th, the site published an article titled “UN Wants Final Word on Rearing Your Kids”. The article states that “If the Senate ratifies Rights of the Child, acting under UN direction, it will decide what your children read, who they associate with, what discipline (if any) can be imposed and whether they can be home schooled.” Some provisions of the CRC completely ignore parental rights. The US UN delegation under the Bush administration is seen by pro-family organizations to have done a relatively good job of defending life and the family. The situation could change drastically next year with a new president in office.

  February 4-8, 2008

Female Genital Mutilation

  Wednesday February 6 marked the International Day against female genital mutilation. An article published on The New Vision Uganda’s Leading Website stated the UNFPA asked the government “to show a stronger commitment to ending female genital mutilation”. The article further mentions that “the practice also raises the risk of maternal and infant mortality, harming women’s psychological, sexual and reproductive health”. A UN estimate reports “that up to 140 million women and girls worldwide have undergone the practice and that 3 million more girls are at risk each year”. 

The role of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

  Bill C-293, which would insure that Canadian foreign aid emphasizes poverty reduction and human rights, is currently being reviewed by the Canadian Senate. There is pro-life, pro-family organization support for the move to finally give the government-funded Canadian Development Organization a clear mandate, and to establish measurable objectives. Bill C-293 could go much further. In fact, in detailing CIDA’s mandate, it is being suggested that the Canadian government and Senate insure that foreign aid is given only to programs that foster a culture of life and which respect the intrinsic value of family. CIDA has been notorious for funding and participating in population control and other “reproductive health” programs.