UNAIDS threatened to end aid if we fought abortion and gay language in document: former St. Lucia delegate
ROME, May 21, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- A former delegate to the United Nations (UN) from Saint Lucia revealed in an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews how in 2011 the powerful intergovernmental organization bullied the tiny sovereign nation into inserting language dealing with homosexuality and abortion into a political declaration on HIV/AIDS, threatening to withdraw all help to those suffering with deadly disease unless it complied.
“They were going to withdraw all aid — all aid from us! — to deal with issues of HIV/AIDS unless we allowed these terms in the document,” Sarah Flood-Beaubrun, former Deputy Permanent Representative from Saint Lucia to the UN from 2008-11, told LifeSiteNews while in Rome during the recent Rome Life Forum.
“We were talking about medicines. We were talking about anything to do with dealing with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean region – we would get no money unless we succumbed and allowed these terms that they wanted in the document,” she said.
UNAIDS has a long history of forcefully pushing what critics say is an anti-family agenda in countries around the world, especially poorer ones. For example, in 2006, UNAIDS condemned India’s anti-homosexuality law as “puritan,” urging the country to legalize homosexuality as part of an AIDS prevention program.
Flood-Beaubrun, the founder of the Caribbean Centre for Family and Human Rights (Carifam), related how she held the position of Lead Negotiator for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) — which was made up of 15 countries — and was tasked with representing the interests of these countries in the creation of a political declaration about HIV/AIDS.
“As the lead negotiator, of course, I was presenting the position of the entire Caribbean community,” she said.
At one point, the Caribbean Community decided to remove references in the draft document to men-who-have-sex-with-men, sex-workers, and “reproductive rights,” since they were “not in keeping with the direction in which we had decided we wanted to go as a family of nations,” Flood-Beaubrun related.
“And UNAIDS, a UN agency, clearly was not happy with that,” she said.
Within hours of negotiating the position of the Caribbean Community before the UN, Flood-Beaubrun found herself at the center of a smear campaign fueled by high-ranking staff at UNAIDS. An email was circulated to various embassies, Caribbean missions, and government departments in Saint Lucia in which the delegate was accused of promoting her own agenda.
“I have just received an [sic] note from NY [New York] that the St. Lucia representative at the UN is at this very moment is [sic] negotiating in the name of CARICOM the draft of the political declaration for the upcoming UN HLM in NY,” the email, obtained by LifeSiteNews, states.
Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!
“This is very worrisome. This representative has consistently fought against the inclusion of any language around naming key populations such as MSM [men-who-have-sex-with-men], Sex workers or drug users in the political declaration. She has consistently supported conservative positions of the Holy See and Egypt and fought against any issues related to sexual and reproductive health,” the email continued.
“Given our 9th Round GTATM project and its focus on these same key populations, I can not see how CARICOM can endorse a position which is really the personal views of the Saint Lucia representative,” the email states.
Flood-Beaubrun related to LifeSiteNews just how ridiculous the allegations were.
“I have to make it really clear that the way the negotiations work is, the lead negotiator — which I was in that case — never sits in the negotiations on their own. We sit there with the representatives of our country. So, when one person speaks, it is after discussion with other delegates from the Caribbean Community. So, at no point did I advance any position that had not been already collectively decided.”
Flood-Beaubrun said that when other delegates from the Caribbean Community she was representing learned of the smear campaign, they rallied to her defense, sending letters of support to high-ranking Saint Lucia officials on her behalf.
“I would like to underscore that the CCOM representative, Mrs. Flood-Beaubrun, has been faithfully negotiating according to the CARICOM mandate,” wrote Miriam A. Mac Intosh, First Secretary Permanent Mission of Suriname to the United Nations, in a letter obtained by LifeSiteNews.
But UNAIDS officials went one step further, meeting with high-ranking government officials in Saint Lucia’s capitol to complain about the delegate. Within days Flood-Beaubrun stood accused by her own countrymen of “attacking” UNAIDS and bringing the organization into “disrepute.”
“And, although I had the backing of all of the delegates with whom I worked with on these issues, well, my government said that my contract would not be renewed because UNAIDS had complained about me,” she said.
When Flood-Beaubrun’s position was handed over to someone else, the HIV/AIDS document was pushed through with the exact wording that UNAIDS wanted.
Flood-Beaubrun criticized the UN for pressuring sovereign member states into accepting ideologies that are foreign to national morality.
“This is such a serious issue, because member states are sovereign. UN agencies are accountable to member states. It is member states who are to direct UN agencies as to what to do. And there we had the reverse scenario, where a UN agency is threatening a member state,” she said.
John-Henry Westen and Steve Jalsevac contributed to this report.