By Luke Jalsevac at the United Nations and John-Henry Westen
NEW YORK, April 5, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The theme of the 39th session of the UN Commission on Population and Development currently underway is International Migration and Development, a pressing issue for both the developing and developed world. After giving little more than a passing mention to the widely acknowledged central issues of migration, the Canadian delegation used its opening statement to push the liberal agenda of ensuring universal access to abortion and contraception.
While this ideological obsession should come as no surprise given the track record of the Canadian delegation over the past decade during the Chretien and Martin Liberal governments, there had been cautious optimism by life and family advocacy groups that the new Conservative government would shift Canada’s focus at the international level. As yet, this has clearly not been the case.
Canada’s two page opening statement referred to sexual and reproductive health five times. Referring to the UN Millenium Development Goals, Canada reiterated its commitment to achieving the goal of universal access to reproductive health as stated in the 1994 Cairo conference on International Population and Development.
“We must… all intensify efforts to… address poor sexual and reproductive health…” said the CanadianÂstatement, read by Brian Grant, Director General of International and Intergovernmental relations. “The impact of poor sexual and reproductive health continues to fall hardest on the most disadvantaged groups… Particularly important is access to information and services that enables people to make healthy decisions about their reproductive and sexual lives.”
Although a few of the statements from other countries also mentioned “reproductive health,” the majority focused on the pronounced economic, social, political and economic transformations occurring in their countries due to international migration; for example, the pressing problem of high percentages of skilled workers leaving developing countries for work in developed countries, the positive effect on poverty of financial remittances by immigrants back to their home county, and the role of migration in stemming population decline in the increasingly infertile developed world.
Not only did Canada’s statement not mention any of these relevant issues, but it also went beyond pushing abortion and mass contraception to promoting the liberal homosexual agenda using typically vague UN lingo; “We must also all intensify efforts to challenge gender stereotypes, stigmatization, violence, discriminatory attitudes, and gender inequalities.”
The language did not explicitly mention homosexuality or the Canadian hate crime legislation but its intent is clear. What this has to do with international migration is a great mystery to observers.
In the United States, a dramatic and almost immediate change of staff and direction of the USÂdelegation to the UNÂoccurred afterÂconservative Republican President George Bush was electedÂto replace the extreme liberalÂDemocrat Bill Clinton.
In an October 2004 letter to the US bishops former U.S. Diplomat John Klink wrote “within 10 days of President Bush’s inauguration, the head of the U.S. Delegation to the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on Children pronounced a total reversal of previous US policy: the United States would promote and defend the family and parental rights and would not agree to any promotion of abortion, including further use of the UN’s abortion pseudonym ‘reproductive health services”.
Klink continued, “In consonance with President Bush’s directives, successive US delegations to a wide variety of UN conferences have unabashedly promoted marriage, abstinence for unmarried adolescents, faithfulness for adult couples, a ban on sexual trafficking of women and children, and a total ban on human cloning.”
The Canadian delegation has not introduced the reproductive health and rights language of their opening statement as resolutions in the official document of the conference, so there are reasons to remain positive. Nevertheless, pro-life and pro-family groups in Canada clearly have their work cut out for them, for it is apparent that the Canadian international anti-family, anti-life ideology remains deeply entrenched in the various Canadian foreign affairs offices.Â
The Canadian national pro-life group Campaign Life Coaliton is encouraging Canadians to telephone their Member of Parliament, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and insist that the Canadian delegation be told to cease its pro-abortion, and anti-familyÂpush at the UN.
Commenting, Jim Hughes President of Campaign Life Coalition told LifeSiteNews.com, “Canada has for too long been pushing abortion and same sex ‘marriage’ at the United Nations, but the drum beaters for the Tories have been saying there would be massive changes in this regard and we are waiting with baited breath.Â We were hoping the new Canadian government would ensure that its delegation to the UN would be respectful about the laws of other countries and would not interfere with their internal policies as the previous Martin and Chretien governments did. However, maybe they haven’t had time yet to sort throught the policy direction they should be following.”
Members of Parliament contact information is found at:
The Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter MacKay, may be contacted at
EMail: [email protected]Â