NEW YORK, January 6, 2011 (C-FAM) – The post-holiday quiet at the UN this week stands in marked contrast to the usual frenetic schedule facing UN delegates. The past 12 months saw intense debates as the international community addressed issues related to women, children and education.

Women’s issues dominated the UN last year as the General Assembly created a new super-agency on women with potentially a billion-dollar price tag. The GA chose former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet to head the new agency. The decision capped a victory for radical feminist groups who lobbied for years for a mega-office to highlight women’s issues at all discussions at the UN like UNICEF does for children.

Last year saw UN officials fight to regain control of the maternal health agenda after a study published in The Lancet debunked UN numbers on maternal mortality, showing that maternal deaths were being grossly over-reported. Much to the consternation of abortion advocates, Canada made maternal health a signature issue at the G-8, deliberately leaving abortion off the agenda.

Children and youth also dominated discussions last year. The Girl Scouts caused a scandal last March when they hosted a youth-only panel at the United Nations, where Planned Parenthood made available a graphic brochure entitled “Healthy, Happy and Hot” which contains sexually explicit language and promotes casual sex with multiple partners, as well as oral, anal, and homosexual sex. Read More

Delegations spent months preparing for the official August opening of the International Year for Youth starting with a world youth conference in Mexico and the announcement of an official UN Youth Conference in Tunisia. The Mexican Youth Conference ended in failure with delegations describing the Mexican process as not transparent, and dominated by the UN Population Fund and radical groups who were primarily focused on pushing sexual rights and sexual education for adolescents.

Subsequently, Tunisia dropped its sponsorship of the official UN youth conference, citing financial reasons and at the close of 2010, no alternate plans for the conference had been made and no countries stepped up to fund it.

Weeks later, countries lined up to angrily denounce a controversial report by a UN expert on education that attempted to introduce a never-before-agreed-to “right” to “comprehensive sexuality education” for young children. Delegations blasted the expert for exceeding his mandate and demanded a re-written report that followed UN guidelines and did not try to create new rights.

Delegations closed the year off by continuing to fight vague and undefined language. In a surprise victory, delegations removed language on “sexual orientation” from a resolution over their concerns it would be used to push “controversial agendas.” Ultimately the decision was reversed after heavy pressure from the United States, but the initial victory sent a strong message against the manipulation of language in the name of human rights.

Delegations anticipate another busy year as the UN has already lined up discussions on education, fertility, reproductive health and development.

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