A major fight broke out in the UN General Assembly Third Committee this week that pitted traditional countries over against powerful Western governments on the questions of abortion, homosexuality, and transgender ideology.
The debate occurred during consideration of a resolution on “violence against women.”
Western delegates were in shock as traditional countries upended the adoption of the UN resolution. What should have been a routine adoption of a progressive UN resolution like many others turned into a procedural slugfest of amendments and politicized rhetoric.
Guatemala proposed the deletion of an entire paragraph about sexual and reproductive health because it ambiguously linked “access to safe abortion” to human rights. The amendment failed, but 36 delegations supported it. The Ambassador of Guatemala said her country protected human life from conception and that “abortion is not codified in any treaty.”
The Russian Federation, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Yemen proposed amendments to replace language on “multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination” and “women in all their diversity” which received support from up to 61 countries.
Traditional countries said the broad support for the amendments, even if they failed, proved that powerful Western governments were not conducting negotiations in good faith, and they were deliberately ignoring any views different from their own. The argument is that in the tradition of the UN, documents are arrived at by consensus, something that was obviously and abundantly missing in the violence against women resolution.
“The amendments prove that our point of view is realistic,” said a delegate from Egypt, who called on Western governments to uphold “real multilateralism.” Consensus can be reached, she insisted, if Western countries would only stop fueling division and seek unity instead.
A delegate from Indonesia said the amendments were a “solid reflection that parts of the draft resolution have not enjoyed consensus” and called on Western delegations to adopt a different spirit “to move forward together.”
Several delegations from Asia and Africa complained that the main sponsors of the EU-backed resolution abandoned long-standing diplomatic conventions to ram the resolution through the General Assembly with controversial terms promoting abortion, homosexuality, and transgender ideology.
The ambiguous terms which include “multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination”, “women in all their diversity”, “control over sexuality”, and “safe abortion” were controversial in previous UN negotiations because the UN system uses these terms to promote abortion and LGBT rights, but France and the Netherlands insisted on including the terms in the resolution over the objections of traditional countries.
More egregiously, they did not circulate the final draft of the resolution before it was introduced for adoption in the General Assembly, a common diplomatic courtesy designed to give delegations sufficient notice and time to prepare an official response.
A delegate from Malaysia called these “irresponsible actions” and said they would “severely undermine” international human rights.
The delegate from Nigeria said the sponsors of the resolution had shown a “blatant disregard and contempt” for opposing views.
This was not the first time that Western delegations tried this tactic in the General Assembly. Last year, delegations were similarly blind-sided by a U.S.-sponsored resolution that included the phrase “sexual orientation and gender identity.”
European countries, Nordics, and the United States retorted that the negotiations had been “open, transparent, and inclusive” and that the final resolution represented a “balance” of all the views expressed in negotiations. They accused traditional countries of sabotage, and of not doing enough to fight violence against women.
Guatemala, the Russian Federation, Egypt, Indonesia, Sudan, Iraq, Senegal, Iran, Eritrea, Malaysia, Libya, Nicaragua, Mali, Pakistan, Belarus, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Yemen, Nigeria, Mauritania, the Holy See, and Saudi Arabia on behalf of UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait made interventions to uphold the sovereign right of nations to defend the unborn and the family against controversial social policies.
Hungary and Poland, favorites of American conservatives, continue to disappoint.
Poland abstained from supporting the amendments to take out the controversial language. Hungary, on the other hand, voted in favor of the controversial “woke” language.
The above comes from a Nov. 11 story on C-Fam.