The main document negotiated at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of women (CSW) in New York entitled “Agreed Conclusions” was in fact not agreed upon at all. We watched as most of the world’s developing countries resisted these sexual rights agenda of the developed world and as they fought for a provision recognizing their sovereign national rights and calling for respect for their religious, ethical, social and cultural values in implementing the document under negotiation.
The Western nations would have none of it and continually bullied developing nations to accept provisions calling for “comprehensive sexuality education” (CSE). We warned countries that CSE is really explicit sexual information aimed at sexualizing children from a very young age and teaching them they have a right to abortion and sexual rights including LGBT (lesbians, gays, bi-sexual sand trans-sexuals) rights and encouraging them to explore various ways of obtaining sexual pleasure. We have an extensive policy brief exposing the dangers of CSE here. Read more of the bad that happened here.
Without doubt, what was most disturbing at CSW this year was the deception, dishonesty, dirty dealing and personal attacks centered around the resolution on Women, Girls, and HIV and AIDS. This resolution was brought forward by the South African Development Committee (SADC), a coalition of African countries, many of which are bearing the brunt of serious HIV and AIDS pandemics.
This resolution, and especially its facilitator from Malawi, came under intense personal attack because she refused to delete evidence-based provisions such as calling for “delay of sexual debut” and the “reduction of concurrent sexual partners” and refused to accept language calling for “comprehensive sexuality education” as a way to combat HIV and AIDS. Read more about their ugly tactics here.
The Very Ugly
The worst of all came as deliberations continued into midnight on Friday night when many delegates had to go home to their families. Those still in attendance were exhausted and just wanted to go home as well. At this point, although most everything had been agreed upon, much to the surprise of theAfrican co-sponsors of the HIV resolution, the Netherlands proposed last-minute hostile amendments from the floor. They proposed the deletion of “delay of sexual debut” and proposed changing “sex education” to “comprehensive education on human sexuality.” The Netherlands announced that these amendments were being offered on behalf of multiple countries including the EU, El Salvador, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Columbia, Uruguay, Peru, Argentina, Mexico, USA, Norway, Australia, Iceland, and Japan.
Although the African countries were caught off guard by this surprise hostile move, they firmly resisted these amendments, so a forced vote on them was called by the chair, and the Africans lost the votes. They then tried to withdraw their resolution since it now promoted comprehensive sexuality education, which will almost certainly increase HIV rates by promoting promiscuity and other claimed “sexual rights” at the expense of sexual health, and the text also no longer encouraged delay of sexual debut, a proven effective approach. However,the chair ruled that since amendments had been voted on, the rules required theresolution as a whole be voted on. Read more details on this very ugly display of cultural imperialism here.
A Call to Action!
What happened during CSW represents the most blatant examples ever seen atthe UN of trying to ram through unpopular, ideologically driven positions on family and family-related issues. While the anti-family forces may have won some of these fights this time, the fact that they had to resort to these tactics now is eloquent testimony that they are beginning to understand that they are losing the larger war.
I think we may well look back at this CSW as a “tipping point.” This is something that at the time seems relatively insignificant but which in retrospect can be seen as the catalyst that resulted in very significant change occurring. The goal of the anti-family elements have now been exposed as never before. To achieve the objectives of their ideologically driven “sexual rights” agenda, they are literally willing to sacrifice the health and lives of millions in order to sexualize all children in the world and indoctrinate them into accepting a form of sexuality that has clearly failed in the West. It is cultural imperialism at its ugliest.
The good news is that the anger, reaction and determination we now see in so many delegations from developing nations with whom we work gives us great hope that they will be even more supportive of the family in the future and even more determined to protect their cultures and national sovereignty in the tough battles that still lie ahead.
This is why we must all work together—parents, families, civil society and governments—to renew our efforts to protect the families and children around the world.
The Author Sharon Slater is President Family Watch International