Briefing on UN activities – November 19th to 23rd 2007
UNAIDS: 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update
Two main items retained our attention at the UN last week.
First, UNAIDS released its report “2007 AIDS epidemic update”.
Second, November 20th marked the 18th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child which is the guiding document used by UNICEF.
UNAIDS: 2007 AIDS Epidemic Update
Funding UNAIDS has gathered enormous support over the past decade.
Many UN agencies envy the attention it has received and quote it as an example of the momentum and support required to impact any given cause.
Funding is crucial for any international endeavor taken on by a UN agency.
Funding increases depending on the level of public support and the perceived number of people who would be impacted by a particular project or agency.
Reliability of Statistics
One would think that international agencies such as UNAIDS have developed a comprehensive process that insures reliable statistics.
It seems this was not the case until this year.
The opening statement of the report by UNAIDS states that “In 2007, advances in the methodology of estimations of HIV epidemics applied to an expanded range of country data have resulted in substantial changes in estimates of numbers of persons living with HIV worldwide. However the qualitative interpretation of the severity and implications of the pandemic has altered little.”
The statement clearly demonstrates that UNAIDS fears its funding will be reduced proportionally to the greatly revised number of people infected.
This also diminishes the credibility of reports produced by this UN agency.
UNAIDS credits an in depth revision of the situation in India for the substantial reduction of estimations of the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS.
Impact of UNAIDS Programmes
The UN in general continuously attempts to insure wide access to sexual and reproductive rights (abortion and family planning).
It strongly appears that UNAIDS’ preferred method of distributing condoms is not the most effective way to reduce the number of HIV/AIDS infections.
In fact, the Boston Gazette reported last week that one of UNAIDS top officials, Paul De Lay, director of evidence, monitoring, and policy for UNAIDS, said “the most significant reason for the decline in new infections in the hardest-hit areas in southern Africa appeared to be the increase of fidelity – more people were being faithful to one partner.”
The latest UNAIDS report attributes the largest portion of new cases in Canada to unprotected sex between men (45% in 2005 compared with 42% in 2002).
It also mentions that “An estimated 37% of new HIV infections in 2005 were attributed to unprotected heterosexual intercourse, with a substantial proportion among people born in countries where HIV is endemic (mainly sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean).”
18th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC)
Negative Aspects of the CRC
The Convention is the main instrument used by UNICEF to promote the “well being” of children worldwide.
However, many aspects of the document, ratified by Canada in 1991, are of concern mainly because they demonstrate an anti-family, anti-life character.
For example, the document speaks of the right to privacy.
According to the Convention, parents should not be allowed to read their children’s mail as it constitutes a violation of the privacy of the child.
This fails to acknowledge that one of the main responsibilities of parents is to ensure the safety of their children.
The report briefly addresses the new challenges posed by the Internet and other communications technologies.
There is an inherent contradiction in saying that parents should “work together with children and young people to promote safety and human rights”, while the privacy clause strips away from parents the right to monitor their children’s communications to ensure their safety.
Last April, the Canadian Senate released a report titled “Children: The Silenced Citizen”.
The Senate makes some recommendations as to how the Canadian Government can best support children and provide them with a feeling of full citizenship.
Last week, UNICEF Canada followed suit, producing a report titled “What’s right for some”.
This document is aimed at presenting a portrait of Canada’s first generation to grow under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Much of the document is focused on the inequalities experienced by First Nations children or by children who are in foster care.
In the section covering health, sexual health is discussed in regard to HIV/AIDS and the average age at which girls and boys engaged in sexual activities.
It appears boys are postponing their first sexual intercourse but the age at which girls engage in sexual intercourse has remained unchanged.
The findings could likely be used to push for even more harmful and confusing sex-ed in Canadian schools, as the report states that “knowledge about sexual health has also declined”.
Intensified discourse on “sexual and reproductive health” could soon find its way into our schools.
The section on health also covers breastfeeding.
UNICEF Canada would like to see an increase in the number of mothers who practice sustained breastfeeding stating that it “is the best source of nutrition for babies, and has many other additional health and developmental benefits”.
Other UN agencies have been promoting breastfeeding worldwide not solely because of the health benefits to the child but rather because statistics show that women who breastfeed, tend to have fewer children since they are usually infertile during the breastfeeding period.
Some of the systemic recommendations made by UNICEF Canada include:
-Create an independent national Children’s Commissioner appointed by and reporting to Parliament
-Create enabling legislation to make the Convention enforceable in the courts; use the Convention as a guideline for any federal and provincial legislation and policies concerning or impacting children, with particular consideration of the principles of best interests of the child, evolving capacity of the child, and child participation.
The many flaws of the Convention should be addressed and rectified before the Canadian government takes action.
The UN will be hosting a Commemorative high-level plenary meeting devoted to the follow-up to the outcome of the special session on children in early December.
This should give the international community an opportunity to assess the success and failures of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
See related articles:
UN Finally Admits Worldwide AIDS Epidemic Greatly Overestimated
UNAIDS estimates now much lower but AIDS scientist says new figures still too high
Detailed Warning about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
Focus on the Family has called on governments to de-ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, calling it a danger to children, parents and national sovereignty
New UN Convention a Threat to Canadians
[Marie-Christine Houle Official representative of NGO Campaign Life Coalition at the United Nations TORONTO, Canada, November 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com)]
Briefing on UN activities: Week of November 26th- 30th 2007
Pro-Aborts Use Environmental Platform to Push an Anti-Life Agenda
The following report contains a wide variety of topics.
It should serve to demonstrate the interconnectivity of social spheres.
The UN typically uses any means possible to impact policies that affect families.
* Climate Change
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The UNFCCC is opening today in Bali. Scheduled to conclude on December 14th, the Conference could be used by pro-abortion groups to push an anti-family, anti-life agenda.
Typically, the goals of the a large part of the environmental movement are at odds with those of the pro-life movement.
Many environmentalists believe that human beings are the main cause for what they see as the decline of the planet and therefore equate fewer humans with less damage to the environment.
Pro-abortion and family planning organizations are utilizing the environmental platform as a way to promote their anti-life agenda.
Capitol Resource Institute reported last week that Planned Parenthood is currently co-sponsoring a campaign with the Sierra Club in California.
The goal of the Global Population and Environment Program is to “protect the global environment and preserve natural resources for future generations by advancing global reproductive [code word for ‘abortion’] and sustainable development initiatives.”
The Conference will be monitored closely. Please consult next week’s UN report for the latest developments.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Human Development Report 2007/2008
The UNDP released its 2007/2008 Human Development Report on Tuesday, November 27th. The 399 pages long document is mostly centered on climate change, more precisely on the effects of climate change on the poorest countries and consequently, the responsibility of the developed world to commit to a solution.
The list of recommendations presented in the foreword calls for the integration of adaptation to climate change into all aspects of national planning. It also suggests that the preferred solution should “empower and enable vulnerable people to adapt to climate change by building resilience through investments in social protection, health, education and other measures.”
The term “health” is always used loosely by UN agencies, allowing pro-abortion lobbyists to push for sexual and reproductive health.
The document should generate a lot of discussion among international leaders. It will most likely be at the forefront of the discussion during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change mentioned above.
2008 Declared International Year of Sanitation
The UN estimates that 2.6 billion people in the world live without appropriate sanitation.
Again many groups may grab this statistic and re-interpret it has meaning that the world is over- populated.
* HIV/ AIDS
Unite for AIDS concert in Montreal
It appears that people remain largely unaware of the fact that UNAIDS revised its estimates of the number of people affected by HIV/ AIDS as reported in last week in the LifeSiteNews UN briefing.
Other UN agencies are attempting to revive popular support for the usual AIDS programs.
Last Wednesday, UNICEF and private enterprise groups co-sponsored a concert at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
This type of events can contribute to public misinformation.
It is a noble goal to want to stop the AIDS epidemic and the general public may not look beyond the general sentiment.
People remain unaware that many UN initiatives to stop the spread of HIV/ AIDS involve some measures that are anti-family such as the distribution of condoms and explicit, amoral sex-ed programs.
Link between hunger, health and HIV/ AIDS
The Associated Press of Pakistan reported that the UN World Food Programme (WFP) released a report last week in an attempt to emphasize the connection between hunger, health and HIV/ AIDS.
The report points out that people suffering from HIV/ AIDS who receive treatment are often undernourished and unable to absorb the benefits of the medications they receive.
This new perspective may insure that donor countries remain committed to the still urgent cause despite the revised numbers published by UNAIDS.
However the funds might still be used to promote anti-family programmes related to HIV/ AIDS.
* Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
Samantha Singson of C-FAM reported last Friday that the Third Committee of the General Assembly passed a resolution increasing the length and number of CEDAW meetings. Miss Singson explained that, in its concluding comments, the CEDAW Convention has often been used to try to “pressure countries into legalizing abortion”.
Many member states have expressed reservation to the Convention, giving them the opportunity to exclude themselves from some provisions of the Convention they may disagree with.
The United States was the only country to vote against the resolution.
For more information, click on the following link to access the full article by Samantha Singson:
* Special representative to the secretary general appointed by UN General Assembly to report on violence against children
Following the 18th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the UN General Assembly decided to engage a special representative to report on violence against children.
In an article published on Merinews Power to People, Narendra Chaurasia said that over 1000 NGOs from around the world signed a petition calling for the appointment of this special representative.
In the piece, Joe Becker of Human Rights Watch, a group promoting sexual and reproductive rights stated that “the special representative of the secretary-general will provide high level international leadership to confront this global curse.”
Pro-life NGOs tend to oppose the appointment of such representatives as they are seen as more UN bureaucrats likely to oppose the efforts of the pro-life movement to defend life and the family at the UN.
[3Dec07, Marie-Christine Houle, Toronto, LifeSiteNews.com]