A top official at the United Nations has called for the creation of a multi-million dollar agency devoted to women’s rights; one that opponents suspect would be devoted to the ongoing UN push for radical feminism.
Stephen Lewis, the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa and former Canadian Ambassador to the UN, said his travels around the world have led him to call for the new agency.
Lewis told Voice of America, “We have United Nation’s agencies for everything from children, to health, to food, to education. We do not have a United Nation’s agency to represent, and assist and liberate, and enhance the lives of more than half the world’s people.”
Lewis says the new agency would be constructed differently than other agencies in that it should be created with major input from non-governmental NGOs that were active in the various world conferences on women, particularly the Fourth World Conference for Women (Beijing, 1995).
Those NGOs are considered by conservatives to be among the most radical in the world; they are working to make abortion a universally recognized human right.
Some UN sources have indicated the proposal will gain little traction because of internal resistance from other UN agencies who would see a new women’s agency as a threat to their turf.
The Toronto Sun reported that the agency “would consolidate scattered projects now under the wings of the children’s fund UNICEF, the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization, and the UN Development Program.”
It should also be pointed out that Lewis’s premise is shaky; much of the work of the UN in recent years has been the push for women’s rights.
UNICEF, the agency for children, has a substantial department devoted to women’s rights, for instance.
Lewis tried to diffuse fears his proposed agency would encroach on existing ones and denied the claims of the Toronto Sun. “No, that is explicitly not the case . . . I would not think for a moment of taking pieces out of reputable existing agencies which are doing a good job — albeit within their limited mandate.”
Lewis has recently proposed the new agency to a UN panel in Geneva.
If the panel backs the proposal it is conceivable the proposal would eventually come before the UN General Assembly.
Even if the GA agrees to the concept, an agency like this can only come into fruition if independent funding is found, generally from the pool of donor nations like the United States.
[14July06, C-FAM; Friday Fax Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.Mark Adams]