by Steven Ertelt
June 29, 2005
New York, NY (LifeNews.com) — At the end of last week, hundreds of organizations met at the United Nations for discussions with the General Assembly about the upcoming Millennium Summit +5 population conference. Pro-life groups hoped to attend the meeting, which could affect the international status of abortion, but were shut out by UN officials.
A handpicked panel of UN officials signed off on the groups that could participate in the talks and prevented every leading pro-life group that lobbies there, including the National Right to Life Committee and the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute.
Jeanne Head, NRLC’s representative at the UN, told LifeNews.com that the talks were sponsored by Canada, Finland and Norway, which back legal abortion. She said leaders of the panel discussion "obviously were determined to exclude any dissent from the numerous pro-life and pro-family organizations, including NRLC, who applied to participate."
UN officials billed the meetings as "informal interactive hearings" with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which isn’t normally how the UN conducts its business. Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette described the new talks as a "significant new step in the way the United Nations relates to civil society."
"It certainly was not a ‘significant new step’ forward in the way the United Nations relates to civil society as it was described," Head told LifeNews.com. "They were only masquerading as an official UN sponsored hearing."
Pro-life organizations has suspected for years that UN officials have been trying to come up with a method of shutting them out of the discussion process, and they think the UN has succeeded.
According to C-FAM, Jean Ping of Gabon, President of the General Assembly, chose the groups that could participate in the talks along with his staff and ten groups, including the pro-abortion Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO).
C-FAM, in its Friday Fax, reports that WEDO is distributing a document which calls for the +5 Summit to "reaffirm that universal access to sexual and reproductive health by 2015 and protection of reproductive rights."
Those are normally code words that refer to abortion, and in a previous meeting, Canada’s ambassador to the UN admitted that was the case.
While pro-life groups hoped to attend the meeting, abortion advocates such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the National Youth Network for Reproductive Rights participated instead.
Head said that, because of the extreme bias, the results of the meeting should be "totally disqualified as representative of civil society."
"It was a significant step backward and I am certain that the member states (3/4ths) that provide some protection for unborn children were not aware of this exclusionary process and would strongly object," Head told LifeNews.com.