The Human Rights Committee of the United Nations Secretariat concluded its
72nd session July 27. Among its conclusions was a demand that the nation
of Guatemala legalize abortion.
Guatemala's constitution currently guarantees the right to life of the
unborn -- "human life from the time of conception, as well as the
integrity and security of the person,'' it reads.
So the Canadian government, for example, is now contributing $2 million to
a United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) campaign,
targeting Guatemala for abortion advocacy.
Guatemalan Mercedes Wilson, a former UN delegate, told LifeSite News,
"The West has taken everything from the poor countries.
The last things we have left is our children and our faith. The West is
taking away our faith and now our children . . . all of our social security.''
It is horrible that Canadian taxpayers are going to pay for something
that will do so much harm to our country, advocating the
decriminalization of abortion.
Population control and abortion are just two issues where UN bureaucrats
tangle with the religions of its member countries. And where global policy
collides with national consciences, the UN bureaucracy goes head-to-head
with the faith of ordinary people.
- In late July, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
Against Women (CEDAW) criticized tiny Andorra (pop. 70,000), high in the
mountains between Spain and France, because most of the country's schools
are Catholic and its students don't receive what the UN considers adequate
- Last month, CEDAW also ordered the government of Libya to reinterpret
the Koran in accordance with UN guidelines on the rights of women and
ordered the Kyrgyzstan government to legalize lesbianism.
- The Czech Republic has been criticized for "over-protective attitudes
toward pregnancy and motherhood,'' and Armenia has been told to use its
schools and media to combat "the traditional stereotype of women 'in the
noble role of mother'.''
- Italy was condemned for allowing doctors to claim conscientious
objections against performing abortions -- what the UN considers the
"serious impediment'' of "intermingling the secular and religious spheres.''
- Last fall Algeria's UN Ambassador Amina Mesdoua charged the UN
Secretariat with bending the Convention on the Rights of the Child to push
"reproductive and sexual rights'' for kids with virtually no age limits.
- Catholicism has been blamed for "reinforcing attitudes and values that
make women subordinate to men and discriminate against women'' in Nicaragua.
Calgarian Hermina Dykxhoorn, president of the Alberta Federation of Women
United for Families, has seen the UN executive at work. Over the last
decade, she has been a pro-family lobbyist at UN conferences in Beijing,
Istanbul, Rome and other venues.
At the 1996 Istanbul Conference, the director general of the World
Health Organization (then Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima) told a press conference
that "the three great monotheistic religions are not compatible with the
New World Order,'' Dykxhoorn, a Christian Reformed Protestant, recalled.
``I heard him say it. And when you're a member of one of those
monotheistic religions, it's rather chilling.''
But the UN Secretariat isn't opposed to all religion, she said. "They
don't mind Hindus and Buddhists, because they've got more flexible moral
codes. And they love the Bahai's because Bahai's are big on world
government. But they don't like Orthodox Judaism, Christianity or Islam --
any religion with an absolute moral code is an obstacle to them.''
UN executives appear to be particularly tolerant of 'Gaia' or 'earth
religion,' ancient paganism in a new guise. Dykxhoorn has seen Gaia
religion material distributed in UN offices, and spokesmen for the London-
based Gaia Foundation hold their press conferences in normally off-limits
UN press rooms.
"Gaia is the ancient Greek name for the Earth Goddess,'' says the Gaia
Foundation's Web site. "This Goddess, in common with female deities of
other early religions, was at once gentle, feminine and nurturing, but
also ruthlessly cruel to any that failed to live in harmony with the planet.''
Dykxhoorn said, "They're against the three great mono-theisms, because
those religions stress the sanctity of life and the sanctity of the family.''
The great monotheisms believe they have received nature -- particularly
human nature -- from a personal God outside creation, who has set rules
within which they must work out their salvation.
Among secular humanists, humanity must be the master of its own fate,
which tends to mean some humans must be masters of others "for their own
That can lead to a form of pantheism, wherein some humans must be masters
of others "for the good of the world.''
Dykxhoorn concluded, "The intention of people who want to change the
world is to gain control of other people's children.''
UN watchdog Austin Ruse, director of New York's Catholic Family and Human
Rights Institute, said there is a "complete disconnect'' between the
national delegates in the UN General Assembly -- "the committee of
sovereign nations'' -- and the unelected executives of the UN Secretariat,
who aspire to world government.
The Secretariat's permanent committees (such as UNICEF, UNFPA, UN
Environment Programme and UN Development Programme) act as if they are
already a world government and interpret existing UN agreements in the
most radical ways, Ruse said.
"There's no agreement from the General Assembly on a universal right to
abortion, but UNICEF, UNEP, UNFPA and UNDP all act like there is,'' he said.
"Abortion is a sacrament for them, and it trumps every other issue. The
major push at the children's summit was abortion-on-demand for children.''
New Yorker Jeffery Huffines, UN representative of the Bahai's, is also
president of the Committee of Religious NGOs (non-governmental
organizations) at the UN. Huffines said any Christian or Islamic
complaints about UN policy come from a "small minority'' of the world's
religions and even Christian organizations.
"The majority of our members are comprised of Christian organizations,''
"Just like the United Nations as an organization represents all the
governments of the world, it represents all the religions world-wide. I
have no doubt that there are some UN-affiliated organizations that would
call themselves pagan. But does this mean that the UN is pagan? I think not.''
Further, Huffines objects, "I don't know if UNICEF or UNFPA promote
abortion . . . I don't know if they have a pro-abortion agenda -- they
have a family planning agenda, but all their documents are neutral on
UN committees are staffed largely by former civil servants from Japan, the
European Union, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, said REAL
Women of Canada vice-president Gwen Landolt, who has done pro-family
lobbying at UN conferences.
And, said Landolt, their executives tend to be former left-wing
politicians: WHO director Gro Brundtland, former prime minster of Norway;
High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, former president of
Ireland; UNICEF deputy director Stephen Lewis, former leader of the
Ontario New Democrats.
Or, they are public policy activists: UNICEF director Carol Bellamy, a
prominent New York feminist and former director of the Peace Corps; and
UNDP director James Speth, director of the radical environmental lobby
World Resources Institute.
But wherever they come from, members of the Secretariat quickly become
part of the insular UN culture, Landolt said.
Whatever conventions are approved by the national delegations of the
General Assembly, the Secretariat's implementation commissions take upon
themselves the interpretation of those documents.
So, for example, the UN Commission on the Rights of the Child has twice
censured Canada for legally permitting spanking (1996 and 2000). But the
signed Convention on the Rights of the Child makes no mention of a ban on
The Secretariat so far has little constitutional power to force nations to
abide by its decrees. But it has the approval of most governments of the
developed world (especially the European Union and Canada). And it
exercises a great deal of indirect power in the underdeveloped world.
Last November, for example, the UNFPA threatened Pakistan with the
withdrawal of $250 million in health programs, if the Muslim government
didn't also accept $35 million for "reproductive health'' -- birth
control and abortion. After years of resistance, Pakistan finally folded.
And last September, Nigeria accepted $29 million to fight malaria, polio
and AIDS, on condition that it also take $35 million in population
control. French demographer Pierre Channu blasted UNFPA for inflating
Nigeria's population figures. And Nigerian family activist Carol Ugochukwu
complained of "condoms everywhere . . . They make our children
promiscuous. All that is to extinguish us; that is why they spend so much
money on birth control.''
Accepting UN population control can indeed have disastrous consequences.
Lacking the religious resistance of Muslim Pakistan, Buddhist Sri Lanka
began accepting UNFPA programs 20 years ago. Now its fertility rate is 1.4
per couple, well below the 2.1 replacement rate. Last June, Sri Lanka's
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake lamented his population is now too
small to provide 12,000 needed civil servants, soldiers and Buddhist
clergy. He is appealing to Sri Lankans to have more babies.
"The big paradox is the Secretariat's obsession with population
control,'' says law professor Richard G. Wilkins, director of the World
Family Policy Center at Brigham Young University.
"The UN's own population figures show that the big problem facing the
world over the next 50 years isn't a population explosion, but a
population implosion. That's their own projections. But the facts don't
faze them. They just forge ahead.''
As early as 1998, with 61 countries already at below-replacement fertility
rates, UN demographers were conceding the world population will decline
shortly after 2050. Then, the combination of a rapidly aging population
and the HIV/AIDS epidemic could have disastrous effects.
"Their thinking seems to be this: They must eliminate traditional
religion in order to deconstruct the family. They must deconstruct the
family to implement their radical population and environmental programs.
And those programs are why we need world government.''
But the Secretariat's anti-religious bigotry isn't simply bureaucratic
self-serving, Wilkins insisted. Many of its upper-level managers were
part of American feminist Bella Abzug's 1970s Equal Rights Amendment
campaign, and when that effort failed, they fled to the "less
representative'' UN. Together with Canadian environmental mystic Maurice
Strong, they have welded environmentalism, feminism and mysticism into "a
modern paganism,'' Wilkins said.
"They talk about worshipping the life-force of the Earth. The environment
is the god we serve, and mankind is an excrescence on the face of god.''
Only religious fervour explains the Secretariat's "ceaseless, ceaseless
insistence on abortion'' to the extent of making "abortion-on-demand for
children a big issue at the children's summit,'' Wilkins said.
Former Calgarian Tom McFeely, now a journalist in New York, used to work
as UN lobbyist for the pro-family organization Human Life International.
McFeely said radical feminist-environmentalism surfaced as the major force
in the UN Secretariat, when Earth Council chairman Maurice Strong invited
Bella Abzug's feminist lobbyists to the 1995 Rio Earth Summit.
"Some of what they've been doing is overtly pagan, but they're really
most explicit in their intention to craft a new world religion,'' McFeely
"That's why they love the Bahai's. The Bahai's are big on world
government, and they're big on the notion that all the world's religions
are basically the same. The Bahai's (representing less than one-tenth of
one per cent of the world population) are almost the official religion of
(Christianity and Islam together represent over half of the world's
population. Hinduism counts 13 per cent. No other religion, like Buddhism,
Taoism or Secular Humanism represents more than 5 per cent.)
Then in 1998, the UN Environmental Program sponsored the conference,
"Religion and Ecology,'' with Strong and Tim Wirth, former U.S.
Undersecretary for Global Affairs and now president of broadcaster Ted
Turner's United Nations Foundation.
The purpose of the 1998 conference was to formulate a new "Earth
Charter,'' what one conference participant described as "rewriting the
Bible.'' The "Western Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and
Islam'' were criticized for "a dominantly human-focused morality,'' in
which "nature is viewed as being of secondary importance.'' The UNEP's
first-draft Earth Charter repeatedly deified Earth, declaring, "Earth
itself is alive.'' And tellingly, it demanded "sexual and reproductive
health'' -- what a Canadian delegate says is a euphemism for abortion.
The final draft of the Earth Charter -- now explicitly called "the new
Ten Commandments'' -- was unveiled at the first meeting of the UN's
International Advisory Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, the
World Peace Summit. The Summit's honorary chairman and major funder was
billionaire broadcaster Ted Turner, well known for referring to
Christianity as "a religion for losers.''
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