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Two reports about recent manipulation of a UN international youth meeting by advocates of abortion.


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August 7, 1998

Volume 1, Number 43



* Pro-family lobbyists report an intensive effort by UN agencies to

direct the outcome of debate at the Third World Youth Forum of the

United Nations System, which concludes today in Braga, Portugal. The UN

personnel seem particularly determined to ensure that references to

"reproductive rights" for youth and to "sexual and reproductive health"

are included in the official "Braga Youth Action Plan."

* Procedural irregularities long predate the conference, which began on

August 2. Cory Leonard, director of the Utah-based NGO Family Voice,

said that the UN Youth Unit refused for months to explain accreditation

procedures to his pro-family organization. And when NGO Family Voice

representatives arrived in Braga, they were initially refused

accreditation by UN Youth Unit official Karin Johanson, and were only

allowed to participate after repeated pleas to Portuguese organizers.

* Once debates began, the UN domination of the supposedly "democratic"

and "youth-driven" process became even more blatant. NGO Family Voice

delegate Ryan Nelson was twice elected democratically to the Youth

Forum's official drafting committee, only to be dismissed by organizers.

The second time, he was told he was dumped because the drafting

committee had "too many white males." But when he sat in on the

committee's first meeting on Tuesday, he discovered there was not a

single white male on it.

* The next day, World Health Organization official Paul Bloem overrode

a pro-family resolution reached by delegates attending a "working group"

on health issues. After the youths voted for the resolution, Bloem

requested a new vote in which he would participate. With his opposition

to the family-affirming resolution on record, the impressionable youth

representatives rejected it in favor of one calling for "creative drama

presentations" to highlight health issues.

* UN Population Fund (UNFPA) officials (there are no less than 29 UNFPA

representatives registered in Braga) have been even more intrusive.

During debate over the content of the Preamble to the Youth Action Plan,

an adult woman demanded that a reference to "reproductive rights" be

included. A Danish youth delegate immediately objected that the

"reproductive rights" reference did not belong there, and that there had

not been adequate time allowed for debate. The group's coordinator

ignored those complaints and promised to include the "reproductive

rights" reference.

* Later, the woman who had proposed the reference admitted that she was

a UNFPA official, not a youth delegate. However, she insisted that she

and other UN officials were not directing debate, but merely offering

"clarifications" about selected issues.

* Many youth delegates are unconvinced. Several have complained

publicly that proceedings are being manipulated toward a predetermined

result, particularly on life and family issues. "You have basically a

liberal European minority attitude, and you're imposing it," commented

Altaf Husain of the World Assembly of Muslim Youth.


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New York, New York 10017

Phone: (212) 754-5948 Fax: (212) 754-9291




August 14, 1998

Volume 1, Number 43



* Pro-family nations, led by the Holy See and assisted by international

pro-family lobbyists, scored a significant victory on the final day of

the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth in Lisbon. Quite

unexpectedly, a paragraph recognizing the family as "the basic unit of

society" and affirming the call of young people to marriage was

incorporated into the preamble of the official "Lisbon Declaration."

* The Holy See bid to include the reference to family and marriage was

thought to have little chance of success when negotiations began on

Sunday, according to main negotiation committee chairman Ethel

Blondin-Andrew, Canada's Secretary of State for Youth. The prospects

darkened even further on Monday when the more liberal western states

helped to reject an earlier Holy See bid to recognize the fundamental

rights of parents.

* But when debate on family and marriage commenced on Tuesday,

resistance to the language was overcome by an artful bit of diplomacy by

tiny Andorra. In place of the language suggested by the Holy See,

Andorra suggested using language approved long ago at the 1995

Copenhagen Social Summit. Muslim and Catholic countries were joined in

support by the United States and all resistance to the family-affirming

Copenhagen language fell away.

* National delegates credited pro-family lobbyists in the eventual

successful outcome. Among them, Holy See delegate John Klink noted the

presence of many pro-life youth representatives attending their first UN

gathering. He credited them specifically with ensuring a strong

pro-family content in the final report on a "working group" discussion

held during the conference.

* On the other hand, pro-family forces acknowledge that they suffered a

major setback with the rejection of a parental-responsibility reference

in the Lisbon Declaration. The Declaration calls for youth access to

"reproductive health care" and "family planning methods of their

choice." The Holy See had campaigned strenuously for a reference to

parental rights be inserted. Since both "reproductive health" and

"family planning" services ­ by official UN definition ­ include

access to abortion and artificial contraception, the Lisbon Declaration

now calls for parent-free access to those anti-life services.

Alarmingly, WHO spokesman Paul Bloem stated at an August 10 press

conference that UN agencies interpret the Lisbon Declaration's health

recommendations as being applicable to children as young as 10.

* In spite of these hazards, the delegates rejected the Holy See bid to

temper the language regarding "reproductive health" and "family

planning" with an acknowledgment of parental authority. In so doing,

Klink pointed out, the conference had ignored key human-rights

documents, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, that specifically affirm

parental responsibilities.

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