Monday, October 31, 2011

Ireland must report to yet another UN Committee

The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICSECR) is just one of a whole range of like UN covenants and documents that countries – known as ‘states parties’ – sign up to and subsequently ratify.     It sounds fine, and there is no disputing the fact that many good proposals and commitments are contained in these documents.      But the involvement of so-called states parties doesn’t end there.   Each signatory country or state is obliged to submit a report regularly to the committees attached to the covenants.    This means that, every four or so years, each participating state must report to the committee of the relevant covenant as to how that state is putting into place changes laid down by a specific committee with regard to a number of areas of legislation where it – the committee – considers that change should be effected.

If such interference were directed at, say, China, in the horrific matter of its notorious ‘one child’ policy, then one could understand and legitimately applaud such action.    However, the policies of some United Nations agencies – for instance the UNFPA – are actually in support of the ‘one child’ policy.   So, one can well ask – what is the agenda of, say, the committee of the ICESCR when it drags the promotion of abortion into its area of interest?    And why does Ireland, in its Draft Third Periodic Report to the Committee of the ICESCR, kowtow to the peddlers of death by including the following:

‘Abortion is illegal in Ireland except when there is a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother.  The European Court of Human Rights heard in December 2009 an application by three women that it is a breach of their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights for the Irish State not to provide abortion in circumstances where a woman wishes to undergo an abortion …  On 16th December 2010, the Court dismissed the application of the first and second applicants, Ms A and Ms B.  The Court found that Ireland had failed to respect the third applicant’s (Ms C) private life contrary to Article 8 of the Convention, as there was no accessible and effective procedure to enable her to establish whether she qualified for a lawful termination of pregnancy in accordance with Irish law.  The Department of Health and Children – in conjunction with its legal advisors is currently examining options for implementing the judgment concerned. …’

The item concludes by directing the reader to the website of an agency the vast majority of whose members offer abortion as a ‘positive option’ to pregnant women and girls.
Abortion has nothing to do with economic, social or cultural rights, and it must have no place in Ireland’s Report.