Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Controversial UN Development Agenda

The United Nations has, over the last few of years, been working to establish the basis of the next phase of its development agenda as many of its earlier programmes are coming to an end. The International Conference on Population and Development (otherwise known as ICPD or Cairo) which commenced in 1994 will end in December 2014, the Women’s Conference (known as Beijing) and the Millennium Development Goals end a year later in December 2015.
A series of meetings and conferences have been held in different parts of the world to try to establish the different regional priorities. Needless to say this process is targeted by ideologues who are determined to ensure that the final outcome documents contain  their deadly anti-life and family agenda.
One such process known as the ICPD Beyond 2014 Review, is according to a UN website ‘an opportunity to influence the future of global population and development policy at national, regional and global levels, providing a once in a generation chance to define what needs to be done to deliver a more equal, more sustainable world for the 7 billion people - and more - who share it.’

The process is geared to identify progress and achievements towards the goals set out in the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development.
One significant attempt to include this agenda was rejected last year in the Rio + 20 Conference.

Another attempt was made during the most recent UNECA African regional conference, which took place in Addis Ababa from Sept 30th to October 4th, the purpose of which was to conclude a draft development agenda for the African region. A major controversy erupted as a result of attempts by sexual rights activists to include issues such as abortion and sexual orientation in the text. This resulted in 17 of the African Nations in attendance issuing strong reservations to the text which has been called the Addis Ababa Declaration but which has not yet been published in its final form.

In a press release, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) noted that 17 countries expressed reservations on three of the commitments in the final document and one the Delegate from Chad told the meeting “It must be put on record that Chad is not party to this declaration,” which he described as being “a subtle way of introducing something which may catch some countries unawares.”. The Zambia Daily Mail reported that “the majority delegates shot down a clause that would seek to promote gay and lesbian rights,” adding that this was “a clear reflection of the position of most African countries on homosexuality.”

 The African conference was the last in a series of 4 regional conferences and discussions now move back to UN headquarters in New York