At the recent conference on the Status of Women at the United Nations I represented Belgium. I observed that with the Obama administration the United States has joined the hardcore Marxist social engineers.
Imagine entering a factory hall where a large, complicated machine is in operation. Raw materials are poured in at one end and at various intervals along the belt. There is a regular rhythm, some hissing, clanging, churning from indeterminate sources, a panel with lights that appears to accompany the whole process. Whatever is produced at the other end is immediately packaged and whisked away. Sitting in the room where the “informal consultations” are held, observing the process by which UN resolutions are written, is a similar experience. There is a draft text. At first observation it is unclear where it came from and how it got there. The same applies to the people round the table. Who are they and what are they doing? One thing is clear: the resolution is inevitable, and most of the content of the resolution is inevitable, too. Whoever gets to write the first draft determines the content and thrust of the text.
The chair was a hard, impatient woman who led the meetings aggressively and would have rammed her text down the negotiators’ throats if she could. The US strategy was consummate. They had found a cross-regional alliance of co-sponsors to submit the draft resolution along with them. A number of these were countries from sub-Saharan Africa: a clever move, as this way the African countries could not form a bloc to obstruct the resolution. Other co-sponsors were Belarus, Colombia, Thailand and Indonesia, and Israel.
The discussions constituted a veritable battle; a battle of words, psychology and endurance. The aim of the US and its allies was to gain ground on the ideological battlefield by including references to “sexual and reproductive rights” in the text, i.e. to include the right to unlimited access to contraception and abortion in the recommendations of the UN (on maternal mortality!) to the governments of the world. Switzerland, Sweden, Canada and Australia were extremely diligent in this respect. Their relationship with the chair was of an amicable nature and the chair smiled upon them each time she gave them the floor. The Turkish representative could have been a hardcore feminist in the Europe of the seventies; the chair welcomed her as a shining star in the firmament of the women’s rights universe. At one point she advised the group to accept an amendment suggested by Turkey with the words “Turkey has been extremely helpful, so don’t oppose them here.” Turkey was also helpful in opposing the alliance of Iran, Qatar and Syria, who wished to adapt some of the wording relating to girls and to marriage. They were given the floor with an air of impatience. The liberals resented the fact that the “pro-lifers”, whom they spoke of with anger and hatred, had enlisted their help. Among the assembled national delegates the pro-lifers were few. The representatives of the Holy See, Costa Rica and Chile opposed the repeated attempts of the chair and her allies to introduce terminology which referred implicitly or explicitly to abortion.
The spokesperson for the European Union would have loved to introduce such terminology. However, she had to abide by the consensus which the 27 European Union members negotiated in separate informal consultations, held every morning at the headquarters of the EU Representation to the UN and chaired by a delegate from Spain, which currently chairs the EU. Here a similar battle raged, with the Spanish chair pressing for what she called “strong language.” She had prepared a “package on sexual health and sexual rights” for the EU members to agree on, a text which slyly attempted to introduce references to abortion and to “sexual and reproductive rights.” Malta, especially, was in the defense. Ireland, too, stipulated that it could not accept references to sexual and reproductive “rights” but only “health”. In general, though, the Irish representative seemed quite meek. In one informal moment it was mentioned that Ireland and Poland were “coming round”. The sweetness which the chair bestowed upon them was telling compared with the undisguised mockery that greeted the representative from Malta whenever he asked to speak. On more than one occasion he was subjected to scathing comments on the part of the chair. Informally Malta was referred to as a “hardliner.” Obviously the pro-abortion majority in the room did not regard themselves as hardliners, and could not imagine that others might not share their “enlightened” views.
I was witnessing a chapter of the Marxist push to reshape the world which triumphed in the West with the sexual revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. The Marxist agenda, however, is one of global scope and its proponents will not rest until they have eradicated every last remnant of pre-sexual-revolution morality. Since the 1960s they have acquired powerful instruments to achieve this aim. They manipulate the complicated and non-transparent bureaucracy of the UN (they fondly refer to it as “the system”), which exerts powerful pressure on the governments of the world. Through this bureaucracy they aggressively advance their cause, initiating attacks on the core-values of family-based societies, especially the judaeo-christian values that have shaped Western civilization, at every opportunity.
These people also feel at home in the massive bureaucratic construction of the European Union, through which considerable moral and legal pressure is exerted on the member states. Within governments, too, they have organized an entire bureaucracy which is paid by the taxpayers and where the activists occupy key positions at every level: in political parties, parliaments and governments, in a wide range of councils and organizations which advise governments, in the administration and diplomatic services, and in a multitude of subsidized NGOs which have considerable influence on decision makers through a network of friends-in-arms. (My country’s delegation to this year’s conference on the Status of Women included government ministers, members of parliament, members of equal opportunities organizations that advise the government, employees of various NGOs, including one who said she was there because of her experience as a social worker at an abortion centre).
The activists consistently behave with responsibility not to the taxpayers who fund the systems within which they operate, but to their own agenda. This March in New York, the issue was not the plight of ill and dying mothers, but the promotion of a general acceptance of abortion as a form of healthcare, through UN texts which are binding for the member states. The more texts there are that include references to this, the more frequently the terminology (referred to by UN negotiators as the “language”) occurs in each text, the stronger the position of the activists. Any concept that has been defined and employed in the body of existing UN literature has been acquired. It can only be weakened by an awkward process in which states pronounce reservations at the moment the text is accepted. But such reservations do not stop the process. The bureaucracies grind on, the activists launch new attacks. They constitute so massive an army, they are so relentless and dedicated that one wonders how long the few brave defenders will hold out?