Tag Archives: Russia

UN Human Rights Council Affirms Traditional Values

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

(GENEVA – C-FAM) Delegations from European Countries and the United States suffered a setback last week when the Human Rights Council adopted a resolution affirming a positive link between traditional values and human rights. The European and U.S. delegations view traditional values as threats to women, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual persons.

This is the third resolution on traditional values to pass since 2009. Russia successfully pressed the resolution forward despite attempts by other UN member states to stifle their initiative.

The current resolution, tabled by Russia and co-authored by more than 60 states (not all members of the Council), affirms that traditional values common to all humanity have a positive role in the promotion and protection of human rights. It states that “a better understanding and appreciation of traditional values shared by all humanity and embodied in universal human rights instruments contribute to promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.”

Echoing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it stresses “that human rights derive from the dignity and worth inherent in the human person” and recognizes the positive role of the family, community and educational institutions in promoting human rights, calling on states to “strengthen this role through appropriate positive measures.”

European countries and the United States voiced opposition to the concept of traditional values when a resolution under that title was first proposed by Russia in 2009. They also voted against a resolution requesting a report on the interconnectedness of traditional values and human rights from the Advisory Committee of the Council in March last year. When that measure passed, they took control of the Advisory Committee’s efforts to produce a report that was contrary to the intention of the resolution.

The European and U.S. delegations repeatedly complained that “traditional values” is a vague concept used to justify violence and discrimination against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) persons. But having failed to sway enough countries with that argument, they sought to halt the resolution by asking the Council to wait for the report from the Advisory Committee, the same one they originally opposed.

Russia tabled the resolution anyway, confident that it would have the necessary votes. The resolution was adopted with 25 in favor, 15 against, and 7 abstentions.

Upon its adoption, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement declaring “The Russian Federation, together with the opinion allies, will continue promoting the idea of [the] inseparable connection of human rights and traditional moral values in the Human Rights Council.”

Noting that “there were states that voted against the draft (in particular, the USA and European Union)” Russia lamented that “(the) negative position of these countries, their unwillingness to work at the text and fanciful arguments against the resolution draft cause regret.”

Last year President Obama ordered all federal agencies dealing with U.S. diplomacy and foreign assistance to promote LGBT rights. Support for traditional values is deeply troublesome to LGBT groups, as the Gay Star News reports. They are worried it will be used to defend the natural family, and fear they will be unable to de-criminalize homosexuality worldwide.

Stefano Gennarini is Director of the Center for Legal Studies at the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) located in both New York City and Washington, D.C. Gennarini’s article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM.

Moscow Bans LGBT Parade

By Stefano Gennarini, J.D.

(GENEVA – C-FAM) Likely the Russians are furious. Last year the Russian government initiated a process at the Human Rights Council in Geneva that was supposed to lead to a resolution touting traditional values. They rediscovered what they likely already knew, that such debates at the UN are fraught with danger, particularly for those who want to support traditional values. The constellation of forces hostile to traditional values is large and aggressive.

The Russians had hoped their resolution could find a positive link between traditional values and human rights generally. A drafting committee offered a preliminary study last February that was acceptable to pro-family delegates. But opposition quickly formed. Homosexual groups were particularly vocal in opposing the draft report. Opponents charged that the draft failed to address what they consider to be a conflict between traditional values and human rights.

The preliminary study emphasized universal traditional values shared by all people, in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It highlighted the connections between traditional values and human rights, maintaining that the normative force of human rights has its roots in the moral force of traditional values. It contained explicit references to the right to life, the role of the family in society, as well as major religions.

But the United States and some European countries objected that the rights of women and homosexual and transgender persons are frequently undermined by traditional values and religion, and that something should be said in the study about the conflict. The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) joined the criticisms.

Following this objection, the Chinese expert on the Advisory Committee of the Human Rights Council (HRC), Chung Chinsung, re-wrote the study, omitting positive references to the right to life, the family, and religion. The new draft study was discussed last week in Geneva, and countries, experts, and NGOs that had complained were overall satisfied with the changes.

The new draft drops the universalistic approach. In fact, the new draft does not even recognize the existence of universal traditional values, dismissing the quest for universality as a red herring. Instead, it points out that multiple traditional values exist, and they are constantly evolving. Some are consonant with human rights. But others are not.

This new approach puts human rights squarely above and against traditional values. In the draft study, the Advisory Committee declares which traditional values are in conflict with human rights, and which ones are not.

The new draft makes the case that traditional values undermine the rights of women and minorities. It finds that certain traditions and religions spread “stereotypes about femininity, sexual orientation and the role and status of women in society.” It also lists some “best practices” to show how, in some circumstances, traditional values can reinforce human rights. None of these examples are from western countries. In fact, the new draft finds that “traditional and cultural values in Western countries propagate harmful practices, such as domestic violence.”

The new study was scheduled to appear during the September session of the HRC. But it clearly requires some further polishing, and the Committee has asked the HRC for more time.

“Gay parades banned in Moscow for 100 years” 17 August 2012

Moscow’s top court has upheld a ban on gay pride marches in the Russian capital for the next 100 years.

Earlier Russia’s best-known gay rights campaigner, Nikolay Alexeyev, had gone to court hoping to overturn the city council’s ban on gay parades.

He had asked for the right to stage such parades for the next 100 years.

He also opposes St Petersburg’s ban on spreading “homosexual propaganda”. The European Court of Human Rights has told Russia to pay him damages.

On Friday he said he would go back to the European Court in Strasbourg to push for a recognition that Moscow’s ban on gay pride marches – past, present and future – was unjust.

The Moscow city government argues that the gay parade would risk causing public disorder and that most Muscovites do not support such an event.

In September, the Council of Europe – the main human rights watchdog in Europe – will examine Russia’s response to a previous European Court ruling on the gay rights issue, Russian media report.

In October 2010 the court said Russia had discriminated against Mr Alexeyev on grounds of sexual orientation. It had considered Moscow’s ban on gay parades covering the period 2006-2008.

This article written by Stefano Gennarini, who is Director of the Center for Legal Studies at the Catholic Family and Human Right Institute (C-FAM), first appeared in FridayFax, an internet report published weekly by C-FAM. C-FAM is a New York and Washington DC-based research institute (http://www.c-fam.org).

New York Times Gets It Wrong–Moscow Demograohic Summit Is About Declining Birthrates

A recent new York Times article (“<a href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/world/europe/10iht-abortion10.html?scp=1&amp;sq=Russians%20Adopt%20U.S.%20tactics%20In%20Opposing%20Abortion&amp;st=cse” target=”_new”>Russians Adopt U.S. tactics In Opposing Abortion</a>”) mischaracterizes the upcoming <a href=”http://worldcongress.ru” target=”_new”>Moscow Demographic Summit: The Family and The Future of Humankind</a> – June 29-30 a the Russian State Social University – as “an international anti-abortion meeting.”

World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs, who was mentioned in The Times’ story twice, set the record straight: “While it’s true that World Congress of Families is uncompromisingly  pro-life, as part of our natural family agenda, the Moscow Demographic Summit is first and foremost about the dramatic worldwide decline of birthrates, and only secondarily about abortion. Our goals are to analyze the phenomenon, examine how we reached this crisis and suggest solutions to what could be the greatest challenge confronting humanity in this century.”

Jacobs continued, “While abortion has played an undeniable role in this tragedy, it’s far from the only factor. Late marriage, cohabitation and the culturally induced desire for small families are among the many factors which have led to a 50% decline in birthrates worldwide since the late 1960s.  While pro-life spokesmen (Russian and international) will play a prominent role in the Summit, so too will demographers, economists, sociologists, authors, researchers and political and religious leaders, whose primary concern lies in other areas.”

In discussing growing Russian opposition to abortion on demand, The New York Times also failed to note the grim reality the nation faces: It’s birthrate is barely 1.2 (children per woman) with a birthrate of 2.1 needed just to replace current population. It’s been estimated that in Russia today there are 4 million abortions annually and only 1.7 million live births. “This is national suicide by ‘choice.’” Jacobs comments.

For more information about the Moscow Demographic Summit, including a partial list of speakers, go to <a href=”http://www.worldcongress.ru” target=”_new”>www.worldcongress.ru</a> or see the May 27 article titled <a href=”http://www.profam.org/press/wcf.pr.110527.htm” target=”_new”>”Moscow Demographic Summit One Month Away</a>”.

The Summit has been endorsed by Patriarch Kirill, head of the Russian Orthodox Church. In a message to delegates, Patriarch Kirill noted that the purpose of the Summit is “to defend traditional family values and to analyze the world’s demographic problems.”

Click <a href=”http://cts.dundee.net/t/39155912/105413499/94233/194″ target=”_new”>here</a> for the full text of Patriarch Kirill’s letter to Summit participants.

Gas and Oil Rush to Israel–Will Russia and Her Muslim Allies Too?

If memory serves, Dallas Seminary Professor John Walvoord writing about middle east oil and end time prophecy, predicted Russia would lead a confederacy of Arab nations against Israel enticed to gain control of Israel’s oil supplies. Like other prophecy teachers, Walvoord believed this was the hook God would use to draw Israel’s enemies to the final showdown at Armageddon.

A recent article in the on-line magazine, Israel Today, announced expectation of Israel becoming the center of a new ‘oil and gas rush’ of western oil producers. According to the Israeli financial newspaper Globes, the largest natural gas reserve (122 trillion cubic feet) was discovered as well as a 1.7 billion barrel crude oil reserve in the Levant Basin.

God has given the people of his covenanted land another weapon potentially of equal power her enemies in the international politics of oil. Just as the Islamic nations use oil against Israel and Russia uses them for their geopolitical agendas, Israel’s new resource may tip the perceive scale of power inciting the response previewed by the prophets like Ezekiel, John, the writer of the book Revelation, and Prof. Walvoord’s Armageddon, Oil and the Middle East Crisis.