By Terrence McKeegan, J.D.
UN-watchers expect the new year’s agenda to include youth, demography, reproductive health, the homosexual agenda, and the global economic crisis.
Last summer the UN announced the International Year for Youth that runs for a year. UN leaders expected commitments for a global conference on youth slated for sometime next summer, but the General Assembly failed to approve a final plan. Even so, wary conservatives expect some aggressive action on youth in the new year.
In particular, social conservatives expect a massive push to sexualize young children, something made explicit at the World Youth Conference in Mexico last August, as well as in a UN report calling for radical sexual education for young children last Fall.
Global demographic meltdown also concerns UN Member States. Governments around the world bemoan below replacement fertility rates and crashing social welfare systems. The UN says 70 countries have fertility rates that are below replacement level. According to many economists, states with below replacement level fertility will not be able to sustain their social benefit systems, with too few new workers to pay for the benefits of rapidly ageing populations.
The demographic crisis challenges the decades-old emphasis by UN agencies and Western countries in pushing population control in the guise of reproductive health and sustainable development on the developing world. The UN Commission on Population and Development this year deals with the directly related issues of fertility and development.
One of the most contentious issues since the 1990’s, UN agencies, UN commissions and left-wing advocacy groups use the term reproductive health to push for a right to abortion. Advocates expect a pitched battle this year over the reproductive health agenda and a serious push back from pro-life quarters.
Just this month, the journal Contraception published a study from Spain that found that although contraceptive use increased 60%, the abortion rate doubled. This directly contradicts the widely-accepted dogma that increased use of contraception reduces the number of abortions.
Member States also face serious concerns over the deepening financial crisis. Western governments face massive deficits and are moving in the direction of austerity budgets. Newly elected Republicans in the US intend to follow Canada’s lead to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as other programs that push abortion and controversial issues.
With most of the major international donors experiencing severe fiscal problems, development aid and obtaining additional funding commitments will be a major emerging issue in 2011.
The homosexual agenda will be pervasive in many international negotiations in 2011, partly due to the Obama administration making it a primary focus of its foreign policy. Expect to see several attempts to incorporate the undefined terms “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” into as many UN documents as possible.
Finally, UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon is up for reelection this year. Social conservatives complained about his outspoken support in December for the homosexual agenda and the appointments of many pro-abortion advocates to high level UN positions under his watch.
Originally published in Friday Fax, January 6, 2011. Friday fax is a publication of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).