The African Group tabled a resolution last week challenging the legality of a narrow decision of the Human Rights Council in June to establish the first-ever UN bureaucratic post on LGBT issues.
The 54 nation-strong Group said it was “disturbed” by the incessant focus on “sexual interests and behaviors” and asked that these notions not be linked to binding human rights law.
“The African Group is strongly concerned by the attempts to introduce and impose new notions and concepts that are not internationally agreed upon,” Botswana’s ambassador said, presenting the position of the African Group last Friday.
Delegations did not waste time in laying out their positions.
Countries backing the homosexual agenda scrambled to counter the Africans, revealing the high priority Western nations afford the new post, ostensibly aimed at reducing violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
A US diplomat said they were “deeply concerned” by the African proposal to re-open negotiations on the resolution of the Human Rights Council because it would “set a very dangerous precedent.” She suggested the Africans were claiming the absence of a legal basis for the mandate as a pretext to block the mandate. . . . .
The group, which includes Planned Parenthood and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), launched a petition asking the UN Secretary-General to “highlight the centrality of contraceptives to achieving the sustainable development goals.”
The massive family planning community coalesced into a partnership of donors called “FP2020” in 2012 at the London Summit on Family Planning, with the goal of “enabling 120 million additional women and girls to use contraceptives by 2020.” In terms of measurement, “enabling” means “recruiting.” But midway through the initiative, the number of contraceptive adopters is falling short of the target. . . .
The new FP2020 report is significant because UN member states have pledged billions of dollars to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including a target of “universal access to reproductive health,” including family planning. The methods used to measure access, however, are often misleading and misunderstood.
The frequently-cited “unmet need” for family planning—estimated at over 225 million women and girls—does not measure access to contraceptives or intent to use them. The Guttmacher Institute estimates that only about 5% of “unmet need” is attributed to lack of access by the women themselves. Beneath the human rights language, the main limitation in reaching the FP2020 target is a market nearing a saturation point.
Country-level survey data indicate that where women are not using contraceptives, lack of access is rarely the reason. Even the pro-contraception Population Council acknowledges that awareness of artificial family planning methods is nearly universal.
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