Guest Column

Holy See foils Western push for abortion/sex ed at UN Commission

(C-Fam, New York) Delegates erupted in applause when a Holy See diplomat accused Western countries of ganging up to have their way on abortion and other controversial topics at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women that ended a week ago.

The intervention on the final night of the commission helped block a controversial eleventh-hour proposal from the U.S. government. The Holy See diplomat expressed the frustration of many delegates at the dishonest tactics of Western countries.

Western countries kept negotiations going on comprehensive sexuality education, abortion-related terms, and homosexual/trans issues deep into the night, well past the deadline for agreement at 6:00 p.m. on Friday. In fact, negotiations went on until 4 a.m. with final statements as the sun rose over the East River in midtown Manhattan.

These are common tactics to break down opposition through a combination of political pressure, tiredness, and discomfort. The idea is to make it so difficult that by the time agreement comes only the most dutiful and tenacious of diplomats are left in the negotiating room.

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For many diplomats who came to the United Nations during the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s commission was the first real taste of diplomatic hardball on social issues, but anyone acquainted with past negotiations would have found the situation quite familiar.

Diplomats were forced to negotiate for over forty-eight hours with almost no breaks and barely any food or sleep. They were forced to negotiate and adopt a controversial document without interpreters, who punctually leave negotiations at 6:00 p.m. regardless of the status of the negotiations. And they were forced to do this, in many cases, without adequate time to consult their capital to formulate their positions.

It was after all this had already played out that Australian and U.S. diplomats mounted a late night coordinated offensive…

Read entire article at C-Fam.

Editor’s Note: Stefano Gennarini, J.D. writes for C-Fam. This article first appeared in the Friday Fax, an internet report published weekly by C-Fam (Center for Family & Human Rights), a New York and Washington DC-based research institute ( This article appears with permission.

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