By Samantha Singson of C-FAM
( NEW YORK — C-FAM) In New York this week, the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee is scheduled to finish the last of its work this year, but two important resolutions on violence against women and children are still outstanding.
The Third Committee, which deals with economic and social affairs, began its work in October on more than 60 resolutions covering a wide range of issues such as women’s and children’s rights, the family, the environment, and the protection and promotion of human rights.
As they have during previous GA sessions, conservative groups closely monitored the committee’s work on contentious issues relating to sexual and reproductive health services, sexual orientation and sex education for children.
One of their main concerns centers on draft versions of the Violence Against Women (VAW) resolution. Previous drafts of the resolution have contained a reference to “sexual orientation”, a term that has never been included in a binding UN document though numerous attempts have been made by radical groups to have it included in the interpretation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To date governments have refused on the grounds that its inclusion could be used to deny religious faiths the freedom to speak out against homosexuality, and would bolster claims to same-sex “marriage”. After weeks of debate, once more the Third Committee rejected “sexual orientation” and it was removed from the final draft version of the resolution.
Previous drafts of the Violence Against Women resolution also ‘welcomed the landmark VAW study and its recommendations’ that was released by the Secretary General last month. The Committee determined it would not “welcome” the report but instead will use the much lower level of taking “note” of it.
Besides an outstanding resolution on women, also left to decide is a resolution on Violence Against Children. Center right observers are pleased that the resolution includes issues that were previously left out, like prenatal sex selection and female infanticide (this refers to the widespread practice of sex selected abortions now going on in China , India and elsewhere). Conservatives are disappointed, however, that the new resolution excludes the protection of children before birth, despite the fact that the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) explicitly states: “Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth.”
Action on the violence against women and children resolutions is expected to be taken by the end of the week. All Committee resolutions are then forwarded to the General Assembly for adoption by the end of the year. These resolutions are all nonbinding.