By Samantha Singson
(NEW YORK — C-FAM) The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has attempted to intervene in a national debate in Nicaragua over new legislation that would ban abortion for any reason. The letter which was signed by UNICEF country representative Debora Comini and addressed to Nicaraguan National Assembly president Eduardo Gomez Lopez urged “joint meetings” with various UN agencies before the vote was taken.
UNICEF and the other agencies wrote, “Since this relates to a highly sensitive matter that affects the life, health and juridical security of Nicaraguan women…we, the United Nations System and the undersigned diplomatic representatives, take the liberty of suggesting to the honorable National Assembly to promote joint meetings to consult, dialogue and permit a deep and unhurried reflection, before the final decision. With this in mind, we emphasize that you can count on our cooperation.”
Under the previous UNICEF Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, UNICEF increasingly got involved in radical feminism including the promotion of abortion. Because of this, the Vatican removed its annual contribution to UNICEF and though under great pressure to resume, never has. At her introductory press conference in May 2005, new Executive Director Ann Veneman, recommended by US President George Bush, promised that under her direction UNICEF would get away from intervention in such social issues as abortion and focus instead on the traditional UNICEF mission of child survival. Veneman said, “I don’t come with any agenda with regard to those or any other social issues. I come with an agenda of helping children, particularly in the areas of education and health and to address the issues of hunger and malnutrition. I don’t believe that these issues are relevant to the missions of UNICEF.”
Geoffrey Keele, spokesman for Ann Veneman, told the Friday Fax that Comini was acting in her official capacity as a representative of the organization but that official UNICEF policy does not support abortion or the funding of abortion and that even though Comini signed the letter, she did so as part of the “UN system.” Keele stated that Ms. Veneman was unaware of Comini’s action, and could not comment on how Ms. Veneman reacted to the letter.
The letter to the National Assembly, which was co-signed by representatives from other UN agencies such as the UNFPA, UNDP and the WHO and representatives from Sweden, Finland, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, the UK and Norway, also calls on Nicaragua to remember its international obligations to recognize the human rights of women as outlined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
Conservative UN experts point out that that the UDHR and CEDAW do not mention abortion. One commented that “it is shocking that UNICEF believes that abortion is covered in any of these documents. It is not. The General Assembly has never defined abortion into any of these documents.” Moreover, when Nicaragua agreed to the Cairo Program of Action, its government made a strong reservation; “The Government of Nicaragua, pursuant to its Constitution and its laws, and as a signatory of the American Convention on Human Rights, confirms that every person has a right to life, this being a fundamental and inalienable right, and that this right begins from the very moment of conception.”
The new Nicaraguan legislation that UNICEF tried to stop repeals Article 165 of the Nicaraguan Penal Code which allowed for “therapeutic abortions.” The measure passed unanimously in the National Assembly by a vote of 59-0.
Yet, no one would want to 'impose morality' anywhere, would they? The left is the king of the double standard.... and the sad thing is they do not even realize it.