By Samantha Singson
(NEW YORK — C-FAM) A top advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made what can only be seen as a major diplomatic blunder in an article published recently. In the article Nafis Sadik, the UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS, praised the campaign to have the Vatican stripped of its UN Observer status and effectively kicked out of the UN General Assembly. The comment will likely have serious repercussions for Sadik, long a controversial and polarizing figure in the UN system.
The article ran in Conscience Magazine which is published by the pro-abortion group "Catholics" for a Free Choice (CFFC), a group dedicated, in the words of its past president Frances Kissling, to "overthrowing" the Catholic Church. In the article Sadik praised Kissling as "an ally" who shares Sadik's "passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights."
Sadik also praised CFFC's "See Change" campaign which was meant to drive the Holy See out of the UN. Over several years Kissling managed to get a few hundred mostly pro-abortion non-governmental organizations to endorse the removal of the Holy See's Observer status, a status that allows the Vatican to negotiate UN documents. Sadik said the campaign "showed all the audacity, intelligence, organization and wit for which Frances [Kissling] is renowned."
While the campaign is ongoing it has largely died, and instead of succeeding fomented a global wave of support for the Holy See at the UN. A campaign in support of the Holy See was launched and 4,200 groups from all over the world endorsed the Holy See at the UN [this campaign was run by C-FAM, publisher of the Friday Fax]. The US Congress passed a nearly unanimous resolution praising the Holy See at the UN. Not a single Member State of the UN endorsed throwing the Catholic Church out of the UN. And finally, a few years ago, the UN General Assembly upgraded the status of the Holy See. So it is perhaps odd that Sadik should choose this late date to praise the "See Change" campaign.
Close observers of the UN would, however, say Sadik's undiplomatic praise of an attack on a sovereign state and well regarded member of the UN community, fits with her long tenure at the UN. It was during her time running the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) that UNFPA was charged by British and American investigators with complicity in the forced abortion program in China, actions for which UNFPA's funding from the US was withdrawn and never regained. It was under her watch that UNFPA was shown also to be complicit in forced sterilizations in Peru. Sadik has long shown a tin ear when it comes to politics having once given UNFPA's top award to the director of the coercive Chinese program. And during the negotiations for the Cairo+5 Conference in 1999 she angered a group of Muslim Ambassadors when she excoriated them for working too closely with Christian NGOs.
It is not known what action the Secretary General will take. The Friday Fax repeatedly called the Secretary General's office for a comment. The Friday Fax also called the press office of UNPFA to see if the current head of UNFPA agrees with Sadik. No answer was given.