The Halfway Point of CPD52 at the UN
Halfway through CPD52 and Canada’s lying to the world.
Yesterday marked the halfway point of the 52nd Session of the Commission on Population and Development. While it’s not as popular or as well-known as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), it remains a significant conference at which the pro-life presence is desperately needed.
While the CSW is significantly more boisterous, having an almost “rally” sort of feel, the CPD is much more reserved. And while the CSW is absolutely inundated with events, the CPD conference has but a few. The emphasis, therefore, falls more naturally on the plenary sessions, which are open to all in attendance. At each plenary session, the chair slowly makes their way through the long list of Member States, Observer States, and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs), permitting each to read a 5-minute statement of their position of the matters at hand. Finally, when they have each had their say, the NGOs are permitted to speak for 3 minutes each. Campaign Life Coalition will be delivering such a statement either today or tomorrow. More on that to come.
However, the point of explaining all this is to say that Canada delivered their statement yesterday and our CLCY delegate was in attendance. And while nothing that was said was particularly surprising, it was nonetheless infuriating.
The representative drew attention to Canada’s role in hosting the 7th International Parliamentarians’ Conference on the Implementation of the ICPD Program of Action (IPCI), where over 100 parliamentarians from 78 countries “committed to a series of actions aimed at realizing the ICPD [Program of Action], through universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.”
In other words, there was a pretty big conference that happened in Ottawa, to discuss a controversial document that was originally written in 1994, and at which a statement was produced with specific calls to action. The Canadian representative re-iterated these commitments recalling the documents demand for “concrete actions to respect, protect and fulfil the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of all individuals, including through comprehensive sexuality education and abortion services where legal.”
Of course, everything is wrong with this statement, by virtue of the fact that SRHR has become synonymous with abortion on demand, contraception, and comprehensive sex education, but what our CLCY delegate found particularly shocking were the last two words, considering that Canada has openly, and publicly, boasted of its donations to an organization that openly, and publicly, commits illegal abortions in several countries.
Marie Stopes International (MSI).
And it’s appalling that the Canadian government, here at the UN, would still have the audacity to insist that abortion only be provided in countries where it is legally permitted, when they themselves are acting otherwise. The world knows this and yet many at the United Nations continue to turn a blind eye. And here is where civil society comes into play. The only way to ensure that our country maintains its social integrity is to insist that it do so ourselves. We, the people, must hold our government accountable, for if we do not, we end up paying millions of our tax dollars to abort babies in other countries.
 International Conference on Population and Development