In San Francisco in the spring of 1945, a bright new age dawned with the establishment of the UN. It was a forum for the nations of the world to meet in a spirit of dignity and good will, to discuss problems and reach consensus — all the while, respecting the national sovereignty of each nation and their differing cultural and religious values.
It was a glorious and inspired beginning. Over the past 50 years, however, the UN has vastly changed. It has now turned into a Byzantine empire consisting of 50,000 employees world-wide, and with an annual budget of US $7.2 billion.
Not only has the UN changed physically, it has also dramatically changed in its perspective and purpose. Gone is the spirit of good will and respect for differing cultural and religious values. The former have been replaced by a ruthless determination to force policies on individual nations, particularly policies relating to the family, which trample on national sovereignty, and cultural and religious values.
The truth is that the UN has become a powerful empire, serving as a tool for western interests for global domination. To achieve this goal, the UN has turned its guns on the family, attempting to break its power to pass on cultural and religious values from generation to generation.
Fear of overpopulation obsesses the western nations, and it has led this attack on the family. Western governments — the US, Canada, EU and also Japan are determined to impose population policies on the developing world because these countries are terrified by the fact their own populations are rapidly aging and declining, whereas, in the developing world, there is a youthful and growing population. There are now, in fact, an unprecedented 1 (one) billion young people in the world between the ages of 15 and 24 years of age, the vast majority of whom reside in the developing world. The west is frightened that these vast numbers will intensify pressure for migration to the west, as well as lead to the growth of nationalism and civil unrest and resistance to the domination of these countries by western interests, such as multi-national corporations, which require access to the natural resources of the developing countries.
Ironically, the United Nations agency, the UN Population Fund (UNPF), acknowledged in its 1998 annual State of World Population report that the global population is growing far more slowly than the UN had predicted just three years ago. Interestingly, this significant drop in population growth was due, not to the fertility control programs promoted by the UN, but to increased productivity, which has led to a rise in the standard of living in the less developed countries.
Since increased development appears to be the key to curtailing increased population, the question to be addressed is: Why are the western nations insisting that extensive fertility control policies be implemented, rather than development aid?
A possible clue to this riddle may lie in a US State Department document declassified in 1990. This document, officially entitled Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests, and referred to as National Security Study Memorandum (NSSM) 200, was written back in 1974, under the direction of Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger. The document reveals that the US is determined to limit population growth in developing countries because Apolitical consequences of current population factors in the less developed countries might create political or even national security problems for the U.S.
Thirteen countries were listed as being threats to US national security. According to NSSM 200, the rapid population growth in these countries was unacceptable to Washington because of their strategic roles, their military and economic power and their possession of raw materials. It is also significant that NSSM 200, at p. 53, recognized that funding for population control was far cheaper than providing financial assistance for development.
Although this Memorandum was written some time ago, there is every indication that the concerns expressed there are still prevalent and are the engine powering the UN agenda.
Previous UN population control policies have not proven successful, because of cultural and religious objections to them, a new approach had to be devised. So the UN chose to export the failed feminist revolution of the west to the developing world. Thus, gender equality and the empowerment of women became the key approach to change, based on the belief that once women are educated and economically independent, they will voluntarily separate themselves from the "liability" of religion and culture, and family and children that have bound them for centuries. Therefore, all in the name of advancing women's rights, "reproductive rights" (which is a UN code word for abortion and contraception) as well as homosexual rights, gender mainstreaming and equality rights have been the main issues advocated by the UN since the Cairo Conference in 1994. Also included in this new game plan is an aggressive attempt to separate adolescents from parental control. If an adolescent can be released from parental authority in the area of sexuality, then it follows that an adolescent will also reject parental authority in other matters relating to culture and religion. It should be mentioned here that the World Health Organization defines adolescents as those from ten years of age to 19 years.
Two treaties that have proved useful in implementing these anti-family policies are the Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women, ratified by Canada in 1981, and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Canada in 1991. The UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women fulfills the wildest dreams of left-leaning and socialist radical feminists.
This Convention is an instrument of change that enables governments to radically interfere with family life and the relationship between men and women. It does not call for "equal opportunities" for women, but instead, promotes the "maximum participation of women on equal terms with men in all fields in the labour force." All specific health and welfare benefits called for in the Convention relate only to women in the "labour force".
In this Convention, motherhood is consistently portrayed as a stereotype that holds women back. Motherhood is further degraded by the use of such utilitarian phrases as "the function of reproduction," and "the role of women on procreation." This Convention is designed to free women of their unpleasant procreation duties to make them available to the labor force.
The word discrimination, by the way, in this Convention is so vaguely defined that it could be applied to almost any circumstance. For example, Article 5 calls for measures to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women so as to eliminate the stereotypical roles of men and women. (This section is beloved by Madame Justice L'Heureux Dubé of the Supreme Court of Canada.) Article 10 calls for revisions of texts and school programs and the adaption of teaching methods to eliminate stereotypical concepts of the roles of men and women.
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is another useful document for the anti-family forces. It does, however, include some good provisions, such as the right of a child not to be subject to neglect, maltreatment or exploitation, etc., but it is essentially a document which not only enshrines rights for children by treating them as miniature adults, but regards the parent-child relationship as an undue restriction on children's rights. These rights include a child's right to privacy; freedom of expression; freedom of association (which would preclude a family from interfering with friends and associates); freedom to access all kinds of material, which would include pornographic materials; and freedom of thought, conscience and religion, which means that children have a right to object to any parental insistence on religious practices and would permit children to become involved in cults or new age associations. To give muscle to the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, Health Minister, Allan Rock, is now considering a proposal to create a federal commission for children, or a children's czar, modeled on the human-rights and official languages commissioners. The creation of such an agency will cost $6 million, and will further undermine parental rights in Canada.
Although the powerful anti-family agents at the UN have made good use of the above-mentioned declarations, they were unable to use other treaties to advance their agenda. For example, the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is now accepted world-wide as the international standard for human rights, does not include reproductive rights (abortion), homosexual or adolescent rights and instead, heaven forbid, actually includes an endorsement of the traditional family. Article 16 provides that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. It also states that marriage is between a man and a woman and that motherhood requires special protection.
Frustrated anti-family officials within the UN realized that they had to devise new strategies to do an end-run around such existing treaties. Therefore, they developed three successful strategies, which include Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) at UN conferences as a democratic varnish to pressure delegates to adopt the western agenda. This has been a successful way to extend western governments' influence, not only at the UN, but also within the individual countries, as many of these active, phantom NGOs are financed by western governments, such as the US and Canada, the latter through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
The second strategy is the use of the heavy hand of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The World Bank is the largest single source of external funding for Third World countries. Debt forgiveness or development funds are provided, at a reduced interest rate on the basis that the borrowing countries agree to implement population control policies, disguised as women's empowerment policies.
Significantly, the World Bank also works in close cooperation with anti-family UN agencies, such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the UN's Human Rights Commission, located in Geneva. It is relevant that all these UN agencies are now headed by dedicated hard-line feminist activists.
The third strategy is to establish a procedure to "reinterpret" the UN human rights treaties so as to fit this new agenda. This strategy was developed at a secret and private meeting held in Glen Cove, NY, in December,1996 by UN officials and feminist strategists. At this meeting, a blueprint was set by which UN treaties would be re-interrupted by UN Treaty Monitoring Committees, which have the responsibility to review every 5 years formal reports from world governments on their compliance with UN treaties. These Committees are now busily "reading in" reproductive, homosexual and adolescent rights provisions to the treaties so that an agenda that was never written in or intended by the signatory state parties when they ratified these documents is now being implemented.
The most recent example of this new strategy occurred just this past February when Columbia (one of the 13 listed countries in the US NSSM 200) presented its report to the Monitoring Committee on the UN Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Columbia, which is 99% Catholic and beset with terrible problems of extreme poverty, drug smuggling and natural disasters such as earthquakes, was heavily criticised by the Monitoring Committee for its failure to bring in legislation for abortion on demand. The committee interpreted this failure as "discrimination against women." Tasmania, when reporting under the Convention on Civil and Political Rights (which includes protection on the basis of "sex"), discovered, to its surprise, that this treaty now includes protection on the grounds of sexual orientation. The United Kingdom was criticised by the Committee on the Convention on the Rights of the Child for allowing parents the choice of whether to enrol their children in sex education courses or not.
Canada was criticised in 1996 by the Treaty Monitoring Committee for its failure to eliminate parental spanking of children, which the Monitoring Committee newly discovered as a violation under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. (S.43 of the Canadian Criminal Code permits parents to spank their children if it is reasonable under the circumstances.) Australia also received a similar reprimand from the UN Committee. Spanking of children, therefore, has become a UN offence, although no UN treaty specifically prohibits it. Whatever one's views on the disciplining of children, at least we can all agree that discipline should be the decision of the parents, not the state.
Canada's Role in Promoting Anti-Family Policies
Canada, regretfully, is the rotten core at the Centre of the UN. It introduced sexual orientation into UN documents. It was Canada which aggressively advocated for both a child's right to privacy over a parent's responsibility concerning abortion and contraception, and insisted that gender rights and analysis, as well as the machinery to implement them, be included in every national government program.
Canada is able to play such an active anti-family role at the UN because the Canadian delegation is not accountable to the Canadian public. Our policies are developed by bureaucrats, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lloyd Axworthy, and his political advisors. These policies are never brought to the floor of the House of Commons for debate and Canadians are blissfully unaware of our delegation's relentless pursuit and leadership role in the anti-life, anti-family agenda at the UN.
The reason for the Canadian delegation's lack of accountability is due to the terms of the treaty-making power which was transferred to Canada from Britain in 1947 at the time the office of a Canadian Governor-General was established. This instrument of transfer stated the Governor-General (i.e. the Cabinet) could "exercise all powers and authorities exercised by the King in respect of Canada."  That is, treaty making power in Britain at the time of transfer was and still is the Prerogative of the King/Queen and this Royal Prerogative was transferred to the Canadian cabinet.
In addition to its power to make treaties without public debate, the government plays another game with Canadians. For example, on the issue of spanking, the federal government gave a $40,000 grant to a child advocacy group in 1994 to hold a conference to oppose parental spanking. This conference report was then forwarded, as a "shadow report," to the Treaty Monitoring Committee at the time Canada filed its own official report on the UN Convention on the Child. Not surprisingly, Canada was then criticized by the UN Committee for its failure to remove S.43 from the Criminal Code. It is significant that Canada will be making another report to the Monitoring Committee on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child later this year. It is no accident of timing that the government recently made a grant of $365,000 to the same child advocacy group to provide another "supplemental" report to the UN Monitoring Committee.
It's not difficult to grasp the federal government's strategy here. It is reluctant to publicly press for the removal of S.43 of the Criminal Code itself. However, by generously funding an organization to make representations to the UN Committee, bringing to its attention the fact that Canada has not done so, the government can be assured that Canada will be severely criticized. The federal government will then argue that, under pressure of its UN treaty obligations, it now has no option but to remove S.43 from the Criminal Code.
The Developing Nations of the world should keep a watchful eye on such intrusive, so-called democratic western countries as Canada, which knows all the tricks it plays out expertly, both domestically and in the international arena to suit the beliefs of a relative handful of individuals who control our national agenda.
1. H. Kindred (ed.), International Law Chiefly as Interpreted and Applied in Canada 5th Edition (Toronto: Edmond Montgomery, 1993) p. 143 at p. 89.