Why Pro-life Groups Were Excluded From U.N. Meeting

Riccardo Cascioli, President of CESPAS, Explains

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ROME, JUNE 29, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Nongovernmental organizations favoring life and the family were excluded from the hearing held recently at the United Nations in New York, on the occasion of the five-yearly review of the Millennium Development Goals.

The objectives summarize the strategies that resulted from the extraordinary meeting in 2000 to eradicate poverty.

To learn the reasons for this exclusion, ZENIT interviewed Riccardo Cascioli, president of the European Center of Studies on Population, the Environment and Development (CESPAS).

Q: Why were pro-life organizations excluded?

Cascioli: Obviously there is a plan, promoted for many years, to exclude NGOs from the decision-making process in the different agencies and commissions of the U.N.

The reason is simple: there are powerful anti-birth, pro-abortion, ecology and homosexual lobbies, which are trying to present reproductive rights — abortion and contraception — as fundamental human rights, and to destroy the family by equating homosexual unions with any other kind of union.

The strategy consists in creating international documents that point in this direction so that they can become instruments of pressure in the different countries that have the opposite legislation.

From this point of view, NGOs that favor life and the family are «enemies» that must be excluded, so as to avoid obstacles. It is what happened on this occasion.

It is no accident that on several occasions during the U.N. hearing, talk was heard of the need to introduce reproductive rights explicitly among the strategies against poverty. There were attacks on religions, obviously above all against the Catholic, as they would discriminate against homosexuals.

Q: But how can these exclusions take place without any government or personality complaining about the problem?

Cascioli: Let’s say that at the level of government there is culpable indifference about what happens in the agencies and different commissions of the U.N. given the extremely well-organized strategy of these lobbies, which among other things have imposed the rhetoric of «civil society,» a highly generic concept that serves as a cover for political operations that have nothing to do with civil society.

Q: Does it mean that the NGOs who hold this line are nothing but a cover?

Cascioli: Not the NGOs; it depends on the use that is made of them. Let me explain.

Some 13,000 NGOs are accredited with different status in the United Nations. Some 200 were represented in last week’s hearing. What was the criterion for the selection? There were no transparent procedures.

A commission was established, by decision of the president of the General Assembly, made up of representatives of some 10 lobbies, obviously among the most powerful, radical feminist movements and neo-Malthusians.

They chose 200 organizations — what a coincidence, they excluded the NGOs favorable to life and the family — to speak in the name of «civil society.»

Thus delegates of governments worldwide were able to hear that, in the context of the struggle against poverty, «civil society» calls for reproductive rights and the legalization of homosexual unions. And it calls for a limitation of religious freedom — all this amid other more general addresses, which can be shared, on the struggle against poverty.

But there is an important part of «civil society» that also works to eradicate poverty and that doesn’t recognize itself in this platform. Where was it? Who heard it? One must have the courage to say that these sorts of maneuvers are vulgar manipulations.

The truth is that the one who pays, controls. Certain initiatives have a price, and the governments and agencies that pay also decide who participates.

For example, last week’s hearing was financed by Canada, Norway and Finland. Was it accidental that there were no NGOs present that opposed the development policies of these governments?

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