Battling it Out at the U.N.

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United Nations Headquarters, New York City – Official parties have been hosted. Formal Dinners have been held. Cordial pleasantries have been exchanged and guests have been honored.

But that was last week at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The niceties are now over, the formalities gone. Opening speeches have concluded and country reports are finished. Last Friday’s observance of International Women’s Day is just a memory.

If the red carpet was rolled out for delegates and nongovernmental organization (NGO) representatives during the first week of CSW, the carpet is gone the second and final week, as many reach for their gloves (boxing, not dinner). Today delegates begin the painstaking work of deliberations – hashing out language and dickering over words, fighting tooth and nail and negotiating into the wee hours of the morning. Public and private discussions will be held while delegates and NGO representatives will be on their guard against attempts to insert tricky language into final reports. They will get little sleep. Some tempers may flair. The week will indeed be filled with controversy.

This is hardball, U.N. style.

The European Union offered the first surprise, requesting a paragraph from the Beijing Platform for Action be included in the official CSW statement. It recognizes that “in the context of violence that all women have a right to have control over and decide freely on their sexual and reproductive health free of coercion and violence.”

There it was on the table – an attempt to place violence against women on the same level of importance as women’s reproductive health, placing the cruel injustice of sex trafficking on the same par as providing abortion on demand and condoms. The U.S. delegation is unlikely to give an inch on this statement by the European Union.

The second surprise came from New Zealand delegates, who proposed deleting the word “rehabilitation” from the list of things that would be provided to victims of sex trafficking.

When asked to elaborate, the delegation said, “Rehabilitation is a value judgment.”

Pressed for further elaboration, delegates said, “The broader culture is what needs to be rehabilitated.” Sex workers should not be viewed as victims, and both “rehabilitation” and “reintegration into society” imply negative connotations. The delegation said it is culture that must adapt and accept without imposing its value judgment on others.

Only radical feminism could stare in the face of sex trafficking and – instead of reaching out a hand to help hurting women and children – demand that society embrace this slave trade as viable employment.

This too will produce hours of tedious negotiations.

“[T]he Far Left keeps coming back and hoping to wear down the opposition,” said Janice Crouse, one of three U.S. delegates to the United Nations conference and senior fellow of the Beverly LaHaye Institute. “Standing against such an onslaught requires diligence and determination. Without Concerned Women for America and the Beverly LaHaye Institute at the forefront of these fights, the forces of spurious thinking would roll across the culture unimpeded. Thank God for the vision and support of people who realize this truth!”

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