United Nations Engagement at Geneva
The Family & Life delegation attended the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland in late September. After the Covid pandemic, it was great to send a young contingent from our Leadership Academy for the first time in three years. The Leadership Academy, over the years, has provided valuable training to young pro-life people in Ireland to make them familiar with lobbying in this international forum, so we are delighted we could restart this crucial project.
Our team met with many delegates from different countries across Europe, Africa and the USA. They sat in on a number of negotiations concerning gender issues, children’s rights and other issues ranging from climate change to a peaceful resolution of conflict in Sri Lanka.
The team received invaluable experience in effective lobbying at United Nations level from the Nigerian delegate, Odunola Oduwaiye of the Permanent Nigerian Mission of the UN, and Giorgio Mazzini from ADF international. They also had a discussion on future strategy and the importance of our fight at the UN level, not forgetting the fascinating insights of Carolyn Handschin of the Women’s Federation for World Peace International, and Annie Franklin of Global Helping to Advance Women and Children.
During our time spent in Geneva, we learned that we are not alone in the fight to affirm the right to life of the unborn. Fighting for this right at the UN really matters. Language is vitally important in the wording of resolutions. Even one single word can have great importance and a failure of vigilance in long-drawn-out discussions can have serious consequences, especially in the sphere of the family and life issues.
It is very important that we are able to regularly engage in UN debates and conferences, making sure our values are promoted and not compromised by our own government delegates who appear to support anti-life resolutions. The lessons learned by our team of interns during the assembly’s deliberations are invaluable to building a strong opposition to abortion here at home. Thanks to you and other Family & Life supporters, the ranks of the Leadership Academy continue to grow in number and experience.