So, yet again, last week Ireland toddled off to the UN in Geneva to be lectured and criticised because we outlaw the killing of innocent children before they are born.
Predictably, members of the UN Human Rights Council (yes, I know, the irony) lined up during our Universal Periodic Review to tick us off, with the United States leading the charge, while Denmark, Canada, Sweden and several others also chipped in.
Denmark, a country where a truly shocking 98% of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted, is lecturing us about human rights. Sweden, no doubt, wants us to follow their example of an appalling 40% repeat abortion rate, hardly surprising in a country where midwives are compelled to carry out abortions despite conscientious objections.
And then there’s Canada, much-loved by the Irish Times and Irish abortion campaigners as a utopia where abortion is pretty much unrestricted, but where 491 babies who were born alive following botched abortions during 2000-2009 were simply left to die
491 babies who were born alive following botched abortions during 2000-2009 were simply left to die
According to figures from Statistics Canada, a federal government agency.Other members of the inglorious Council judging Ireland are Saudi Arabia (beheadings and stonings come to mind), and China, a country so oppressive that even Facebook can’t break through state censorship, and where forced abortions are used to impose the government’s ‘reproductive choices’ on women.
Of course, the Irish media studiously ignored all those inconvenient truths, as did our Minister for Justice, Francis Fitzgerald, who meekly accepted criticism of Ireland’s pro-life Constitution instead of telling this bunch of hypocrites to take a hike. While she was at it, she should have reminded the US that Ireland’s excellent maternal health care means that our maternal mortality rate is much lower than America’s where abortion on demand is legal through all nine months of pregnancy.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are actually a sovereign nation, with the vision and foresight to recognise that a progressive country finds better solutions than abortion, but, then again, it would be silly to pay much attention to the UN, because no-one actually much cares what the UN says about abortion, or anything else for that matter.
These days the UN is associated only with failure: failure to intervene to save lives in the Sudan, and in Rwanda, failure to deal with ISIS or Boko Harem, failure to implement real human rights conventions, in fact, failure to make nation states even listen to its promulgations (the one exception, of course, being abortion, where the media immediately insist that the UN is an entity of great importance and moral authority which must be listened to).Then there are the persistent allegations of massive corruption, fraud and bribery within the UN, seemingly going all the way to the top, and appearing widespread in the organisation. And the appalling, sickening revelations of rape and sexual exploitation against women and girls by UN peacekeepers continue to make ordinary decent people lose faith in an increasingly irrelevant organisation.
No-one is saying that promoting peace or peace-keeping is easy, and there are plenty of brave soldiers who risk life and limb to protect civilian lives in the conflicts that continue to erupt across the world.
But the UN is a massive organisation with a simply enormous budget of at least €13 billion each year. It is not lacking in resources. Its problems seem systemic, deep-rooted and symptomatic of a deeper malaise than inefficiency or lack of control.
Look at the Universal Periodic Review of Ireland as an example. Almost in the one breath, UN representatives called on Ireland to do more for people with disabilities, and then criticised us because we don’t allow abortion for reasons of disability. The hypocrisy is staggering.
So is their overreach, since no international treaty or convention to which Ireland is a party, recognises the ‘right’ to abortion. That ‘right’ simply doesn’t exist. The right to life, however, is universally recognised, but the members of the UN Human Rights Council have taken it upon themselves to campaign to withhold that right from helpless, vulnerable, preborn children.
If the UN was holding fast to its founding principles of promoting peace and protecting civilian lives, then maybe public opinion would recognise it as a principled entity, challenging us to do better for humankind.
Instead it has lost its way, and lost it so badly, that no what actually cares what it believes, what it stands for, or what it says.