Chaos and Ideology Reign at UN Conference on Youth in Mexico

with Austin Ruse  and Terrence McKeegan, J.D.

Early reports from participants at the World Youth Conference that commenced this week in León, Mexico are that the conference is the scene of ideological rigidity and yet almost total chaos. There seem to be four conferences going on at once, one for youth, one for governments, one for parliamentarians, and one called the Global Interactive Forum.

A measure of the chaos at the governmental forum is that early yesterday it was announced the president of Mexico would appear and speak. The room gathered, quieted, music played, and then nothing happened and no one explained anything. The president never appeared, at least as of this writing.

The governmental meeting is supposed to produce an outcome document. [Wednesday], a document was distributed that, according to pro-life sources in the room, was quite good but that turned out was quite unofficial. According to C-FAM’s UN Blog, “The unofficial document included a call for the promotion of sexual abstinence” and “the promotion of values in the family.” This so enraged organizers that one of them grabbed the microphone and made an urgent denunciation of the “phony” declaration. A representative from International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) then took the microphone and demanded that organizers take control of the conference and prevent “infiltration.”

According to organizers, the unauthorized document does not reflect the views or the discussions being held at the conference. Organizers urged participants who had received the document to throw them out to prevent confusion before the governments begin negotiating today.

It is reported today that governmental negotiators are becoming increasingly frustrated with what are supposed to be actual negotiations. At afternoon breakout sessions yesterday afternoon, delegates came prepared with suggested amendments for the draft document, entitled the Declaration of Guanajuato, that is supposed to be finalized on Friday. At the working group on “gender equality,” the moderator explained that discussions were not intended for amending the document, but for broad discussion on the theme.

One delegate pushed back and asked for clarification as to where and when governments would be able to give their input.  The moderator did not know and said that a separate drafting committee would be handling that. Another government delegate fired back asking, “Then who is allowed to participate and who is not?” The delegate pointed out the disorganization and complained that delegations were not even sure which draft of the document they were supposed to be working on. When the moderator again said that this was a broad discussion and not for specific language suggestions, an African delegate retorted, “Then what are we supposed to do? Why are we even here?”

Things were a little better at the conference attended by young people. According to several participants and organizers, there are only 300 youth designated as “delegates” with voting privileges in the Non-governmental Organization (NGO) Meeting.  Nearly all of these delegates have had their travel and expenses paid for by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), which is further skewing the discussions and proposed recommendations that will be presented to the Government Forum toward a pro-sexual rights, pro-abortion agenda.

The three hundred youth delegates met Tuesday night under the auspices of various adult groups including the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) to hammer out a statement for youth that would be sent to the governmental delegations. One observer of the youth track said the document “is just about the most radical thing anyone ever saw.” Participants say the document may now be appended to the actual governmental document soon to be under negotiation.  This will cause grave concern to the more conservative governments attending the conference.

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