A substantial pro-life win at the fifty-sixth annual UN Commission on Population and Development

By Rai Rojas

“They refused millions and millions of children their right to education because they only focused on Comprehensive Sexual Education.”

Statement of Permanent Mission from Pakistan to the United Nations during 56th Commission on Population and Development.  

The fifty-sixth annual United Nations Commission on Population and Development ended abruptly on Friday, April 14, in New York City. The Commission ended with a thud, not a bang, and turned the entire weeks-long process into an exercise in futility.


There was not enough sex and abortion in the plan of action’s draft document, and the EU, USA, and Canada inserted radical and never before agreed upon language to begin making Comprehensive Sexual Education (CSE) a human right. National Right to Life vehemently opposes CSE because it would allow minor children to seek abortion providers without their parent’s knowledge or consent. 

Once this far-reaching pro-abortion language was added, twenty-two countries, representing over 1 billion people, withdrew their support of the document. The negotiations then spiraled into chaos – if the plan of action is to move forward, the United Nations requires total consensus of all voting member states.  

At one point, the Pakistani delegation stated that the largest crisis children are currently facing is that because of the fallout from COVID, nearly 100 million children worldwide are not being schooled. That statement was immediately followed by a retort from the Dutch delegation claiming that the REAL crisis is the lack of Comprehensive Sexual Education. 

You can’t make this up.

A United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs representative argued that too many babies in Sub-Saharan Africa are detrimental to education. Only to then be outdone by the delegate from Argentina who claimed that all UN language regarding so-called “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” is akin to post-Vatican II Catholic teaching. 

By the end of the last week, lines had been drawn, and positions were hardened. So much so that no outcome document or plan of action was produced.

And that’s a good thing. 

This was a substantial pro-life win. It has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, to include protective language in any UN document. It takes all we have to hold back new hysterical pro-abortion language from the far left. 

National Right to Life was there to support the courageous members representing the twenty-two countries who took on the rest of the world. Many countries contacted Austin Cherry, who was in the NGO Gallery, to thank NRLC for our assistance and encouragement.  

The battle continues, and the international fight is not won – but we will always be there to defend those who most need us.