Below is a message from Jacqueline Nolley Echegaray, Senior Associate at Catholics for Choice. Included in her message is a link to a briefing paper Catholics for Choice has prepared on the Vatican’s intentions for Rio +20.
With Rio+20 kicking off in a few days, once again the Vatican is using its privileged position at the United Nations to impose its extremist religious agenda on the negotiation process. This time, the Holy See’s devotion to dogma over the rights and needs of those living in poverty has the potential to derail the global development agenda for the next several years. There is too much at stake to allow the Holy See to continue to capitalize on a quirk of history-its designation as a Nonmember State Permanent Observer at the UN-to impose its ultraconservative interpretation of Catholic teachings on the global community.
Drawing on decades of work monitoring and calling out the Vatican for its efforts to undermine global consensus and international human rights standards, Catholics for Choice has produced a new briefing paper for advocates and member state delegations that examines the Holy See’s role at the UN and what it means for the Rio+20 negotiations. The Vatican at Rio+20 – What’s At Stake? offers a concise account of the facts behind the Holy See’s privileged position at the UN as well as its history of undermining consensus and ramrodding its radical agenda into global policy documents. (The paper is available via Catholic for Choice’s website here: http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/hidden/documents/CFC_BrRpt_Rio20.pdf )
Make no mistake: the Vatican’s goal at Rio+20 is to weaken the global community’s commitment to human rights-especially sexual and reproductive rights and family planning-in the meeting’s final declaration. We encourage you to read this paper and learn about the detrimental role of the Holy See at this and other UN conferences. Please pass it along to others working for the strengthening, rather than the wholesale removal, of sexual and reproductive health and rights guarantees in the global policy framework that emerges from Rio+20.