Twilight Zone Politics at the UN

Opinion Editorials;1/31/07 Carey Roberts

What happens when half-truths and outright dishonesty come to dominate the thinking of an entire organization? This is my observation of the current state of affairs at the United Nations, at least when it come to matters of sex. There, the mantras of “gender equality” and “female empowerment” have crowded out notions of what ordinary persons used to call “fairness” and “truth.”

To put the matter in perspective, let’s consider longevity, considered one of the best measures of how persons are faring in the world.

According to the World Health Organization, men’s lifespan is lagging in almost every country around the globe. In the United States, the gap is five years. In Russia and eastern Europe, men are dying 14 years before women. Imagine trying to sustain an economy when large swaths of your most productive workers are dying in their 30s and 40s.

A couple years ago I documented WHO’s neglect of men’s health and concluded, “Something has gone terribly wrong. The health programs of the World Health Organization and other agencies are violating the U.N.’s most cherished founding principles.” []

But apparently that commentary didn’t make it to the attention of Dr. Margaret Chan of China, recently named to head up the World Health Organization. Accepting her appointment, Chan pledged her priorities would be “The health of the people of Africa, and the health of women.”

Why don’t we just call it “exorbitant irrationality” and leave it at that?

But the WHO is not the only UN agency that has fallen into the bitter slough of the feminist “men-stay-away” creed:

1. In early January UNICEF published its annual report on children, this time with a decidedly ideological twist. “Women and Children - The Double Dividend of Gender Equality” demands that women’s liberation, feminist-style, must now become the top priority of that UN agency.

Douglas Sylva at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute remarked, “What is so troubling about this report is that it shows that UNICEF is still in the grasp of ideologues -- specifically radical feminists who are willing to undermine basic child survival in order to push their agenda. . . . Every dollar spent on radical feminism -- transforming the family, reproductive rights, political agitation -- is a dollar not spent on saving children from things like malaria and starvation.”

2. In November a blue-ribbon panel set up by former secretary-general Kofi Annan released a report on reforming the sprawling UN bureaucracy. The report stated, “The promotion of gender equality must remain the mandate of all UN entities.”

And exactly what does “gender” mean? Nobody is willing to say, so that will remain a mystery.

And what is “equality”? Of course that means the elimination of all social differences between men and women, relying on state-enforced mandates, quotas, and set-asides.

3. Momentum is growing to carve out a new agency within the UN devoted to advancing the feminist agenda. Nafis Sadik, special adviser to the Secretary General, claims such an agency is necessary “to put women’s empowerment and gender equality at the center of the work of the United Nations.”

Janice Crouse of the Beverly LaHaye Institute provided this reality check: “There are already a number of agencies and commissions that focus on women and for decades the feminists have dominated sessions at numerous other UN conferences. … Is there no end to the power grabs of the women at the United Nations?”

4. Then there’s the UN Population Fund, the agency that wants to make abortion services available in every hamlet and village, thus contributing to sex-selective abortions and the massive dearth of girls in China, India, and elsewhere. []

Last year the UN (de-)Population Fund published a report on female migrants, making the claim that no doubt played on every chivalrous heart: “despite substantial contributions to both their families at home and communities abroad, the needs of migrant women continue to be overlooked and ignored.”

That statement ranks right up there with the claims that 70% of the world’s poor are female, and Hillary would never tell a lie. []

Ambassador John Bolton once described the UN as stuck in a time-warp that relies on “practices, attitudes, and approaches that were abandoned 30 years ago in much of the rest of the world.”

Bolton’s common-sense solution to the UN Twilight Zone mentality? The United States needs “to shift away from the system of assessed contributions toward a system of voluntary contributions.”

In other words, UN, if you don’t grow up and stop acting like a petulant and self-indulgent teeny-bopper, you might end up being cut out of the deal. ### Carey Roberts analyzes and lampoons political correctness. His best-known work is an exposé on Marxism and radical feminism. Mr. Roberts’ work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh show and has been published regularly in The Washington Times. Besides serving as a Guest Writer for, he has published at,, Men’s News Daily, and elsewhere.