UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s year-end press conference did not exactly make it to the front pages of the world’s newspapers. However, for the occasion, Mr Ban was keen to remind reporters that he was completing his first five-year term at the end of 2011 and was looking forward to his second mandate. In his remarks, he stated that the world needs the United Nations now more than ever. This is debatable, but he gave us some food for thought. According to Mr Ban, over the past five years, he had tried to “advance a practical, action-oriented vision” of the UN as “the voice of the voiceless and the defender of the defenceless.”
Reflecting on his words, who could be more voiceless and defenceless than the unborn? Is this not especially true of the unborn who are to be aborted – their very existence about to be crushed, dismembered and terminated, yet they cannot utter a word or take a stand? They were not part of his “action-oriented vision.” If the Secretary-General were truly sincere about defending the “voiceless and defenceless” he should be a defender of all the unborn.
Mr Ban indicated that in January he would present the outline for his second term, making references to commitments to the rights of women and children with the Rio+20 conference on sustainable development to be center stage among 2012 events. He should include the unborn as well.
Admittedly, this would call for a particular kind of courage on Mr Ban’s part since his home country, the Republic of Korea, has a high number of abortions. At the same time it would be a patriotic gesture since South Korea also has the lowest fertility rate among developed countries, 1.15 children per woman, the result of all too successful official family planning policies pursued for decades. Today there is much hand wringing in South Korea about the implications of a shrinking population. Such concern ought to work in favor of the voiceless, defenceless unborn.
While Mr Ban conducted his news conference, given the season, elsewhere in New York theatre troops were busy presenting the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. The character of Ebenezer Scrooge early on, in his unrepentant stage, refuses to give alms to the poor and ill so that the “ranks of their populations” could be thinned! Was such an attitude the forerunner of today’s population controllers? Possibly. But Scrooge saw a guiding spirit and soon enough experienced a conversion. Can we be a modern day “ghost of Christmases past” for the Secretary-General and use his very own words to draw their rightful conclusion?
Starting with the Secretary-General’s own words, if all pro-lifers – at the UN and elsewhere –began a writing campaign and asked him to support the voiceless and defenceless unborn child, would this not be the true meaning of his words and a new, right vision for the UN? The address is:
Hon. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations
United Nations Headquarters
New York, NY 10017
Vincenzina Santoro is an international economist. She represents the American Family Association of New York at the United Nations.