As the season of human rights meetings progresses at the United Nations, support for the proposed new entity dedicated to gender issues has been building, despite the fact that, to date, it has no leader, no funds, and an expansive mission statement that promises additional bureaucracy and no real benefit to the victimized women it aims to protect. Calling for a more authoritative and funded gender entity, the co-directors of AIDS-Free World recently released this position paper, Without Operational Capacity, the New UN Entity for Women Will Not Succeed, claiming that “discrimination against women is the most widespread and intractable problem affecting humankind.”
While there are plenty of reasons to oppose the new gender super-agency at the UN, Ambassador Susan Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the UN, just this week reiterated the Obama Administration’s support for “advancing the broad set of women’s issues through the UN system, including through the establishment of a robust, efficient, and effective entity to advance women’s issues and women’s rights.” Instead, the U.S. should continue to uphold the human rights for men, women, and children that are enshrined in the Constitution, and work to protect the rights of all vulnerable individuals worldwide through existing human rights institutions and treaties.
In preparation for upcoming meetings at the UN, Heritage analysts Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves recently submitted this statement to the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review as a shadow report on the United States’ human rights record. The Human Rights Council is scheduled to review the U.S. when it meets in November.
Grace Melton is a DeVos Center Associate for Social Issues at the United Nations.