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Patryk Miernowski: The EU proposes an “aid agreement” based on ideological economic blackmail

Published: 02.08.2021

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• The currently negotiated Partnership Agreement between the European Union and members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) contains dangerous provisions obligating the participating states to implement the gender perspective in their respective legal orders, deconstruct the traditional social norms and promote the concept of sexual and reproductive rights.

The proposed agreement is expected to be signed by an absolute majority of members of the General Assembly of the United Nations and to obligate them to vote in a coordinated way on the matters covered by the agreement.

Thus the agreement, which is based on economic blackmail and on a “money-for-ideology” arrangement, may result in the introduction of UN provisions based on the leftist ideology which would be binding upon Poland.

 

Money for “gender equality”?

A new Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the OACPS is currently being negotiated. The agreement is intended to replace the previous agreement concluded between the parties in 2000 (the Cotonou Agreement). The previous agreement focused mainly on trade and aid issues and on coordinated fight with poverty. It was to apply until February 2020, but since the attempts to develop a new text of the agreement were unsuccessful, it was temporarily renewed.

Unfortunately, the nature of the legal act that is being prepared right now and intended to supersede the Cotonou Agreement is extremely different. In addition to renewing the previous economic and trade provisions, it deeply interferes in the areas of the culture, law and health of the signing states by obligating them to pursue a radical “progressive” social policy through the available legal instruments, both at a national level (e.g. by requiring them to implement the gender perspective in national constitutions and in other legal acts) and at an international level (e.g. through the obligation to represent the same position in the United Nations).

Despite lack of publicity in the media, the OACPS-EU partnership is an important element of the international order. Territorially speaking, the agreement covers one fifth of the global population, including all European Union countries and 79 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific states. Those countries have 106 votes on the UN General Assembly, which is a majority well above 50 percent, in practice permitting the adoption of any resolution according to their preferences.

The proposed wording of the agreement is particularly dangerous to the legal orders of the participating countries due to the obligations it imposes and the values it conveys. Even its recitals mention the need to recognise gender identity as a factor essential to achieving inclusive and sustainable development. As we go further, the agreement specifies an obligation to systematically promote the gender perspective and to ensure the implementation of “gender equality” at all levels of the policy pursued by the states and by the European Union and its inclusion in national constitutions and other legal acts of the countries. The provisions of the agreement also require adopting a narrative assuming the existence of “deeply rooted gender bias,” which clearly suggests that such bias actually exists in the cultures of the contracting countries and should be considered as an inappropriate and, above all, deeply unfair comment.

Deep interference in the basic order

The agreement also contains provisions on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) – an ideological and undefined concept which has been opposed by many countries internationally on numerous occasions. According to such provisions, the participating countries will be obligated to support general access to services such as family planning and to manage educational and awareness campaigns on those topics. The fact that the agreement fails to explicitly define the terms ‘SRHR’ and ‘family planning’ may give room for abuse and for extreme interpretations where the procedure of prenatal killing of children is a component of such “rights.” At this point, it must be noted that the final document of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) held in Cairo in 1994 explicitly states that abortion cannot be promoted as a family planning method and countries should takes actions to limit the number of abortions (clause 8.25 of the ICPD PoA).

On top of that, one of the most unsettling provisions is the one on the “regional protocol” for African countries, which is also repeated later in the protocols for the remaining regions. According to that provision, the contracting parties undertake to fully and effectively implement the provisions of the final document of the Cairo conference and the final documents of the subsequent review conferences. Whereas the final document developed in 1994 includes material guarantees limiting the room for pro-abortion and anti-family interpretations, the document from one of the review conferences (ICPD+20), concluded in circumvention of the official procedure, includes a number of provisions that are highly socially “progressive.” According to such provisions, the concept of human rights is tied to abortion, the SRHR concept, sex work, “developed sexual education,” “sexual orientation” or sex change.

Ideology through the back door

The above terminology obviously would never have been adopted and accepted if the wording of the document had been developed by way of official negotiations within the bodies of the United Nations. This is why the supporters of such solutions attempt to force them indirectly, e.g. through unclear mentions in a negotiated contract, as happened in the case described above. The underspecification and ambiguity visible in many places of the proposed text of the agreement makes it possible to infer that the authors intend to force ideological postulates in a way that raises no major suspicions at first glance but still opens the door to the introduction of dangerous content in the legal order of the participating countries, most likely undesired by those countries. Sadly, the complete lack of transparency of the agreement ratification procedure fails to strengthen the faith in the good will of the authors of the agreement as the works on its wording were classified for a long time.

Fortunately, the potential threats arising from the agreement were noticed by many highly active international social organisations committed to the protection of the fundamental and universal values, the Ordo Iuris Institute being a prominent example. Such organisations took a number of steps to clarify the gravity of the situation to national governments and representatives of the European Union authorities and to support the efforts intended to stop the ratification of the agreement or revise its most controversial provisions. The outcomes of those actions should be visible soon.

 

Patryk Miernowski – analyst of the Ordo Iuris Center of International Law

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