Trailblazing abortion promoter and Chile’s first woman president Michelle Bachelet was appointed by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to lead the UN human rights office last week.
“I will fulfill with all my strength, energy, and convictions this great task, whose purpose is to give dignity and well-being to all people,” Bachelet said in a video message on her Twitter account after the General Assembly confirmed her appointment last Friday.
Bachelet’s convictions about abortion and homosexual marriage may not have a sufficient check in her new role at the United Nations. She is a known abortion supporter having successfully campaigned to decriminalize abortion in Chile during her second stint as President.
She has also been an aggressive supporter of the homosexual agenda, by introducing homosexual marriage legislation in Chile’s Congress. She lost the Chilean Presidency to Sebastian Pineira in last year’s election as her approval reached an all-time low.
What is less known is her abortion advocacy at the international level.
In 2010 Bachelet became the first executive director of the UN super agency for women’s issues, UN Women. From the outset, abortion groups celebrated Bachelet’s appointment. During her three-year tenure, the agency encouraged judicial activism on abortion. Now it systematically promotes abortion at all levels of UN engagement, including in war zones and through direct interference in the internal legislative and judicial affairs of states.
Though Bachelet is a politician and a highly divisive political figure in her own country, she is now tasked with impartially leading what is supposed to be a non-political office. The UN human rights bureaucracy is only accountable to the UN Secretary General and operates under cover of independence, unlike UN agencies, which are accountable to an executive board of UN member states.
This lack of accountability has led to recent leaders using the office to promote their own political agendas, especially when it comes to social issues. Recent UN High Commissioners for Human Rights, as the position is officially known, have overseen the aggressive promotion of abortion and homosexual rights, including homosexual marriage, by the UN bureaucracy even though international law cannot be said to include any specific obligations about either.
Much of this activity has remained obscure and unknown, in large part because the technical guidance of the UN human rights office is not binding. Even so, it is influential. The office indirectly guides the implementation of UN resolutions and therefore has real implications for UN policy.
Bachelet’s sudden appointment and confirmation reflect the lack of transparency and accountability of the UN human rights bureaucracy. The only states who challenged Bachelet with a concrete agenda were Iran who protested U.S. intervention and the United States, who expressed its hope that Bachelet will address human rights abuses in Venezuela. No delegation brought up abortion or homosexual rights.
Despite this controversial lack of transparency and accountability the Trump administration holds veto power over any future candidates for Secretary-General and may leverage this to help roll back UN abortion advocacy and other bureaucratic overreaches through Bachelet.
Already before this appointment, Bachelet had the status of the frontrunner to be the next UN Secretary General. Bachelet is a woman, and the next Secretary-General is widely expected to be a woman, and she is from Latin America, the region whose turn it is to have a Secretary General.
Stefano Gennarini writes for C-FAM.org