Dutch European Union Deputies Protest Vatican’s U.N. Voting Rights
Three Dutch deputies to the European Parliament, belonging to the centrist, liberal and Social Democrat parties, called on the Netherlands and other European Union member states to "break diplomatic relations with the Vatican City," as the Vatican's non-member state permanent observer status in the United Nations allows it to "block vital decisions on women's rights and AIDS," Agence France-Presse reports. Because the Vatican does not represent any people and is the only world religion to be given state status in global politics, the deputies want it stripped of its voting power so that it cannot "force the U.N. into policy concessions on women and youth." Euro-deputies Lousewies van der Laan, Elly Plooij van Goorsel, and Joke Swiebel said in their joint statement, published in the Dutch newspaper Trouw, "The consequences of these concessions are especially visible in poor countries where hundreds of millions of women die as a result of illegal abortions, and millions are contaminated by the AIDS virus. ... We wish the Catholic church to have the same role as other religions, but no longer to be at the table where decisions are taken." They "point particularly" to Vatican efforts to prevent condom use in Africa in "direct contradiction" to E.U.-supported programs (Agence France-Press, 11/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.