NAIROBI, Kenya, November 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The United States and 10 nations issued a stinging rebuke Thursday to the Nairobi Summit on population by declaring that any document the conference issued is illegitimate.
The joint statement presented on the last day of the summit by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Global Affairs on behalf of Brazil, Belarus, Egypt, Haiti, Hungary, Libya, Poland, Senegal, St. Lucia, and Uganda also reaffirmed that “there is no international right to abortion.”
International law clearly states that “‘[e]veryone has the right to life’ (e.g. Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights),” the 11 signatory nations asserted.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Denmark organized the November 12 to 14 Nairobi Summit in partnership with a few pro-abortion U.N. member states — notably Canada, Iceland, Finland, Ireland, Australia, and Italy — and corporations that included Bayer, the Ford Foundation, Plan International, General Electric, and Women Deliver.
The summit was ostensibly to mark the 25th anniversary of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), and participants created the “Nairobi Statement” outlining their goals to promote abortion, LGBT “rights,” and radical sex ed globally, under the umbrella term of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).
But from its start, the Nairobi Summit faced accusations of illegitimacy, noted Stefano Gennarini of the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam), which lobbies at the U.N.
“The conference was organized secretly. Governments were selectively consulted about the outcome. Those with pro-life concerns were kept in the dark about how to participate. And pro-life organizations, including organizations that are accredited with the United Nations, were denied access to the conference,” he noted.
The signatory nations to the U.S. HHS statement brought these criticisms right to the conference floor.
“We would have appreciated more transparency and inclusiveness in the preparation of the Conference, including regarding criteria for civil society participation,” the HHS statement asserted.
“[O]nly a small handful of governments were consulted on the planning and modalities” of the Nairobi Summit, it noted.
“Any outcomes from this summit are not intergovernmentally negotiated, nor will they have been the result of a consensus process. As a result, they should not be considered normative, nor should they appear in future documents as intergovernmentally-agreed language,” contended the HHS statement.
Moreover, the Nairobi Summit “is centered on only certain aspects of the ICPD Program of Action and does not fully reflect all views and positions of the Member States,” and the “content of some of the key priorities” concerned the 11 signatories, the HHS joint statement said.
“We do not support references in international documents to ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), which do not enjoy international consensus, nor contemplates the reservations and caveats incorporated into the Cairo outcome,” it stated, adding that “the use of the term SRHR may be used to actively promote practices like abortion.”
By contrast, the Cairo ICPD Program of Action “was approved by consensus as contained in the report of the Conference and endorsed by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly,” the statement noted.
Cairo’s ICDP “did not create any new international human rights” and recognized the “sovereign right of each country” to implement the program of action in a manner “consistent with national laws and development priorities.”
And not only did it not affirm an international right to abortion, but the Cairo ICDP “notes that countries should ‘take appropriate steps to help women avoid abortion, which in no case should be promoted as a method of family planning’ (ICPD 7.24) and to ‘reduce the recourse to abortion.’”
The statement’s 11 signatory nations also “cannot support a sex education that fails to adequately engage parents and which promotes abortion as a method of family planning,” the HHS statement says.
It pointed out the Cairo ICPD population growth predictions were wrong.
“Indeed, in most regions of the world today, fertility is below population replacement rates,” the HHS statement says. “As a result, family planning should focus both on the voluntary achievement of pregnancy as well as the prevention of unwanted pregnancy.”
That was echoed by Steve Mosher, founder and president of the Virginia-based Population Research Institute, who recently criticized the Vatican for bowing out of the Nairobi Summit.
“I am pleased that HHS has recognized the Nairobi Summit for what it is: a unilateral attempt by the UN Population Fund and a handful of governments to change the important consensus reached at Cairo some 25 years ago,” he told LifeSiteNews in an email.
“The idea that we need to reduce population growth in poor countries has been around since the myth of overpopulation gained currency back in the sixties,” added Mosher. “But it is even less true now than it was then. Birth rates are falling everywhere, and more and more couples need help conceiving children, not avoiding conception.”
Matthew Wojciechowski of Canada’s Campaign Life Coalition, which has NGO status at the U.N., likewise praised the U.S. and its allies for speaking out against the illegitimacy of the Nairobi Summit.
“By delivering this strong and accurate declaration, the United States along with the 10 other countries have derailed years and years of abortion activism led by UN agencies and NGOs,” he told LifeSiteNews.
“The importance of this message cannot be undervalued. It will help carry the efforts of the international pro-life movement for years to come.”
The African Catholic bishops also condemned the Nairobi Summit.
“We find such a conference not good for us, destroying the agenda for life,” Bishop Alfred Rotich, chair of the Kenyan bishops’ family life office, told Africa’s Catholic News Agency.
Archbishop Philip Anyolo, chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, told a news conference that the bishops “view this agenda as an intent to corrupt our youth and enslave them to foreign ideologies.”
Read the full HHS statement here.