NEW YORK, September 23, 2005 ( –Â In the final moments of the UN Millennium Development Summit which ended last Friday afternoon, the US government issued an official “Explanation of Position” clarifying US understanding of controversial parts of the document related to “reproductive health.”

The explanation, delivered by the new US Ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, states that “The United States understands that reference to the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, and the use of the phrase ‘reproductive health’…do not create any rights and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion.” This statement will be attached to the document itself.

The US government concluded that such a statement was necessary because the phrase “reproductive health” is used by some UN agencies and powerful non-governmental organizations (NGO) as including a right to abortion, though the UN General Assembly has never agreed to such an interpretation. The US statement will be an official part of the newly issued UN document.

In fact, just yesterday the International Planned Parenthood Federation issued an email alert claiming victory in the negotiations because the US agreed to working toward “universal access to reproductive health by the year 2015.” It is certain, in claiming victory, that IPPF was not aware of the US “Explanation of Position” saying the US understanding of the term excludes abortion since IPPF is the largest and richest abortion provider in the world.

IPPF also claimed, again erroneously, that the new Millennium Development Summit issued a new set of what are called Millennium Development Goals, goals which were first set out by national leaders in 2000 and which excluded any reference to “reproductive health.” In fact, the just concluded Summit and its document did not create any new Millennium Development Goals. A high-ranking negotiator told the Friday Fax “There are no new Millennium Development Goals. We defined the MDGs in the document as those development goals and objectives agreed at the (previous) Millennium Summit.”

Pro-abortion forces acted aggressively over the past few years in an attempt to ensure that the new document would create brand new Millennium Development Goals and that the new Goals would include universal access to abortion. They failed on both counts.