Friday, October 15, 2004

US Speech at UN Rejects Abortion, Support for Motherhoods and Family

The latest speech by the Bush administration at the UN shows once more the profound impact of having a pro-life US presence at the UN. The US intervention insisted that the ten year old Cairo document cannot be considered as including abortion.
US Speech at UN Rejects Abortion, Support for Motherhoods and Family
C-FAM (Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute)

   At the UN General Assembly (GA) yesterday, the United States used the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) to call upon all nations to avoid using the controversial ICPD document to promote abortion.

   US Ambassador Sichan Siv, who delivered the statement, also highlighted America's financial commitment to "advancing the well-being of women and their families" around the world. The US is "the single largest donor of maternal health assistance," allocating "[more than] $475 million annually over the last 4 years" to this cause. The US has spent over $1.4 billion on "international health assistance" and committed an additional $15 billion to AIDS relief programs through 2008. Since 2001 the US has also provided over $295 million to fight trafficking in persons "in more than 120 countries".

   Ambassador Siv told the packed UN General Assembly hall that HIV/AIDS prevention should focus on "encouraging abstinence and fidelity" and "empowering and protecting women". According to Siv, the United States advances these goals by promoting women's "entrepreneurship and prosperity" and "political participation", and by prioritizing "respect for motherhood, the rights and responsibilities of parents, and the family as the basic and fundamental unit of
 societies everywhere."

   The United States held other countries responsible for an understanding of the ICPD that excludes abortion, saying "we have heard over and over in regional reviews...that nations do not believe ICPD promotes, endorses or supports abortion. The United States concurs that nothing in ICPD should be understood to promote, endorse, or support abortion".

   The United States expressed "concerns" that some members of the international community "might be misusing ICPD to promote abortion." Such misuse was apparent during a panel discussion at the UN yesterday where three nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the International Women's Health Coalition, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the National Wildlife Federation discussed ICPD goals.

   When asked by the Friday Fax about their programs to reduce maternal mortality, all three NGOs stressed a focus on 'safe, legal abortion" without any mention of emergency obstetric care or other medical services for pregnant women who choose to have their children.

   Sweden's statement to the GA condemned the United States for ending its financial support of UN Population Fund (UNFPA), even though the US State Department has determined that UNFPA continues to support forced abortions in China. Sweden also stated that "[t]he Swedish Government will continue to argue that every woman should have the right to choose a legal and safe abortion." Sweden then called for legal reform to ensure that "all able to have a satisfying and safe sex life," including "lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

UNITED NATIONS: The Vatican, has in its first speech ever to the UN General Assembly's annual autumn session (rpt) annual autumn session, called for a total ban on human cloning and criticised the war in Iraq and unilateral responses to terrorism.

Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the Holy See's relations with states, spoke in broad terms without mentioning the US-led coalition that invaded Iraq or nations that have acted unilaterally against terrorists. He referred to Pope John Paul II's fervent opposition to the Iraq war.

"Everyone can see that it did not lead to a safer world either inside or outside Iraq," he said as the Assembly's two-week annual ministerial session neared an end.

He stressed, however, that it is imperative to support Iraq's new government to bring normalcy and democracy there.

Regarding terrorism worldwide, the Archbishop said nations must work together to tackle the growing scourge.

"It seems obvious that terrorism can only be effectively challenged through a concerted multilateral approach ... and not through the politics of unilateralism," he said.

The fight against terrorism requires long-term action against terrorism's underlying causes, he said, adding that the Roman Catholic church aids in that work by promoting mutual understanding among religions.

The Vatican has had an observer mission at the United Nations since 1964, and Pope John Paul II visited the General Assembly 25 years ago.

5:13 AM  

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