Marcia Barlow, UFI’s director of international policy, is at the United Nations attending the annual International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). She filed this report today:
What seemed like a very tame day Wednesday turned out to be not so great. Late that day, Nan Kennelly, leader of the U.S. delegation here, introduced family-friendly language to the ICPD’s outcome document, in several places. She used language that I drafted — eight words in total. The United States delegation is one of the key allies for UFI and our coalition efforts to defend the traditional family from the ongoing assault by anti-family change agents.The family language is included the document at present, but isn’t popular. Kennelly said that when she introduced the language there was a “huge groan” from the assembly of delegations. The negotiating group permitted the European Union (EU) to pack the document with sexual and reproductive health services language. Thus, the standoff that we face at all of these social conferences at the UN was set.
The EU refuses to accept any descriptive terms that refer to the traditional family in singular terms, preferring instead to promote the more politically correct term “families.” As in the multiple forms of families — broken, headed by homosexual adult(s) and cohabiting households that result in extraordinary costs to government social agencies. UFI believes it is in the best interests of governments to work to strengthen marriages and the family in order to assure healthy communities which require less drain on taxpayer-funded social costs. A group of EU member nations introduced an amendment to the ICPD document which would add three sentences on “reproductive health services” – code language for abortion. Now we’ve got a real problem. Our pro-family coalition was greatly alarmed by this development. It will take hard work to remove the reproductive health services language, and it may result in losing the pro-family language introduced by the U.S. That is precisely what has happened during past ICPD assemblies.
It is pretty much a waiting game now. We have our usual vigil going outside the negotiating room. Utilizing UFI’s “United Nations Negotiating Guide,” we are pulling up all the past conference documents and language precedents that we can to refute the bad language and we are doing everything we can to persuade delegations to remove the EU-preferred terminology.
More as things develop …