UN Summit on “reproductive health” Destructive to Humanity, African Church Leaders Caution

Poster of planned ICPD25, a UN Summit in Nairobi, Kenya
Credit: Public Domain

Days to the controversial United Nations’ (UN) International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) that will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, Catholic Church leaders in Africa have joined other Christian leaders to raise concerns about the event’s agenda, which they consider to be destructive to humanity and the values around human life.

“We find such a conference not good for us, (and) destroying the agenda for life,” cautioned the Vice-Chair of the Family Life National Office under the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB), Bishop Alfred Rotich.

“There will be about 10,000 people here and we know what they are for, they are not pro-life but they are 10,000 abortionists. They are practitioners of what is against life. Their coming here is to endorse a wrong policy,” Bishop Rotich who served as the Military Ordinary in Kenya before his retirement at the age of 55 told ACI Africa in an interview.

The Nairobi Summit on ICPD25 has been organized to mark the 25th anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) that took place in Cairo, Egypt, where 179 governments adopted a landmark programme of action, setting out to empower women and girls for their sake.

Five themes have been formulated to guide the UNFA-sponsored three-day conference, top on the list being “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

Bishop Rotich described Kenya, the host of the conference, a country that is “always open and ready and receptive to all manner of discussion and things” and wondered why the Kenyan President has offered the country as the market for the pro-choice agenda to be sold.

“We are looking at it from the African culture and we are asking the nation through the President, have we no values?” Bishop Rotich probed in an interview with ACI Africa.

The Kenyan Prelate continued to pose, “What is the constitution saying about the respect of God? What is our interpretation, we as independent and sovereign nation? Are we aware of the enemy that is continually interfering with our tradition and culture of protecting life?”

He described the Summit as an intrusion that is a “dragon against our agenda for life” and affirmed, “We must protect our borders, which (are) in this case the life of this country – now and in the future.”

The Archbishop of Kenya’s Mombasa Archdiocese, Martin Kivuva described the ICPD25’s agenda as “unacceptable according to our teaching of the Catholic Church” and cautioned, like Bishop Rotich, the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to be wary of the forum, which is being hosted in his country.

“Be warned Mr. President, these (ICPD25 agenda) are the issues you should watch out,” Archbishop Kivuva cautioned and added, “We need to say no, we cannot take this.”

Referencing the organizers of the Nairobi UN Summit, the Kenyan Prelate observed, “It is not the first time they are doing this, and they have a hidden agenda.”

“Remember most of this is about population reduction and yet in Europe there is zero growth yet they tell us we are many,” Archbishop Kivuva said and added in reference to the foreign organizers of the Nairobi UN Summit, “they tell us we are poor because we are many. That is a lie! We are poor because they took and still take our resources. Look at DR Congo, with all the minerals it should be the richest country.”

Remarking on population agenda, the Chairman of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA), Bishop Charles Kasonde described Africa’s population as “doing good” and “moderate”.

“In terms of population, it is poverty that drags us down otherwise as the population for Africa we are sparsely populated,” Bishop Kasonde of Solwezi in Zambia told ACI Africa in an interview.

To counter the agenda of the ICPD25 conference, which is organised by UNFPA in partnership with the  governments of Kenya and Denmark, the Kenya Christian Professionals Forum (KCPF) with the backing of Catholic Bishops in Kenya has organized a parallel convention slated to take place from November 11-14.


ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]