Nairobi, 09 November, 2019 / 3:30 am (ACI Africa).
Since October 24, the Holy See, the Vatican-based jurisdiction of the worldwide Catholicism under the Holy Father made it known to the Kenyan Government that it will not be participating in the commemoration of 25 years since the last International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) took place, a three-day event dubbed ICPD25 slated to take place in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi from November 12.
“The Holy See cannot support the “Nairobi Statement on ICPD25: Accelerating the Promise,” reads the conclusion of the Press Release dated November 8, which the Holy Father’s Representative in Kenya and South Sudan, Archbishop Bert van Megen has shared with ACI Africa.
In the Press Release, while the Holy See acknowledges efforts behind ICPD25 including the choice of Africa as the meeting venue, the Vatican-based entity explains why it had to decline its participation in the widely publicized event expected to bring together thousands of delegates from across the globe.
Essentially, the Holy See has described as “regrettable” the decision by the organizers of ICPD25 “to focus the conference on a few controversial and divisive issues that do not enjoy international consensus and that do not reflect accurately the broader population and development agenda outlined by the ICPD”
The Holy See has highlighted two “controversial and divisive issues” included in the ICPD25 program that seem misplaced among priorities of such a global convention and has declared, “The ICPD and its encompassing Programme of Action within the international community’s broad development agenda should not be reduced to so-called “sexual and reproductive health and rights” and “comprehensive sexuality education.”