, 14 November, 2019 / 1:38 AM
As the three-day International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) is underway in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, ACI Africa caught up with Kenyan citizens who shared their reactions regarding the Summit. Voices of disappointment seem to persist.
“We are against the whole agenda of ICPD25,” Ms. Ann Kioko, the Campaigns Director for CitizenGo in Africa reacted and added, “We have seen the agenda, their program of action and the commitments and everything they are discussing in that conference; it’s not as per our mission, objectives and what we stand for.”
“I have been following online and I have seen presentations on comprehensive sexuality education and sexual reproductive health rights and I know that what we have been speculating about this conference is true,” Ms. Kioko whose job focuses on defending life, family and liberty told ACI Africa on the sidelines of ICPD25 Pro-Life side events.
Referencing participants in ICPD25 at Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), the venue of the Summit, Ms. Kioko remarked, “It is a group of radical feminists, radical abortionists that are inside that KICC, but the good thing is that what will be discussed there will just go with the wind.”
She faulted ICPD25 for not being pro-women and their development decrying, “I am a woman who is very hurt that that conference is happening, because they want me to have legal abortion, to kill my own babies and to push for all these extreme agenda.”
She added, “One thing that they will not tell you these people is that abortion hurts women. We have seen women being hurt by abortion and it is true, every other woman who goes through abortion is hurt by it but they will not acknowledge it because to them, abortion is a moneymaking business.”
Echoing Ms. Kioko’s sentiments concerning women, Mr. Raymond Mutura who works for Voice of the Family in Africa International told ACI Africa, “We are aware that in the front the message is (that) we are for women, we are for young people but when you dig deep down you realize that there is this coined word Sex Reproductive Health Rights.”
He explained, “I oversaw someone eventually define it and it includes many things such as, comprehensive sexuality education, abortion, which they call safe abortion but its abortion anyway, contraceptives and also the LGBTQI rights.”
He added, “These are not things that are priorities for our country; we are disappointed even if we are not there at the same time, it is very clear that the message, the approach, the direction is already predetermined (and) that is why we are here trying to do what we can do on this side event.”
“When you know what the enemy is doing, and we call this UNFPA (United Nations Populations Fund) our enemy in the sense that it is anti what we hold,” Kenyan Bishop Alfred Rotich said and continued, “Our mission here is to be alert and to be vigilant and to promote that which we know and to continually involve our people and conscientize them that yes, this is not the road to go.”
“We are saying, it is a non-issue again, and we want to tell UNFPA that Yes, Kenya is a beautiful country and you have a right of expression but this country belongs to Kenyans,” the Bishop said.
He added, “Africa belongs to Africans, and we host people to come and visit us but they cannot enter into the issues about our culture. Our culture is that we protect human life (and) we accord human dignity.”
“In a nutshell, we see an ideology that wants to write the plan of God as if to offer us another scripture, as if to offer us another Genesis, as if to offer us another world that they have been created and they are creating from the desk and board rooms of the UN (United Nations),” the continued to lament.
“They want to offer us that Kenya is a place where we can announce this, we say No! Kenya is a sovereignty. God created this world and brought us here for a purpose in order to safeguard that which God ordained for us,” the Kenyan Bishop said.
The bishop urged the government to be considerate of the constitution of the county and protect its citizens as the Church evangelizes the people saying, “We as much as possible want to ask the executive, the parliament and the judiciary to hold firm on these issues so that we protect the constitution.”
“Protecting the constitution means we give protection to the children, and to the adults from conception till natural death and that is our mandate as a Country, and that is our mandate as a Church to proclaim this good news,” the Bishop concluded.
The ICPD25 was convened to mark 25 years since its commencement and the conference is expected to cover five themes.
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