, 15 November, 2019 / 4:00 AM
At the end of the Pro-life and Family Friendly Side Events that was held in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi to counter the controversial International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25), faith-based and civil organizations made a statement, The Nairobi Declaration, faulting the entities behind the Nairobi Summit, including lack of transparency shown by blocking civil society participation and obsession with controversial issues.
“The ICPD+25 process excluded pro-life and pro-family voices and input,” parties to the declaration announced in Nairobi Thursday, November 14 and continued, “the ICPD+25 outcome document does not represent the majority of the people of the world.”
Parties supporting the declaration include “pro-life and pro-family organizations, diplomats, scholars, faith leaders, youth leaders, politicians and individuals of good will.”
In their collective statement, the parties expressed their concern with regard to “the obsessive focus of the ICPD+25 process on controversial issues that were not part of the original ICPD (held in Cairo - Egypt in 1994) that our governments committed to, namely: Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), a known banner for advancing abortion and radical sexual rights and Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), which sexualizes children and undermines the family.”
Addressing their concern about Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE), which among other things does not allow parental consent and is said to include homosexuality, the parties to the Nairobi Declaration reaffirmed principles from the ICPD(1994), which recognized that “the responsibility of educating children lies in the first place with the parents.”
“Children be protected from highly controversial comprehensive sexuality education programmes being pushed in and out of school; and that governments establish policies requiring transparency of and parental consent for any sex education or for any so-called “sexual and reproductive health services,” the parties noted from the Cairo Conference.
“Also, understanding that gender derives from biological sex and can only be male or female, and that unscientific gender ideologies (claiming that more than two genders exist or that gender is fluid) are harmful to children, therefore, such ideologies should be banned from being taught in schools,” the parties to the Nairobi Declaration observed.
Their collective statement also noted, “Life of every person begins at conception and ends at natural death.”
They called for an end to abortion saying, “abortion is to be understood as the deliberate killing of a preborn person and thus to be prohibited.”
Appropriate steps should be taken to “help women avoid abortion, which in no case should be promoted as a method of family planning,” the parties noted, citing ICPD 1994.
On the agenda of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), which has been termed “euphemism” for abortion, the parties stated, “the concept of SRHR that was pushed throughout the ICPD+25 process has never been accepted in any of the United Nations consensus documents and has always been rejected by many countries due to its highly controversial and deceptive nature.”
The parties also called on the ICPD25 to “Respect Sovereignty and Religious and Cultural Values” and asked governments to take charge of implementing “all population and development programmes, with full respect for the various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of each country’s people.”
In addition, the ICPD25 was called to “Protect and Strengthen the Family.”
This, the parties to the Nairobi Declaration stated, can be done by formulating “family-sensitive policies in the field of housing, work, health, social security and education in order to create an environment supportive of the family.”
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