Your search found 51 Results

  1. 1

    For these reasons.

    Claro A

    Conscience. 1999 Summer; [2] p..

    Why did the Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network take this stand even before Cairo? The following arguments justify our position. Presently, in a large majority of countries in the world, church and state are separate entities. As we all know, separation between church and state can be traced back to the eighteenth century. Even in Latin America, where for centuries state machineries have been heavily influenced by the Catholic church, the majority of countries have clearly established the differentiation between state and church in the course of this century. In our view, the United Nations is part of a global and secular governance system. Its principles and rules are fundamentally inspired by the same concepts and ideas that, since the eighteenth century, have gradually led to the separation of church and state: democracy, citizenship, equality, and human rights. As a global governance institution, the United Nations’ decisions must be grounded in a "social contract" between member states. This necessarily implies respectful dialogue across differences in view of reaching consensus on matters that directly concern the well being of people, including the respect and observance of women’s rights. At the ICPD, reproductive rights were accepted by the world’s governments only after a bitter battle with the Vatican. In light of this, we consider it entirely unacceptable that UN negotiations and decisions are influenced by exclusive and dogmatic ideologies and moralities permanently imposed on other members by a unique and privileged observer. (excerpt)
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  2. 2

    Is God a Republican?

    Kissling F; O'Brien J

    Conscience. 2000 Spring; [3] p..

    She began to cry. Her shoulders shook uncontrollably as sobs came from deep within. "Why, why, why do they say such hateful things when our families are dying in Africa?" she asked. Catholics for a Free Choice, which is very seldom without an answer, did not have one this time. We were at the United Nations, and this distraught woman was a government delegate from an African nation at a meeting to review progress toward implementation of the Platform for Action (PFA) since the Fourth World Conference on Women. The UN conference held five years ago in Beijing outlined specific goals for progress for women that governments from around the world committed themselves to achieve. The African delegate was upset by comments made by a fresh-faced American teenager during a Q&A after a panel on religious support for the Platform for Action. The teen had protested "why oh why must we constantly hear about condoms to prevent AIDS" when all people needed to do was to stop having sex outside of marriage and the problem would be well...solved. The African woman was upset but angry too. One can forgive naivete but it is harder when ignorance masquerades as the moral high ground from which to survey those who suffer and die. There was a lot of that about during the United Nations Beijing PrepCom in March. Those same issues came to the surface at our successful press conference at the UN to discuss the latest on The "See Change" Campaign. Initiated by CFFC in March of 1999, The "See Change" Campaign requests a review of the Holy See's status at the United Nations as a Nonmember State Permanent Observer. Growing from 70 initial endorsers to over 450 organizations worldwide, the campaign has been very successful in focusing international public attention on the unique status held by the Roman Catholic church at the UN. In addition, press and nongovernmental organizations from the United States to Spain and Bangladesh have covered the campaign and individuals from all over the globe have signed postcards to UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan. (excerpt)
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  3. 3

    UN family planning chief urges Bush resume funding.

    Evans R

    Reuters AlertNet. 2004 Jan 14; [3] p..

    Thoraya Obaid, first Arab woman to head a major United Nations agency, on Wednesday urged U.S. President George W. Bush to drop his controversial ban on funding for the family planning programmes she runs around the world. Giving people, especially women, in developing countries the chance to decide when they have children can help limit global population growth and be at least as effective as free trade in tackling poverty, she told Reuters in an interview. "We hope and plead for the United States to come back as a major donor," said Obaid, a 58-year-old U.S.-educated campaigner for women's rights from Saudi Arabia, who has headed the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the past two years. Obaid, a U.N. under-secretary general who officials say has recently had problems entering the United States, was speaking during a conference on population issues at which the United States has come under heavy fire. Bush stopped the annual $34 million funding for the New York-based UNFPA when he came to office in 2000, arguing that by working in China it was sustaining a Beijing policy of forced abortion in pursuit of its "one child per family" programme. (excerpt)
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  4. 4

    [Cairo and the Catholic Church: A common language] El Cairo y la iglesia católica: Un lenguaje común.

    Voces Católicas

    Washington, D.C., Catholics for a Free Choice, 1999. 58 p.

    Every ten years since 1974, the United Nations has held a conference on population and development. Past conferences were held in Bucharest (1974) and Mexico City (1984). In 1994, 180 governments sent delegates to Cairo, Egypt, to attend the Third International Conference on Population and Development (called the "Cairo Conference" for short). The governments of the world agreed on a list of actions for the future in the form of the Program of Action. The document is 100 pages long and is divided into 16 chapters. The quantitative and qualitative goals agreed on are described from Chapters 3 to 16. Chapter 2 is of particular interest for Catholics and members of other faiths, which presents the ethical aspects of the vision of the Cairo Conference with regard to population and development. (excerpt)
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  5. 5

    New policy seeking 100% condom use among sex workers.

    POPLINE. 2003 Sep-Oct; 25:3.

    An aggressive policy to curb HIV/AIDS in six Asian countries centered on 100 percent condom use in commercial sex establishments is being pushed by the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO is working with authorities in China, Myanmar, Mongolia, Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines to implement the program. (excerpt)
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  6. 6

    The Cairo imperative: how ICPD forged a new population agenda for the coming decades.

    Sai FT

    In: An agenda for people: the UNFPA through three decades, edited by Nafis Sadik. New York, New York, New York University Press, 2002. 113-135.

    The remarkable originality and achievements of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in September 1994, have sometimes been disregarded in the years since. Most fair-minded people acknowledge that ICPD succeeded in its main aims. But for those of us who participated in earlier population conferences and in the preparations for Cairo, it can be said to have succeeded beyond our wildest dreams -- in terms of its intent and programmatic content at least. In addition, it helped mobilize the population, health, women's rights and allied communities to shape a broad agenda for the population and related development fields for the next two decades. Of the three international conferences organized by the United Nations to help build world consensus on the need to address population issues, ICPD was by far the most successful, measured by numbers attending, levels and quality of delegates, international media attention, and the quality of the final consensus -- and an important watershed. After long preparation and vigorous debate, more than 180 countries agreed to adopt the 16-chapter ICPD Programme of Action. The 115-page document outlines a 20-year plan to promote sustainable, human-centred development and a stable population, framing the issues with broad principles and specific actions. The Cairo Programme of Action was not simply an updating of the World Population Plan of Action (WPPA), agreed to at Bucharest and revised at Mexico City, but an entirely fresh and original programme, calling for a major shift in strategies away from demographic goals and towards more individual human welfare and development ones. ICPD was the largest intergovernmental conference on population ever held: 11,000 representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies and intergovernmental agencies participated, 4,000 NGOs held a parallel forum, and there was unprecedented media attention. ICPD was not just a single event, but an entire process culminating in the Cairo meeting. There were six expert group meetings, and regional conferences in Bali, Dakar, Geneva, Amman and Mexico City. There were many formal and informal NGO meetings and three official Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings. Other crucial influences came from the 1987 Safe Motherhood Conference, the 1990 World Summit for Children, the 1990 Jomtien World Conference on Education for All, and the 1993 Vienna Conference on Human Rights. (author's)
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  7. 7

    The church and family planning. Bush removes funding for UNFPA.

    Conscience. 2002 Autumn; 23(3):37.

    Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote to President Bush commending him for his decision to withhold the funds. "In the name of the Catholic Bishops of the United States, I thank you for taking this action in defense of women and children in developing nations," the bishop said. (excerpt)
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  8. 8

    The conservative and progressive divide at Beijing Plus Five.

    Religion Counts

    Conscience. 2002 Spring; 23(1):15-7, 42.

    During the UN Beijing Plus 5 conference in March 2000, both Catholics and Muslims were well represented at the proceedings. The progressive network included both religious and secular nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), including: the Latin American and Caribbean Women's Health Network, the Girls' Power Initiative of Nigeria, Catholics for a Free Choice, the Albanian Family Planning Association, and the Ecumenical Women 2000+. On the other hand, the conservative network consisted of both religious and secular NGOs, including: the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, the World Family Policy Forum at Brigham Young University, the National Right to Life Committee, Concerned Women for America, the National Institute of Womanhood, Global Helping Advance Women and Children, and United Families International. It is noted that tensions between the conservative and progressive camps at the UN are always palpable and each camp regularly monitors the other's activities. A propensity on both sides to objectify the moral status of their opponents was also detected.
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  9. 9

    Vatican opposes emergency contraception for refugees.

    In Catholic Circles 2001 Nov-Dec; 6(6):6.

    The Vatican has accused the UN of "promoting irresponsible sexual relations" for providing Afghan refugees with access to emergency contraception (EC). In a letter to Catholic bishops, the Vatican said that the provision of EC to refugees is a deliberate attempt to "introduce young men and women to an individualistic and irresponsible use of sexual pleasure" that could also "increase the risk of the spread of AIDS". With the 1999 introduction of the UN manual on Reproductive Health in Refugee Situations, it has been standard practice for UN agencies to make reproductive health kits that include EC available to people in refugee situations. The Vatican defunded UN International Children's Emergency Fund following publication of the refugee manual because of the inclusion of EC. The Vatican's letter also decried the UN's "non-judgmental approach" to extra-marital sex and homosexuality. Writing in the Globe and Mail, Joanna Manning of Catholics for a Free Choice-Canada said, "Somehow, I do not envisage the refugee-camp environment as conducive to hedonism; nor do I imagine that women fleeing war zones will remember to pack the thermometer and monthly charts needed to practice the rhythm method". (full text)
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  10. 10

    Bad faith at the UN : drawing back the curtain on the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. [Mauvaise foi à l'ONU : on tire le rideau sur la Famille Catholique et l'Institut des Droits de l'Homme]

    Catholics for a Free Choice

    Washington, D.C., Catholics for a Free Choice, 2001. 33, [8] p.

    The way the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (CAFHRI) promotes its values has a negative impact on international policy discourse, especially the efforts of nongovernmental organizations and governments to work more closely for the development and implementation of public policies on social issues. Perhaps most disturbing is the warlike mindset that permeates CAFHRI's thinking and actions. What is essential, if the UN is going to succeed in crafting ethically sound international policy on sexual and reproductive health and rights, is the facilitation of respectful listening and the ability to negotiate differences. That is not possible if an atmosphere of a "Holy War" is created. Creating such an atmosphere is CAFHRI's goal. The UN is an instrument of peace, not of war. As frustrating as the process of negotiating documents is, the process encourages governments and civil society to go deeply into their differences and come to principled compromises. Religious groups have been active in the UN from its founding. For the most part they have participated in good faith and contributed much. They have respected the plural, secular, and tolerant nature of the UN. It would be unfortunate if CAFHRI, which acts in bad faith, were allowed to continue its efforts to create a Holy War in the international institution most identified with peace.
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  11. 11

    The Catholic church at the United Nations: church or state?

    Catholics for a Free Choice

    CONSCIENCE. 2001 Winter; 21(4):20-4.

    During international conferences, the Holy See often goes against the overwhelming consensus of Member States and seeks provisions in international documents that would limit the health and rights of all people, but especially women. To this effect, many questions have been raised about the role of the Catholic Church at the UN. It is noted that the Holy See owes its participation in the UN to the membership of Vatican City in the Universal Postal Union and the International Telecommunication Union, which qualifies the Holy See to become a Non-member State Permanent Observer at the UN. However, it is emphasized that the Holy See is not a state, only the government of the Roman Catholic Church. Hence, it should not participate in the UN as a state, but as a religion. Hundreds of organizations and thousands of people worldwide have initiated a campaign to change the status of the Roman Catholic Church at the UN. These people believe that the Holy See, as the government of the Roman Catholic Church, should participate in the UN in the same way as the world's other religions--as a nongovernmental organization. The "See Change" Campaign is a global effort coordinated by Catholics for a Free Choice seeking a review of the Holy See's special UN status.
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  12. 12

    U.N. says Latin America has to address prevention.

    AIDS WEEKLY. 2000 Nov 20-27; 12-3.

    To stop the AIDS epidemic that is ravaging Latin America, nations must learn to deal frankly with homosexuality and invest heavily in AIDS prevention, a top UN official said. "20 years of epidemic have taught us that investment in prevention campaigns is the best weapon against AIDS," Peter Piot, executive director of the UN AIDS program told delegates from 28 countries at the first Forum on AIDS in Latin American and the Caribbean, held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. That means distributing and encouraging the use of condoms, especially among gay men, Piot said. The most Reverend Jaime Chemello, head of the Brazilian Bishops Conference, said on November 8, 2000, that advocating the use of condoms "is counter to ethical issues and incites freer sex". He said a condom was no guarantee against HIV infection. Although Chemello echoed the Vatican's official line, much of the clergy here take a softer stance. The Health Ministry distributes condoms during the annual Carnival bash, and the Catholic Church in Brazil rarely protests. Catholicism is the predominant religion in this region, a legacy of Spanish and Portuguese colonizers; Brazil is the world's largest Roman Catholic country, with more than 70% of its 165 million people claiming to be Catholics. According to UN figures, 600 people are infected each day by the AIDS virus in Latin America and the Caribbean--about 1 every 2 minutes, Piot said. Worst off is Haiti, where 5.17% of the population is infected, or 210,000 people, he said. In the Bahamas, 4.13% is infected. Guyana has the highest rate in South America, with 3.01%. Brazil, the host of the week-long AIDS conference, drew praise for its handling of the disease. It supplies a free "cocktail" of anti-AIDS drugs to 90,000 victims, and AIDS deaths in Brazil were cut half between 1996 and 1999. Some 540,000 Brazilians, or 0.57% of the population, are registered as HIV positive. (full text)
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  13. 13

    The Church at the United Nations.

    Catholics for a Free Choice

    In: Catholic voices at one with the Cairo consensus. A dossier prepared for the five-year review of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, [compiled by] Catholics for a Free Choice. Washington, D.C., Catholics for a Free Choice, [1998]. 4 p..

    This paper focuses on the Holy See, Vatican City, and the Roman Catholic Church at the UN. To differentiate the three, the Roman Catholic Church is a religious society without a political identity under the law. The Vatican City is an independent city-state within Rome that serves as the site of the Church government and is itself governed by the head of the Church, the pope, and the Holy See is the supreme organ of both the Catholic Church and the Vatican City. Although not a state, the Holy See is treated in the same footing as a state because of the influence the pope has on Catholics worldwide. It is the Holy See that is active in the UN and maintains full diplomatic relations with 157 countries. The Holy See and Switzerland are the only two among numerous UN observers holding the status as states. A state must be a member of at least one specialized agency of the UN system, must be generally recognized by the UN member states, and must apply to the UN secretary general for the status to become a Permanent Observer. With this influence, therefore, religious groups can, in a way, obstruct the advancement of the projects of the UN like the Cairo Conference.
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  14. 14

    Acting against the grain: a chronology of church action to block Cairo's implementation.

    Catholics for a Free Choice

    In: Catholic voices at one with the Cairo consensus. A dossier prepared for the five-year review of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development, [compiled by] Catholics for a Free Choice. Washington, D.C., Catholics for a Free Choice, [1998]. 7 p..

    This paper presents a chronology of church action to block the Cairo implementation from December 1994 to August 1998. The Cairo Program of Action emphasizes the right of all couples and individuals to decide freely on the number, timing and spacing of their children and to exercise free and informed choices. Since then, religious groups have blocked efforts to implement the Cairo agreements which include sex education and the HIV/AIDS prevention programs. Although not comprehensive, this paper enumerates incidents that were publicly made by the religious group in obstructing the Cairo plan giving a citation of the relevant section from the Cairo Program of action at the end of each chronology entry. Despite agreement between Cairo delegates and the Catholic church during the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, religious leaders continued to obstruct advancement of the Program of Action and making it harder for the Cairo vision to be realized.
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  15. 15

    Catholics and Cairo: a common language.

    Catholics for a Free Choice. Catholic Voices

    Washington, D.C., Catholics for a Free Choice, Catholic Voices, [1998]. [2], 54 p.

    This discussion paper focuses on the Catholic Voices, an international forum on issues of population and development. This paper proves that Catholics can and should support the Program of Action. Part 1 shows areas of the Program of Action. Part 2 shows how positions taken by the Vatican at Cairo on a number of key reproductive and sexual health issues did not accurately reflect the richness and diversity of church tradition. It is on this issue that the global community strove to educate the Church. Moreover, it is on these issues that the Vatican delegates at Cairo held rigidly to the current conservatism fostered by Pope John Paul II. Finally, conclusion in the form of a theological reflection is offered to analyze the behavior of the Vatican at Cairo on the areas of disagreement.
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  16. 16

    Church or state? The Holy See at the United Nations.

    Rahman A

    CONSCIENCE. 1999 Summer; 20(2):2-5.

    This article provides an information on the role and position of the Roman Catholic Church in the UN. The Roman Catholic Church was elected to participate in the UN as the "Holy See". The "Holy See" is the supreme organ of government of the Catholic Church with the pope designated as its head under the Code of Canon Law, with the Vatican City regarded as its "vassal" territory. Unlike any other modern nation, the Vatican City does not support its citizen; rather it provides a base for the central administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The "Holy See" was regarded as a "nonmember state" in the UN. Pope Paul VI established the first Holy See "permanent observer mission" on March 21, 1964. When the Holy See was admitted as a nonmember state permanent observer, it maintained delegates at specialized agencies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Council for Cultural Cooperation of the Council of Europe. The status of the Holy See as a state under the International Law was uncertain because it has not satisfied the modern definition of a nation, which has: 1) a permanent population; 2) a defined territory; 3) a government; and 4) the capacity to enter into relations with the other states.
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  17. 17

    Addressing women concerns. Philippines. The Hague Forum.

    Medalla FM

    INTEGRATION. 1999 Summer; (60):28.

    Since the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), the Philippine government has worked closely with nongovernmental and peoples' organizations to push reforms which promote development which is broad-based, sustainable, and focused upon human resources. These initiatives recognized the important role of population and human development, and try to achieve rapid economic growth while protecting the environment. The government worked closely with civil society to draft a medium-term development plan for 1993-98 to improve the quality of life for all Filipinos. Reproductive health will be an important component of the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for 1999-2004. However, the necessary resources must be mobilized to carry out all elements of the program of action. Since the ICPD, total funding for reproductive health and family planning reached Philippine P 1 billion, of which 58% was provided by the foreign donor community. So far, the Philippine government has been blocked by the Catholic Church from allocating more public funds for contraception. Local government units need to take a more direct and active role in implementing rural health programs in general and reproductive health programs in particular.
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  18. 18

    The Vatican and population policy: a chronology.

    Catholics for a Free Choice

    In: The Pope and population policy, [compiled by] Catholics for a Free Choice. Washington, D.C., Catholics for a Free Choice, [1994]. [4] p.

    The pope is trying to control the language of a draft Program of Action for the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The ICPD document, a blueprint for a 20-year campaign to stabilize world population, differs from its predecessors in that it links population growth with reproductive rights and urges family planning and the advancement of women's health and equality. These efforts are directly contrary to the Vatican's extremely conservative policies on population and the role of women, and explain why the Vatican has given such unprecedented attention to the Cairo conference in recent months. However, Vatican intervention in population policies is not new. This paper documents Vatican efforts to control population debate from 1961 to 1994.
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  19. 19

    Church and state at the United Nations. A case of the emperor's new clothes.

    Kissling F; Shannon D

    CONSCIENCE. 1996 Winter; 16(4):11-2.

    The Vatican invested considerable effort in the attempt to scuttle the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development. The Catholic Church's involvement in the conference was highly obstructive. Many are increasingly wondering why a religion has a state-like presence in the international arena and have circulated petitions to have the UN look into the issue. The Vatican owes its participation in the UN to happenstance and diplomatic deference. It began with the membership of the Vatican City in the Universal Postal Union and the International Telecommunication Union, which the city-state joined before World War II due to its operation of postal and radio services. The UN, soon after its formation, invited these organizations and their members to attend UN sessions on an ad hoc basis. In 1964, Pope Paul VI named a permanent observer to the UN and UN Secretary-General U Thant simply accepted the designation and announced it soon thereafter. The Holy See therefore joins Switzerland as one of two Non-Member State Permanent Observers at the UN. The Pope addresses the General Assembly as the head of the Holy See, the supreme organ of government of both the Catholic Church and the Vatican City. The Vatican City, however, has only a weak claim to a seat in the UN, while the Holy See is an even more nebulous, religious construct with no claim at all.
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  20. 20

    What happened in Cairo? A view from the Internet.

    Keyfitz N


    An estimated 20,000 government delegates, UN representatives, nongovernment organizations, and media representatives participated in the 1994 UN Population Conference held in Cairo. Most UN conferences are carefully prearranged in a series of preparatory meetings, with the actual conferences simply being ceremonious occasions during which political leaders can read prepared scripts and sign a consensus document. The Cairo conference, however, was different. The Vatican and its Muslim country allies voiced their firm opposition to abortion, cohabitation without marriage, and sexual behavior which deviates from their religiously-prescribed norms. Secular leaders countered vigorously and the debate was on. This ideological conflict sparked an enormous amount of attention, both in the international media and through word of mouth. A compromise was eventually reached on wording which, without condemning abortion, stressed that abortion must not be considered a means of family planning. Conference officials may feel that the proceedings were out of control and a general waste of valuable conference time. On the contrary, however, a far greater international impact will be felt from this Cairo conference compared to other UN conferences without comparable controversy and international media attention. Had not the Pope and his Muslim country allies taken such a firm opposition stand to general consensus at the conference, proceedings would have rolled along without controversy, and the message of the event would have been disseminated little beyond official circles. The 1994 Cairo conference indeed contributed to a worldwide movement.
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  21. 21

    Dr Fred Sai speaks out.

    Sai F

    London, England, International Planned Parenthood Federation [IPPF], 1994. 112 p.

    This booklet contains a selection of nine speeches and articles written by Dr. Fred Sai since he assumed the presidency of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in 1989. The first article is an open letter to Pope John Paul II written on World Population Day, July 11, 1991, in which Sai points out that the values of IPPF mirror those of the Catholic Church, suggests that the Church misunderstands the family planning (FP) movement, and calls for the opening of a dialogue with the Church. Article 2 is adapted from Sai's acceptance speech on the occasion of receiving the UN Population Award in 1993. Sai dedicated his prize to the mothers in Africa who persist in trusting in the future despite terrible obstacles. In the third article, Sai describes political, religious, cultural, medical, technical, financial, and quality of service obstacles which hinder FP programs. Article 4 discusses the mother-child dyad as it applies to combatting maternal and neonatal health problems. The fifth article presents an African perspective on what works and what does not work in FP programs. Article 6 sets out the scenario for achieving economic and social development through successful population programs. The seventh article considers whether the Mexico City consensus has been implemented. Article 8 takes a look at politics and ethics in FP, and the last article provides a view from the South on the topic of working with parliamentarians.
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  22. 22

    Exposing the numbers game. Feminists challenge the population control establishment.

    Correa S; Petchesky R

    MS.. 1994 Sep-Oct; 5(2):10-7.

    The population conference scheduled for 1994 in Cairo aims establish a new consensus and program objectives for the next decade. Feminists will be confronted by the population control establishment, which predicts dire consequences of population growth, and by the Vatican with its moralistic credos. Feminists have an agenda that urges that women's bodies not be instruments of population control institutions or of patriarchal institutions such as the church. Population policies have been directed in the past to targeting childbearing among specific demographic groups without regard to women's health, empowerment, or personal needs and desires. Population, family planning, and environmental groups will be going to Cairo with a hidden agenda to seek legitimacy and funding. When "population time bomb" mentality pervades discussions, little attention is focused on inequalities in the distribution of wealth, resources, and people regionally or locally. Population involves complex social relationships which affect births, deaths, and migration. Environmental and economic consequences stem from Northern industrialized consumption. Other features of economic and resource effects involve exploitative systems, militarism, and displacement due to urbanization and agribusiness. It is suggested that immediate cessation of population growth would not affect poverty or the environment. Feminists have been criticized for diluting or diverting the aims of population control. The counter arguments are that past failures of development policy have been blamed on population growth and that fertility control programs have been coercive. Feminists will go to Cairo to bring reproductive and sexual rights into discussions, regardless of the disagreement about concepts and terms. Securing women's rights is viewed by feminists as inseparable from change in economic and gender inequalities, and the distinctions go beyond US feminists' notions of choice. There will be insistence at Cairo on bodily integrity, equality, cultural diversity, and economic justice.
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  23. 23

    Pope, head of UNFPA discuss problems.

    POPULATION HEADLINERS. 1994 May; (230):8.

    The Pope, in attempts to influence the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held a meeting at the Vatican with Dr. Sadik, Executive Director of UNFPA and Secretary General of the ICPD. At that time, the Pope strongly criticized population programs that try to impose limits on family size. Of particular concern were programs that try to persuade couples to have 1-2 children. Dr. Sadik commented that the disagreement was really over contraception, and the access to control of one's own fertility. There were also points of agreement. The Vatican had also called a meeting of all ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, which is about 120. The purpose was to explain the Church's position on population and development prior to the ICPD meetings in Cairo during September 5-13, 1994. It is a rare occasion when all ambassadors are summoned to the Vatican for a meeting. Diplomatic sources said that the meeting was a direct attempt to influence the ICPD. It was officially reported that the Pope will address the General Assembly in October. This will be the first time that Pope John Paul II has addressed the assembly since 1979. Archbishop Martino commented that the Pope would be commemorating the Year of the Family and the 50th Anniversary of the UN. The address will be directed to issues about the family.
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  24. 24

    Threats, protests greet conference.

    Struck D

    BALTIMORE SUN. 1994 Sep 4; 10A.

    In preparation for the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development, Egypt has deployed 14,000 police to protect participants from threatened violence. The Vatican has joined forces with Muslim fundamentalists to condemn the conference as a vehicle for imposing Western ideals, particularly abortion, on Third world countries. In addition, the opposition is raising the specter of a descent of homosexuals onto Cairo and Muslim fundamentalists have threatened to murder Western representatives. A suit filed by Islamic lawyers, aimed at stopping the conference, failed. Sudan and Saudi Arabia plan to boycott the conference, and it remains uncertain whether Libya will be represented. Conference organizers have not been deterred by the threats and note that the controversy has drawn public attention to the central issues under debate.
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  25. 25

    Church or state? The Holy See at the United Nations.

    Center for Reproductive Law and Policy. International Program

    New York, New York, Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, International Program, 1994 Jul 3. [6] p. (Reproductive Freedom at the U.N.)

    As a participant in the United Nations, the Roman Catholic Church is in a position to influence international deliberations on women's rights and family planning. The Holy See, headed by the Pope, occupies a non-member state permanent observer position. However, there are questions as to whether the Holy See met the criteria or this position when it was granted in 1964 since it did not maintain diplomatic relations with a majority of the member states. Since the United Nations treats the Holy See as if it were a state, the Vatican is able to participate fully and vote in most conferences and the Pope has addressed the General Assembly. Legal scholars note that the Holy See meets only one of the qualifications of a state under international law: the capacity to enter into relations with other states. The Holy See is not a defined territory, lacks a permanent population, and cannot be regarded as an entity that possesses a government. To avoid setting a precedent for the interventions of other religions in international politics or to prevent having the United Nations linked with a particular religious world view, it is recommended the religious entities be denied non-member state status.
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