We should not allow pro-abortion groups to hijack the ICPD25 Summit, US Ambassador to Kenya Kyle McCarter has said pro-abortion groups are using this week’s conference as a vehicle to try and further their agenda.
Kenya, Denmark and UNFPA are co-hosting the International Conference on Population and Development, 25 years since it was held in Cairo, where 179 governments adopted a landmark Programme of Action that set out “to empower women and girls for their sake, and for the benefit of their families, communities and nations”.
In an opinion article in the dailies, Ambassador McCarter said, “And while we appreciate Kenya’s desire to host this week’s conference as a recognition of progress, the reality is that pro-abortion groups are using it as a vehicle to try and further their agenda.”
“ Unfortunately, these groups are attempting to re-write ICPD’s Programme of Action language agreed to by 179 governments in 1994 within a carefully negotiated Programme of Action with an alternative set of commitments that go beyond what was agreed to by member states in the original ICPD,” he added.
The summit aims to bring various stakeholders “interested in the pursuit of sexual and reproductive health and rights”.
However, the US envoy said the term “Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” “is being sold as if it were akin to the original consensus terms of sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights”.
“This is an attempted overreach, as “sexual rights” is a concept undefined by intergovernmental consensus,” McCarter said.
Although he did not mention UNFPA, McCarter said UN organisations should not overstep their mandates and undermine the hard-fought inter-governmental consensus of governments.
“Global bureaucrats have absolutely no business attacking the sovereignty of nations that wish to protect innocent life. Like many nations here today, we in America believe that every child, born and unborn, is a sacred gift from God,” he said.
The Ambassador has been on record opposing abortion, and he once criticized Governor Bruce Rauner’s decision to sign a bill to provide state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions.
He is also anti-same-sex unions.
Some clerics last week opposed the summit, arguing that it could be used to promote immorality.
“We reject the introduction of ideologies centered on gender and other alien practices that go against our African culture and our religious heritage,” Chairman of Kenya Catholic Church Bishops Phillip Anyolo said.
This attracted President Uhuru Kenyatta’s attention who said the organisers should not tolerate any other discourse apart from a discussion on the alleviation of Female Genital Mutilation and gender-based violence.
“Next week, we have visitors here who will discuss varied topics. We shall agree on issues of fighting gender-based violence and FGM, but if they bring issues against our African culture then we shall not agree with them,” Uhuru said at State House, Nairobi, on Friday.