WYA in action at the UN commission on Population and Development

Monday 30th : the beginning of the 42nd CPD (Commission on Population and Development) at the UN headquarters. The discussion started off pretty one-sided: ignoring the dignity of the human person, and calling everyone to action to reduce the global population, or at least fertility. With almost no opportunity for dissident voices to raise concerns the focus of the discussion, the need for WYA’s work was made very appartent.

We began the day making contacts to propose an alternative to the “reproductive rights/fertility reduction” strategy. Basically we called for a commitment from the international community to meet basic human needs: sanitation, access to clean water, proper nutrition as well as investment to foster job creation. Some areas for concern in the draft agreed document that was on the table included – “developed countries’ levels of both mortality and, particularly fertility remains high” – at this meeting fertility was seen as a greater problem than mortality.

Eventually, WYA representative Wilfrid Roza (me!) had the opportunity to take the floor at the meeting and point out to the assembly of nations, and to the invited “expert presenter,” some lessons learned from Europe’s experience with fertility decline. An official report from the European Union points out that the issue of rapid population ageing, related to fertility decrease, causes economic challenges and social pressures, particularly for older persons. We proposed in our question to the assembly that carefully attention must be paid in creating a large gab between the number of children, the future labour force, and the growing number of seniors that will need increased care.

The so-called expert avoided the question, focusing his response on immigration.

We also noted that one of the NGO interventions dared to quote Margaret Sanger. I’d like to take this opportunity to repeat the quote, since it provides a good illustration of the ideas at work at this Commission: ‘The most merciful thing that the large family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” [Margaret Sanger, Women and the New Race (Eugenics Publ. Co., 1920, 1923)] It’s amazing how such people can still be quoted without any problem by serious people.

“L’acte le plus charitable qu’une famille nombreuse puisse faire pour l’un de ses enfants en bas âge, c’est de le tuer”(1920).

written by a member of the WYA delegation at the CPD 42