U.N.´s AIDS Document Satisfies Pro-family Groups

Doesn´t Recognize Homosexual Couples

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NEW YORK, JUNE 28, 2001 (Zenit.org).- Pro-family organizations are satisfied with a U.N. declaration of commitment on HIV/AIDS since the document does not include the recognition of same-sex marriage, a lobbying group says.



Debate was tense at the U.N. Conference on AIDS leading up to Wednesday night´s agreement on a strategy to combat the pandemic. At the last minute, the 189-member General Assembly unanimously adopted the 20-page Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS.

Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) reported: "Pro-family delegations declared victory today on the wording of the U.N. Draft Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS, claiming that delegations from the European Union and Canada failed in their efforts to use the document to impose what some describe as a gay-rights agenda, including gay marriage, on the rest of the world."

CFAM said the conference almost failed to reach consensus because of a proposal sponsored by the European Union and Canada. The latter argued that the declaration should refer to a little-known document, "United Nations International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights."

When other countries examined these guidelines, they discovered that they would be expected to legalize homosexual unions, promote abortion for women and girls, provide wide-ranging "reproductive services" to children without their parents consent, legalize prostitution, and transform their legal systems.

CFAM said the United States supported the Vatican´s objections to policies that promote the isolation of individuals considered "at risk." Moreover, the United States also won inclusion of language about the effectiveness of sexual abstinence and fidelity.

With some reservations, Archbishop Renato Martino, permanent observer of the Vatican at the United Nations, told Vatican Radio that he is pleased with the results of the conference.

The approved document commits governments to develop serious national policies against the epidemic from now until 2003. The objective is to reduce by half the contamination between mothers and children before 2010, and to distribute information and medicines by 2005 at affordable prices. The text also requests special attention for women and girls who have been victims of rape.

The conference attracted 3,000 governmental officials, activists, AIDS patients and pharmaceutical industry officials.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has created a fund to collect between $7 billion and $10 billion every year to respond to the crisis. Developing countries now spend about $2 billion on combating AIDS.

The disease has caused the death of close to 22 million people, and left 13 million children orphaned. African alone has 25 million AIDS cases.