What may be the most significant indicator of the good being accomplished by President Donald J. Trump took place not during the presidential debate on the evening of October 22 but a few hours earlier when his Administration led an unprecedented international event—largely ignored by the press—advocating protection for life and family: the virtual ceremonial signing of the Geneva Consensus Declaration.
So called because it was originally intended to be launched in Geneva (before the live meeting of the World Health Assembly was postponed due to COVID-19), the historic declaration—available in English, Spanish, French, Russian, and Arabic—was co-sponsored by the United States and five other nations (Brazil, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Uganda) and signed virtually by a total of 32 nations covering every region of the world and representing over 1.6 billion people, a fifth of humanity. The document remains open for additional signatures (contact [email protected]).
“The Geneva Consensus Declaration is an historic document stating clearly where we as nations stand on women’s health, the family, honoring life, and defending national sovereignty,” explained HHS Secretary Alex Azar at the signing ceremony. “The declaration is much more than a statement of beliefs; it is a critical and useful tool to defend these principles across all United Nations bodies and at every multilateral setting using language previously agreed to by member-states of those bodies.”
Then, in what will be remembered as one of the most courageous acts of leadership ever undertaken by the United States on behalf of family and life, Secretary Azar threw down the gauntlet in announcing a zero tolerance policy for the egregious anti-sovereignty policies that have long haunted the United Nations: “Today we put down a clear marker. No longer can UN agencies reinterpret and misinterpret agreed-upon language without accountability. Member-states set the policy for the UN to pursue, not the other way around. Without apology, we affirm that governments have the sovereign right to make their own laws to protect innocent life and write their regulations on abortion. The stakes are too high to permit radical, divisive agendas to hinder the ability of women in countries at all stages of development to attain better health…. We will denounce these organizations when they overstep their mandates by promoting positions that can never gain consensus. We will unequivocally declare that there is no international right to abortion. We will proudly put women’s health first at every stage of life.”
Only those who have worked with UN delegates bullied by lavishly funded NGOs can fully appreciate what it means to have the might of the United States of America at the head of an international coalition committed to defending family, life, women, and sovereignty.
Following Secretary Azar’s remarks, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared, “Under President Trump’s leadership, the United States has defended the dignity of human life everywhere and always. He has done it like no other president in history. We’ve mounted an unprecedented defense of the unborn abroad. In front of world leaders at the 2019 United Nations General Assembly, President Trump said, quote, ‘We in America believe that every child—born and unborn—is a sacred gift from God.’… Today, we’re taking the next step, as we sign the Geneva Consensus Declaration. At its very core, the declaration protects women’s health, defends the unborn, and reiterates the vital importance of the family as the foundation of society.”
Repeatedly quoting United Nations conference documents and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Consensus Declaration affirms, inter alia, the “dignity and worth of the human person”; that “every human being has the inherent right to life”; that “the child… needs special safeguards and care… before as well as after birth”; that “the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”; that “motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance”; and that “women play a critical role in the family” and make an indispensable “contribution to the welfare of the family and to the development of society.”
Never in history has there been such a courageous, concerted international effort to protect family, life, women, and children. The Administration of President Donald J. Trump is making an unprecedented difference for the United States and the world.