From 1974 to 1984, world conditions – both economic and political – were not conducive to encouraging development in the Third World. Developed countries, themselves, were struggling to cope with adverse conditions.
A world recession, high interest rates, distortion in the international monetary system, failure of national and international financial institutions, and high unemployment rates, all affected the standard of living in the developed world.
As a result, the poorer areas of the world suffered even more. Meanwhile, as a result of continuing political tension, the international co-operation and help envisaged at Bucharest remained an unfulfilled dream. Political instability, local wars, military interventions, super-power rivalry between the U.S. and the USSR, and the arms race did nothing to encourage the flowering of international aid and the UN’s vision of a “one-world global village.”
NSSM 200 – The Kissinger Report
A good deal has already been written about NSSM 200 –Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for US Security and Overseas Interests, December 1974 (known as the Kissinger Report). This highly secret document, which was declassified by the White House in 1990, revealed that the U.S. had its own agenda for international population control. The policies were based on the principle that development and population growth in Third World countries must not be allowed to threaten the economic and strategic security of the United States. The report demonstrated how competition from developing nations could adversely affect the market economy of the U.S. both by increasing the prices of strategic raw materials imported into the U.S., and by lowering the selling price of manufactured goods for export. Moreover, it is possible that population growth in some countries could pose threats to transportation routes, or even political security.
Therefore, the U.S. policies identify 13 nations most likely to harm American interests, and then held forth the carrot and the stick for population control. The carrot was increased aid if contraception, sterilization and abortion were promoted; the stick was applied to countries opposed to such measures, and they were refused aid for development.
Then, in order to hide the fact that the U.S. was dictating population policies to poorer nations, the Kissinger Report suggested that U.S. funds be channeled through UN Non Government Agencies (NGOs) such as International Planned Parenthood Federation, on the Population Council.
The U.S, Population Policies since 1974 (even during the Reagan and Bush administrations) have been based on the recommendations of the Kissinger Report.
The UB Conference: Mexico City – 1984 Conference Proceedings
The two main objectives of the Conference were to review and appraise the World Plan of Action, passed at Bucharest, and to make recommendations for further implementation of the Plan. The UN Secretary-General of the Conference, R. Salas, suggested specific targets in his address:
- Stabilization of world population should be the over-riding objective of population policies.
- All parents should have the means to control the size of their families. [contraceptives, sterilization, abortion]
- National goals and policies should be consistent with global (i.e. UN) policies. (Population Bulletin of the UN, 1986)
Global Population Policies
In effect, Salas was asking all sovereign nations to subordinate their population policies (and these included immigration) to those of an international body, namely the United Nations. Not surprisingly, most nations refused. The UN Bulletin admitted: “The call for a universal population policy at the Mexico City conference has not been met with much success. It seems that efforts to formulate a universal policy – as urgent as it is – may be premature.”
The President of Mexico, M. de la Madrid Hurtado, was more realistic. “A spirit of harmony in conformity with principles of co-existence, international co-operation, justice, freedom, development, and respect for human rights is a prerequisite for the further development of population policy. One should certainly look for ‘a better future for the world’s population’ – a future of peace and justice free of racial prejudice and discrimination, a future marked by international solidarity and co-operation, and one without dominance and exploitation.” The President of Mexico did not see that “spirit of harmony” in the world in 1984, and few would claim it exists in 1994.
The lack of response for a universal population policy, including international migration did not end the argument. The issues were merely moved to the agenda for 1994 in Cairo, with hopes for greater success.
The election of President Ronald Reagan to the White House in 1980 caused another UN setback. The policy papers of the United States for Mexico reflected the pro-life views of the President and stated bluntly: “…the United States does not consider abortion an acceptable element of family planning programs and will no longer contribute to those of which it is a part.” Subsequently, the debate in Mexico resulted in an international consensus that “in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning.”
Canada’s Role in Mexico
It is not surprising that very few Canadians remember much about the UN Population Conference in Mexico, because during the first part of 1984 the nation’s attention was focused on domestic affairs. The media were so fully occupied by Trudeau’s resignation, a Liberal leadership campaign, and (almost immediately) a federal election, that the UN conference passed by almost unnoticed.
There were other reasons to explain the little public interest in the Conference. An article by Sabina McLuhan, “Canadian Government sends secret pro-abortion group to Mexico,” (Interim, September, 1983) makes it clear that for six months the Canadian people were deliberately kept in the dark about the government policies on Population and Development to be adopted for the conference. The Canadian Population Task Force, appointed by the government, was chaired by a Winnipeg doctor, Tom Roulson – a former vice-president of International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) – and it was packed with abortion promoters. Pro-lifers were strictly excluded from both the task force which drew up the policies, and from the delegation to Mexico. Mrs. McLuhan quotes from an article by Peter Calamai, of the Southam News Service, in the Hamilton Spectator, August 4, 1994. He wrote: “A source involved in the Canadian planning said the secretive approach was deliberately chosen to freeze out the pro-life lobby. That lobby had nothing to contribute to the debate about population policy and would only create controversy.”
From what we have learned since, it is clear that our Members of Parliament were also kept in the dark. A few chosen people (who were neither elected by, nor responsible to the people of Canada) were the decision makers on Canada’s national and international population policies.
The United Nations: from International to Supranational
If we look back over the forty years between the first population conference in Rome, 1954, to the fifth conference in Cairo, 1994, we can see that – without realizing it – the United Nations has evolved from an international organization to fully independent and sovereign states, to one where the UN is claiming a supranatural status above and beyond all countries.
The UN was never intended to be a world government which would dictate to member states how many children should be born, or that sex education be mandatory in schools, or who should be allowed the right to immigrate, or who make up a family. Nor did Canadians ever intend their government to hand over decisions which rightly belong to Canadian families – and in some cases to Parliament – to a tribunal of other nations in the U.N.
What is clear, however, and with the benefit of hindsight, is that in every one the first four conferences the seeds of change were sown, and these came to fruition in the conferences which followed.
The First Population conference was essentially a pooling of knowledge of international experts in statistics and the new discipline of demography. However, even at that stage “there were undercurrents” according to The Population Bulletin of the United Nations, 1956. “But underneath a new ideology – that of the United Nations – was slowly shaping a new concept of universal demography. The process was invisible…”
But the spirit of Malthus was there. It is undeniable that for much of the world there was little or no reliable information on the size or densities of population, and an equal dearth on economics, and social and cultural conditions. But lack of evidence did not stop the Malthusian element from equating large populations with poor development. This was a seed I the UN concept of universal demography.
The Second Population Conference in Belgrade was largely a continuation of the one I Rome, but by 1965 the experts had extended demography to include economic and social conditions, population policy, and fertility and family planning. For the first time fertility was seen as a key factor in population policy and “a significant component for development.” Within a decade there had been a shift in the experts’ opinions of who had the right to control the size of a family; the parents, or the state?
“In 1954 the right of an individual parent to control the number of his or her children was regarded as a basic human right and leading principle for governmental policy; in 1965 that principle was placed in its social and international context. It was stipulated at Belgrade that the formulation and implementation of population policy was a matter of sovereign decision on the part of each country concerned and an important component of economic and social development. It was also stipulated that, population policy and assistance to development were, by their very nature, not alternative policies but complementary and supporting ones.” (Population Bulletin of the UN).
There were no policy decisions or resolutions at Rome or Belgrade but enough contentious issues had been raised to provide some of the agenda foe Bucharest. At that convention delegates would have the authority to commit their governments to UN policy decisions.
Following the trend established at Belgrade, the UN Conference affirmed the right of a national government (not the parents) to decide its own population policies. However, as Professor Charles Rice of the University of Notre Dame, pointed out, the Bucharest Plan of Action was in fact “a summons to the creation of an international population control apparatus” in the future. Fertility control, with a worldwide universal family planning (contraception and sterilization) was a major issue.
Foreshadowing a major threat that would come in Cairo was the suggestion that the tradition family was outmoded, and “family” should be defined to accommodate “people with different life style.”
The attempt to subordinate national population policies under an international (UN) policy was thought ‘premature,’ and was not acceptable.
Women’s groups, wanting empowerment and abortion, gained in influence.
It is important to note, albeit briefly, that many of the NGOs (IPPF, the Population council, the World Bank) have played an important role in steering the UN towards compulsory sex education, world-wide abortion, and a one-world government (UN) population control. Pro-life and pro-family people should be warned that the coming Women’s Conference in Beijing will be a minefield of dangers for all who value religious freedom, human life, and family values.
And so to Cairo: 1994
All the roads from Rome, Belgrade, Bucharest and Mexico led to Cairo, with more anti-life baggage at every stop. In Cairo, all the anti-life, anti-family nations and organizations were there to support the UN’s plan for its own domination in world population control from methods of contraception to same-sex unions.
Cairo is not the end of the journey for the United Nations.