Response of Transatlantic Christian Council To Questions on the Future Role and Organization of the Commission on Population and Development

TCC/CCI answered questions on the future role and organisation of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD). This as input for the debate to be held in April 2021 in New York.
Issues such as (the use and liberal interpretations of) Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, comprehensive sex education, marriage and other forms of non-consensual policies, which have the obsessive, almost imperative, attention of some CPD member states, essentially belong to the domain of national legislation.
However, at the UN level, instead of reaching consensus, CPD tries to get these matters done through voting. As a result, new standards on controversial, internationally non-agreed texts are being forced upon developing countries by mostly Western UN member states and liberal NGOs.

TCC/CCI says 'no' to this sexual colonialism!


Statement, February 11, 2021, Bodegraven, The Netherlands –

Response of Transatlantic Christian Council

To Questions on the Future Role and Organization of the Commission on Population and Development

Transatlantic Christian Council is grateful to the Bureau of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) for the opportunity to respond to the questions included in the note circulated by the Chair of the Commission to Permanent Representatives and Permanent Observers to the United Nations (UN) in his letter dated 10 July 2020. As ECOSOC-accredited NGO, interested in the work of the CPD, we attended the Informal brainstorming meeting on the future role and organization of the Commission on Population and Development, 28 January 2021 and are grateful for the invitation to provide written responses by Friday 12 February 2021. We herewith provide it to the indicated contact person Mr. Bela Hovy ( from the Population Division of UN DESA.

General Comment:

We fully adhere to and are in alignment with the Country input as published on the CPD website submitted in writing by

- the Russian Federation

- the United States of America

- the Holy See

and the NGO input of ADF International.

In line with and next to that, please find below some additional response to the questions:

1. Given that the Commission is the only intergovernmental forum focused on the implementation of the Programme of Action of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in the United Nations, how can we improve its work to better assist Member States and the international community at large in advancing the ICPD agenda while contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

- To preserve its respect CPD should stick to the implementation of its mandated tasks.

- Improvement of work could be through better alignment to the core responsibility of CPD, to be focused on the ICPD Plan of Action as the major consensual basis and field of competence for the UN System activities.

- Only universally agreed language and approaches should be presented as a basis zero draft as produced by the bureau of the Commission.

- The sovereignty clause should be in the zero draft from the start, also as an illustration of the intention of all Members to negotiate and produce a non-controversial outcome document.

- Failure to agree on Resolutions in 2015, 2017 and 2018 needs thorough reflections on the reasons and identification of the points of disagreement.

- Among the reasons was a try to impose not-agreed language which was besides the ICPD Program of Action and the 2030 Agenda.

- Among the reasons for countries to make reservations is that they cannot accept non-consensual language and agendas which are against their national laws.

- Introducing and trying to impose controversial language and the pushing of and insisting on ideologic agendas by parts of the membership goes even at the expense of reaching consensus and outcome document. This reprehensible behavior obstructs the procedures and brings the very existence and added value of the CPD in dispute and danger. 


2. Population and development issues and trends, including drivers and impacts, have important implications for the further implementation of the Programme of Action and the achievement of the SDGs. What role can the Commission play in guiding Member States and the international community in responding to these issues and trends?

- The Commission’s role is clearly defined in its terms of reference in ECOSOC resolution 1995/55 of 28 July 1995 and ECOSOC resolution 2016/25 of 27 July 2016. - In identifying and responding to population and development issues and trends the CPD should act, with ample space between the boundaries of its stated mandate.

- The standard intergovernmental procedures should be respected, with the Member States in the driving seat, assisted by the Commission which strives for consensus building by active avoidance of controversial and non-agreed language, with the aim of consensual results.

- Member States are primarily guided by their electorate, which they represent and serve, and by their national framework and legislation. State representatives should be respected for that and never be faced with the threat of imposed policies and resolution language contrary to their national laws.

- Issues as (the use and liberal interpretations of) Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, comprehensive sexuality education, marriage and other non-consensual policies, which have the obsessive, nearly coercive, attention of part of CPD Member States, are essentially in the domain of national legislation. And on the contrary of such agenda’s: several binding UN documents do promote and protect the Right to Life (UNGA 1966: International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 6.1), that in no case abortion should be promoted as a method of family planning (UN ICPD Programme of Action, Section 7.2, Cairo) and that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society (UNGA (1948) Universal Declaration of Human Rights (217A [iii], Article 16(3)). Paris.)


3. In order to address the above questions and issues, would it be desirable or feasible for the Commission to adjust its methods of work (organizational aspects, substantive elements, outcome)? If so, could the practices and experiences of other subsidiary bodies of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) provide any guidance?

- The Commission should serve the Member States and populations best in adjusting or directing the method of work towards striving for consensus-based and topic-focused, concise resolutions.

- Only negotiated and consensual outcomes provide for political and popular support and commitment.

- As pointed out above the Commission should avoid and put away controversial language and agenda’s as insisted on repeatedly by certain Member States, for the most part offensive towards and targeting nations and populations of the developing world.

- Outcomes of regional reviews should be confined to that region and kept outside UN Charter bodies. If for example the Nairobi Summit of 2019 would be valued, as several Member States hope for, then likewise the Geneva Consensus Declaration of 22 October 2019.