KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 – The Trump administration, together with 18 nations, are pushing the United Nations (UN) to oppose “ambiguous terms” relating to sexual and reproductive health in policy documents.
CNN reported United States Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar as saying during a high-level meeting on universal health coverage during the UN General Assembly in New York City that such language could “promote practices, like abortion.”
“We do not support references to ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights in UN documents, because they can undermine the critical role of the family and promote practices, like abortion, in circumstances that do not enjoy international consensus and which can be misinterpreted by UN agencies,” Azar said yesterday, while standing next to health officials from Guatemala, Brazil, Iraq, Poland and Hungary.
The US was speaking on behalf of 18 other countries, namely Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
“We therefore request that the UN, including UN agencies, focus on concrete efforts that enjoy broad consensus among member states. To that end, only documents that have been adopted by all Member States should be cited in UN resolutions,” Azar was quoted saying.
Previously in April, the US used the threat of its veto power on the UN Security Council to demand significant changes to a resolution on sexual violence because the resolution contained language about “sexual and reproductive health.”