At the conclusion of its 2009 conference, the fifth World Congress of Families (WCF) has issued the Amsterdam Declaration on the Family. The document defends the natural family as the “fundamental group unit of society,” which “is entitled to protection by society and the State.”
The Congress, which took place from August 10 to 12 in Amsterdam, saw an assembly of thousands representing families and organizations from over 60 nations gather to discuss a “family-centered approach” to resolve many of the world’s problems.
The Amsterdam Declaration reaffirmed that the family rests upon “the lifelong marriage of a man to a woman, for the purposes of welcoming and nurturing new human life, providing love, companionship, and mutual support, building a home rich in functions, and strengthening the bonds of the generations.”
Numerous speakers broached subjects ranging from demography to encroachment of Western societal experiments on developing nations to the role that men in monogamous relationships must play in protecting and bolstering the traditional family.
Speaking of the “Gendercide in Asia” during a discussion on “Family and Demography”, Steven W. Mosher, President of the Population Research Institute said, “A recent United Nations Population Fund report says at least 60 million girls are ‘missing’ in Asia because of sex-selective abortion, infanticide and neglect. The most egregious example is China, where a brutally enforced one-child policy has produced a national ratio of 117 boys born for every 100 girls.”
Mosher observed that policies that limit the number of children a family may have contribute to the trend of sex-selective abortions and that the “chilling reality in many countries in Asia” is becoming more widespread.
Citing the British medical journal The Lancet, which estimates as many as half a million unborn girls are aborted in India each year because of their gender, Mosher stated that “the problem extends beyond India” and will result in disastrous consequences.
A panel discussion held for members of the media with the theme “The Developing World is the First World of the Family,” heard His Majesty, Drolor Basso Adamley I, King of Ghana state that the developing world can make a significant contribution in promoting the natural family to Western society.
“When it comes to policies and cultural attitudes that promote the Natural Family, the rest of the world can make a significant contribution and has a great deal to teach the West,” the king said.
Panelist Christine Vollmer, founder of the Latin American Alliance for the Family, echoed King Adamley’s thoughts and said, “the underdeveloped world is beginning to teach the developed world humanity.”
Yuri Mantilla, director of International Government Affairs for Focus on the Family, observed that the view in developing countries is that “population is not the problem,” and spoke of “a neo cultural imperialism” which “promotes a culture of death” with its policies of abortion, devaluation of the natural family and traditional marriage, and the advocating of population control at a time of worldwide population decline.
An observation suggested by the moderator of the panel discussion, Larry Jacobs, Managing Director of the World Congress of Families projects, that the tradition of referring to developing countries as the “Third World” can be inaccurate in many respects, met with unanimous agreement.
While the economies of many Western nations are more robust than those of developing countries, Jacobs noted that economy is only one measure of the wealth of a society and when it comes to the strength of the family, some countries in the so-called “third world” are actually the “first world.”
At another seminar, Dr. Pat Fagan of the Family Research Council spoke to the WCF gathering on the need to strengthen the role of the traditional family in society and stated that men in monogamous relationships hold the key to bolstering the traditional family unit.
“Let monogamous men get serious about protecting their children and their families, and obtaining justice for them,” Fagan said.
“The monogamous culture has never encountered this form of competition ever before in human history,” Fagan warned, and urged monogamous men to defend the pillars of traditional society.
“The education, health, and social welfare bureaucracies do not serve the monogamy culture,” he noted, “and it cannot serve two masters well – but parents can.”
The Amsterdam Declaration on the Family, (full text available here, (http://www.earnedmedia.org/wcf08123.htm ) proposes the natural family as the solution to poverty, with support for those in extreme poverty being given in “a family context.” At the same time family home ownership, micro-enterprises and renewal of rural economies should be encouraged as rich alternatives to migration to the cities.
The Declaration states that “the future of nations rests on families that are spiritually grounded” and stresses that “religious organizations should be free to uphold their own moral teachings about marriage and family in the public square.”
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is an international network of pro-family organizations, scholars, leaders and people of goodwill from more than 60 countries that seek to restore the natural family as the fundamental social unit and the ‘seedbed’ of civil society. There have been four World Congresses of Families – Prague (1997), Geneva (1999), Mexico City (2004) and Warsaw, Poland (2007).