INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ADOPTS MUNUMENTAL PRO-FAMILY DECLARATION

Autor: ---- Fuente: C-FAM (Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute)

A two-day governmental conference in Doha, Qatar ended on Tuesday with the adoption of a groundbreaking document that endorses the traditional family as the foundation of society. The Doha Declaration reaffirms that the "family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to the widest possible protection and assistance by society and the State," and calls upon all nations to "uphold, preserve and defend the institution of marriage."

The Doha International Conference for the Family was convened by the State of Qatar to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the UN's International Year of the Family. The Doha Conference was the culmination of a series of preparatory events around the world, including a number of high-level regional conferences started in March with the Third World Congress of Families in Mexico City, evidencing the strength of a new international effort to recognize and protect the traditional family as the basis of a stable society.

The Doha Conference attracted hundreds of participants from different countries and cultures, including members of parliaments, scholars, and nongovernmental organizations. Prominent religious speakers included Pope Shenonda III of the Egyptian Coptic Church, Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Daniel Lapin, and Alfonzo Cardinal Lopez Trujillo of the Catholic Church.

The wife of the Emir of Qatar opened the Conference with a speech praising the family as a "sacred institution" that forges a "strong bond between males and females which conforms to human nature in bearing and raising new generations." Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned warned against current attempts "under the guise of modernity" to redefine the traditional religious and cultural understanding of the family.

The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr. Mahatir Mohamad, also delivered a speech in which he called the family the "pillar which stabilizes human society and sustains the good values in human cultures," and linked emerging attempts to redefine the family with the "moral collapse of the human society." Along with some other Muslim speakers, Mohamad also stressed the need for Muslims to become more involved in protecting the family, since in the age of globalization and the mass media, even the Muslim family is showing "cracks in its structure."

Dr. Gary Becker, Nobel laureate in economics, posited that in a modern economy based on knowledge and innovation rather than on industry, a large population spurs rather than checks economic growth. Becker thus echoed Sheika Mozah's call for a "mentality" that views the family not "as a burden to development, but rather as a driving force behind it."

In the same vein, the Doha Declaration calls on governments to "reassess" their "population policies, particularly in countries with below replacement birthrates" and to "ensure that the inherent dignity of human beings is recognized and protected throughout all stages of life."
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