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Nation aims to keep family perspective
By Wu Chong (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-12-09 01:12

Global participants for the World Family Summit unanimously backed a Sanya Declaration yesterday, which urges the United Nations to include family perspectives in its five-year review of Millennium Development Goals.

In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the World Family Year, the summit concluded yesterday in South China's Hainan Province after a discussion of 11 topics concerning family issues and goals.

The declaration urges all countries to include family perspectives in their national development strategies and to strengthen programme partnerships.

"We are very positive the UN will take the declaration into full consideration,'' said Deisi Noeli Weber Kusztra, president of the World Family Organization (WFO).

China, with 20 per cent of the world's population, has vowed to fully endorse the declaration,Zhang Weiqing, minister of the National Population and Family Planning Commission, said at the summit's closing ceremonies.

He said by the end of this year, China will have a total population of 1.3 billion, with 374 million families.

"We are suggesting that international organizations, governments and various non-governmental organizations should form a more robust partnership in promoting the healthy development of families,'' said Zhang.

"China hopes to take advantage of this summit to step up collaboration with international communities and governments in population and family sectors.''

And he echoed other signatories, noting that governments should welcome civil society organizations and families in general to participate in the formulation and implementation of family-focused policies and programmes.

The Sanya Declaration includes a number of commitments from 127 WFO members to integrate family issues, including gender equality, AIDS prevention, poverty alleviation and environmental protection.

For example, it urges governments to enhance political commitments and to ensure sufficient resources to care for and support HIV or infected people of those suffering from AIDS

It also encourages the participation of youth in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating adolescent programmes, in particular health programmes that include health education that focuses on sexual and reproductive health.

NPFPC Vice-Minister Zhao Baige said it is a big success for the declaration to recognize the importance of reproductive health in family development, which is firmly backed by the Chinese Government.

The World Family Summit will be held annually since this year during the first week of December to follow up the implementation of Sanya Declaration country by country, said Kustztra. And next year the event will be celebrated in Brazil.

The WFO points out that continuous decreases in the size of families, aging populations, increases in migrants and the AIDS epidemic are making huge impacts on families throughout the globe.

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