Magazine article UN Chronicle

UNFPA Executive Director Expresses 'Deep Distress' at Impending Cut in United States Contribution

Magazine article UN Chronicle

UNFPA Executive Director Expresses 'Deep Distress' at Impending Cut in United States Contribution

Article excerpt

UNFPA Executive Director expresses "deep distress' at impending cut in United States contribution

Rafael M. Salas, Executive Director of the United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), has expressed "deep distress' over the decision of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to withhold $10 million of its 1985 contribution to the Fund.

"Withdrawal of a commitment firmly made can only jeopardize the future of multilateral co-operation in population and other development activities', he said. The United States pledge for 1985 was $46 million, the first instalment of which--$36 million--was paid in March.

USAID Administrator M. Peter McPherson said that United States legislation requires that Agency to withhold funding from UNFPA if it participates in management of "a participates in management of "a programme of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization'. On 25 September, USAID announced it would reprogramme the balance of its 1985 pledge to UNFPA because of its participation in managing the family planning programme of China, as there was "sufficient evidence' that implementation of that country's "one-child-per family' policy "has resulted in these abuses'.

Mr. Salas on 26 September stated "categorically' that the conclusions drawn by USAID were "in error'. The charges, he said, had been "refuted by USAID itself, after careful reviews of UNFPA assistance to China' and by the Government of China. A statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry condemned the United States statement as "distorting China's population policy and falsely accusing China of practicing so-called forced abortion'.

Mr. Salas pointed out that the United States, a member of the UNFPA Governing Council, had not raised any questions regarding the Chinese programme during deliberations in June 1985 and previously. …

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