Colombia announced its adherence to the Geneva Consensus Declaration on May 13, in a special session to celebrate Family Day at the Organization of American States (OAS). This session was requested by the Brazilian government, which sent a delegation headed by the Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Cristiane Britto, to New York in advance to encourage the countries of the continent to join the Declaration. Brazil has been in charge of the secretariat of the signatory countries since last year.
For Minister Britto, the incorporation of Colombia represents a great victory for the agenda of the life and the family in our continent. The step taken by President Iván Duque is the result of months of proactive work by the Brazilian government, especially Ángela Gandra, National Secretary for the Family, and the Institute for Women’s Health. For Gandra, the Geneva Consensus is a valuable instrument to strengthen the voice of the family in the international arena.
We spoke with Gandra, who is a member of the Advisory Council of the Political Network for Values and will be one of the speakers at our IV Transatlantic Summit in Budapest.
How do you assess Colombia’s adherence to the Geneva Consensus?
It is a big step, since recently the Constitutional Court of that country authorized abortion up to six months of gestation. The decision of President Iván Duque’s government is an example of respect for human rights and also for democracy.
Do you expect the integration of others in the short term?
Yes, some countries are already preparing to join soon. And all the signatories are committed and eager to seek more accessions.
Why is the Geneva Consensus Declaration important?
I have no doubt that the Declaration is today one of the most perfect documents in defense of the pillars of human rights. It very clearly defends the value of human dignity, women’s health, the integrity of the family and respect for the sovereignty of States.
The announcement of the incorporation of Colombia took place within the framework of Family Day…
Yes, the Geneva Consensus is a valuable instrument to strengthen the voice of the family in the international arena. We celebrated Family Day both at our mission to the United Nations (UN) in New York and at a special session at the OAS requested by Brazil. It was in the latter that the Colombian government joined the Declaration. In both events we presented our government programs, we talked about the importance of uniting internationally to strengthen the voice of the family and exchange effective public policies, as well as expand adherence to the Geneva Consensus.
Family Day was instituted by the UN in 1994. Some pro-family environments have a certain reluctance to celebrate it given the aggressive ideologization of the organization in recent decades.
The family deserves to be celebrated always, especially in an organization that defends it as a human right in its Universal Declaration. I believe that we must seek and highlight what unites us and what is essentially human, renewing our energies to protect it and project it as a social foundation.
Why is it important that governments and public entities safeguard and promote the family in its natural structure?
Because it is the safest path for true economic and social development and for the integral flourishing of each human being. If family ties are strengthened, children can grow up safe, loved, respected and educated, and risk behaviors can be prevented. In this sense, it is also for this reason that the State has the obligation to protect the Family; because in it life is generated, and it is necessary to ensure its stability, its healthy development and the correct upbringing of children.
With what social impact?
It avoids a lot of problems, public expenses and, above all, a lot of human suffering. Betting on the family is really the most positive, effective and efficient public policy we can have.