|This year’s International Youth Dayon August 12 happened to be the last day that one of our sons could still be designated a “youth” by the United Nations, as the next day he would turn 25. Our joy at seeing his accomplishments and desire to make the world a better place brought home to me the truth expressed by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres: “The hopes of the world rest on young people.”
One of the most significant debates raging today is over how to help young people prepare to build a better world. The good done by UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) in seeking to protect girls from forced marriages is tragically eclipsed by the larger agenda summarized on its website: “Adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health must be supported. This means providing access to comprehensive sexuality education…. UNFPA partners with other UN agencies and with governments, civil society, young people and youth-serving organizations to actively promote and protect the sexual and reproductive health and human rights of adolescents.”
For those unfamiliar with such rhetoric, it masks a destructive campaign driven by funding from IPPF (International Planned Parenthood Federation), whose infamous brochure Healthy, Happy and Hot is subtitled A young person’s guide to their rights, sexuality and living with HIV. “Remember,” the brochure urges, “it’s your body,” so, “have fun, explore and be yourself!” Much of the brochure borders on the obscene (and cannot be quoted here) while assuring young people that the path to happiness is to assert their “sexual rights” at all costs and without the slightest regard for moral constraints or consequences. In reality, such enticement is a sinister lie, ravaging the lives of young people and undermining their hope for the greatest fulfilment in life and contribution to a better world: a stable, happy family.
It is as part of a family that each human being finds her or his greatest fulfilment, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told the Human Rights Council in Geneva: “The dignity and rights of the individual are not diminished by the attention given to the family. On the contrary, most people find unique protection, nurture and dynamic energy from their membership in a strong and healthy family founded upon marriage between a man and a woman. Moreover, ample evidence has demonstrated that the best interest of the child is assured in a harmonious family environment… with both male and female role models.”
As IOF President Brian Brown addressed a recent World Congress of Families, he eloquently stated, “The family is a fundamental and natural reality, a truth so deeply imbedded in who we are that to deny it is to deny reality itself.” In defending and proclaiming that bedrock reality, IOF seeks to unite and empower leaders to create, in the words of our World Family Declaration, “a culture that honors and enables faithful, fulfilling, and resilient marriages; that recognizes and protects the uniquely valuable contributions of both mothers and fathers to the lives of their children; and that encourages the values and vision necessary for young people to look forward to and prepare for successful marriage and parenting.” Please stand with IOF as we seek to protect and prepare young people, on whom truly “the hopes of the world rest.”