BUSH ADMINISTRATION TO SEND UNITED NATIONS FAMILY PLANNING 'ASSESSMENT' TEAM TO CHINA

May 1, 2002
Press Release

Washington, D.C.- Today the State Department announced the selection of a three-member team that will visit China this month to provide an 'objective' assessment of the activities of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

"This Administration has been dancing around this issue for too long and as a consequence women around the world have become the victims of President Bush's need to satisfy his right-wing. I am confident that the team will return from China with a fair report of UNFPA's work, similar to that of the delegation of Members of Parliament from the United Kingdom, so we expect that the money will be released immediately upon their return," said Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney in a statement today.

"I am confident that the Administration picked this team based on their ability to be unbiased and independent. The Administration should also announce the dates of the trip, make clear what interpretation of Kemp-Kasten they will be applying, and then share their findings with Members of Congress upon their return," she added.

Background:

On April 18, 2002, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage testified before the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing that: "Interesting to you, to me, to others would be that a British delegation from organizations who are very skeptical about the policies of the government of China went recently on a similar-type mission and came back with actually very positive things to say. It was reported in our diplomatic traffic about the UNFPA activities in China, just for the record."

In January, 2001, the Bush Administration said the following: "[The President] knows that one of the best ways to prevent abortion is by providing quality voluntary family planning services."

Congress demonstrated its strong bipartisan support for a voluntary United States contribution to UNFPA of up to $34,000,000 in adopting the fiscal year 2002 foreign operations appropriations bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives on a vote of 357 to 66 and by the Senate by unanimous consent and signed into law (Public Law 107-115) by the President on January 10, 2002.

The United States Government, as part of its efforts to improve the dire health conditions of Afghan women, pledged in October 2001 and additional $600,000 to UNFPA to address the reproductive health care needs of Afghan refugees.

###