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Paraguayan bishops speak out at OAS General Assembly amid threats to life and family

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The Presidential Palace in Asuncion, Paraguay on July 10, 2015. / Credit: Alan Holdren/CNA

ACI Prensa Staff, Jun 27, 2024 / 09:30 am (CNA).

With the 54th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) taking place in Paraguay through June 28, the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference (CEP) along with other leaders in the South American country are emphasizing the importance of defending the fundamental values ​​of life and family.

The central theme of this year’s general assembly is: “Integration and Security for the Sustainable Development of the Region.”

In a statement about this week’s meeting, the CEP recognized the value of organizations like the OAS “that work for peace in the region, understanding between peoples, democratic institutions, and respect for human rights on our continent.”

However, the bishops also expressed their concern about certain resolutions that could be approved during the assembly that go against Paraguay’s constitution.

“The constitutional framework of our country protects life and family as fundamental values ​​on which our national society is built. The right to life is inherent to the human person, with the family being the foundation of society,” they noted, urging Paraguayan authorities to object to any resolution that may affect national sovereignty.

The CEP recalled that “the Church firmly believes in the value of life from conception to natural death and in the family, founded on the marriage of a man and a woman; therefore, we urge respect for these convictions of our people, which are guaranteed and protected by the constitution.”

Valeria Insfrán, president of the Citizen Network for Children and Adolescents, expressed similar concerns. “That the assembly is held in Paraguay is a great opportunity for the current government that declares itself pro-life and pro-family to establish firm and forceful positions in support of national interests,” Insfrán told ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner.

Specter of censorship and harmful draft resolutions

Insfrán specifically expressed concern over acts of censorship and discrimination within the organization of the assembly.

“We have seen clear signs of discrimination on the part of the organization… They have excluded several coalitions and organizations that are critical of the progressive agenda that wants to influence the Inter-American Human Rights System,” she said, pointing out that this exclusion goes against the principle of plurality and participation that should prevail in the assembly.

In addition, she raised objections to several draft resolutions, which include concepts such as “hate speech” and “reproductive rights,” which she pointed out “are not rights” but are “deeply deconstructive of the nature of the human being.”

“Another worrisome concept is ‘women in all their diversity,’ which is found in the draft human rights resolution and which is not part of the international human rights treaties, nor can it be inferred from their interpretation. This concept attempts to redefine the term woman to include men who perceive themselves as women, which puts women’s rights, opportunities, and security at serious risk,” Insfrán explained.

Insfrán also called attention to the draft resolution on feminist policies titled “American States for Substantive Equality and the Full, Equal, Meaningful and Effective Participation of All Women through Their Foreign Policies.”

“The entire project is developed from a radical feminist viewpoint, it states that women are subjected to a structural system of exclusion and inequality, promoting opposition to men, ignoring the natural complementarity between men and women,” she pointed out.

Election of judges during the assembly

Another pro-life and pro-family advocacy group scheduled to participate in meetings with the heads of delegation of the OAS member states is the Coalition for Human Development of Human Life International (HLI). The organization indicated that this year three judges of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights will be elected.

“Of the five candidates nominated by the member states, there are two profiles completely aligned with the principles of the social doctrine of the Church and human dignity, two profiles that imply high risks for life and family, and one profile that, while contrary to life and family, poses a more moderate risk,” HLI stated.

The coalition is promoting the following candidates: Alberto Borea Odría from Peru and Diego Moreno Rodríguez from Paraguay. The candidates who represent the least desirable options in relation to life and family were identified as Leticia Bonifaz Alonso from Mexico and Ricardo César Pérez Manrique from Uruguay. Carlos Rodríguez Mejía, from Colombia, is considered to be a moderate risk in these policy dimensions.

Both the Paraguayan Bishops’ Conference and Insfrán called on the OAS deliberations in Paraguay to contribute to the good of nations, protect the most vulnerable sectors, care for the environment, and combat transnational organized crime.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.


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