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Nairobi Population Conference refutes US claim it was exclusionary

Conference organisers said the statement by the US government and its allies was not true.

The Director of Communication and Strategic Partnership in UNFPA, Arthur Erken, gives his remarks in a press conference at the Nairobi Summit on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) on 14 November 2019 in Nairobi, Kenya. Picture: AFP

NAIROBI - The organisers of the 2019 International Conference on Population and Development refuted claims by the United States and nine other countries that the gathering was exclusionary and applied misleading language.

The conference concluded in Nairobi on Thursday.

The US, together with nine other countries, held a media briefing on Thursday where they claimed that the conference denied access to pro-life activists and applied language used to aggressively promote abortion, which they did not support.

Conference organisers said the statement by the US government and its allies was not true.

The US government claimed that unlike the first International Conference on Population and Development in 1994 in Cairo, the Nairobi conference only consulted a few countries.

They further claimed that the governments of Kenya, Denmark and the United Nations Population Fund, who organised the gathering, were not transparent with organising the conference.

Denmark's ambassador Ib Peterson said the US and its allies misunderstood the conference.

“As we said right in the beginning, this is not a UN official summit because it’s an initiative taken by Kenya, Denmark and the UN Population Fund.”

United Nations Population Fund director of communications Arthur Erken has denied claims that the conference was exclusionary and non-transparent.

“I think this is one of the most transparent summits that I’ve attended in my life. Everything has been up on the website, everyone comes here voluntarily.”

Over 9,000 people from 160 countries participated in the conference.

They pledged to end major healthcare challenges of women and girls by 2030.

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