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 You are in: Under Secretary for Political Affairs > Bureau of International Organization Affairs > Reports to Congress, U.S. Votes, Fact Sheets, Testimony > Other Remarks > 2002

U.S. Decision Regarding UNFPA Funding

Sichan Siv, U.S. Representative to the UN Economic and Social Council
Statement at the UNFPA Board Meeting
New York, New York
September 24, 2002

Released by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations

Mr. President, Madam Executive Director,

We welcome the opportunity to speak today and to explain the United States decision regarding funding of UNFPA. The United States has long been an active supporter of the Fund. As you may be aware, we determined in July that we could not fund UNFPA this year because of its program in China. That program triggered the Kemp-Kasten Amendment of our Foreign Assistance Act. Kemp-Kasten specifies that no U.S. Government funds be used in a program that "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization."

We carefully considered the facts before making our decision. Secretary of State Powell sent an assessment team to China in May. The team spent two weeks there. It learned that UNFPA, through its 4th Country Program, provides more than 70% of the funds it spends in China directly to the Chinese State Family Planning Commission (SFPC). Based on the teamís findings, a review of Chinese laws, U.S. Human Rights Reports, and other information, the Secretary concluded that the UNFPA China program supported and participated in the management of a program of coercive abortion in violation of Kemp-Kasten.

We urge reforms of UNFPAís China program. Such reforms could include building a "firewall" between the Fund and the Government of China, and expanding UNFPAís use of independent international NGOs. Reforms should also ensure that UNFPA institutes a monitoring regime to ensure the program does not support or participate in the management of a program of coercive abortion.

China agreed, at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), to an important principle: the right of women to choose the number of their children. Therefore, China should respect the right of Chinese women to choose -- voluntarily and without coercion -- the number of their children. Social compensation fees must be eliminated, along with other coercive practices. Chinaís state birth planning program should use only voluntary means. The United States will work with UNFPA and the Chinese government to develop a program, which follows these important principles.

We hope these reforms can be achieved quickly, so that the United States can again fund UNFPA. We have supported UNFPA from its inception and have a long record of funding the programs. We want to be able to fund UNFPA again and continue to work closely with its leadership in supporting its program goals.

Thank you.

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