Bill Gates, whose combined wealth is said to exceed $100 billion, has joined the Rockefeller Foundation,
the World Bank, and the Hewlett Foundation in becoming major international supporters of population
Gates, known as the world’s richest man, made a $2.2 billion
donation to the William H. Gates Foundation, a member of Partners in Population and Development, which falls within the scope of the United Nations Population Fund.
An executive summary of the third regular meeting session of the partners revealed that the UNPF had a total annual budget of just $2 billion for all of 1998. Gates’ donation alone surpasses that figure.
According to the document, the work of the partners “takes place in key areas of reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health, and population and development, not only in the member countries but also in a large number of other countries.”
Another big supporter of the U.N.’s population control efforts is first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. On Feb. 9, Mrs. Clinton addressed a forum on population control emphasizing women’s rights in The Hague using language, which can only be described as thinly veiled rhetoric that was supportive of
so-called abortion rights.
“When 600,000 women still die every year due to pregnancy-related causes, this is no time to cut back on our commitment to family planning,” she said during her speech.
The most recent Hague meeting was an outgrowth of an action plan agreed to at the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. “The meeting is examining countries’ achievements in carrying out the Cairo agreement, identifying constraints to be overcome and priorities
in further implementation efforts,” said a published report.
At the meeting Mrs. Clinton also made vague and arbitrary references to the mindset of the rest of the globe, saying, “the world agreed that smaller families and slower population growth are created by choice and opportunities, not coercion and controls.” She also said that by the year 2015, access to reproductive heath and family planning services and information will be available to all, as the ICPD called for, and that the human rights of girls and women will be respected all over the world.
One of the stated goals of the ICPD program is increasing access to “reproductive health services and information” for poor women, “which would, among other things, reduce the number of illegal and unsafe
abortions,” the first lady told attendees. “Government has no place in personal decisions about whether to bring a child into the world,” she said, adding that woman have suffered and died “because governments were making the decisions women themselves should have made.”
Mrs. Clinton said President Clinton has proposed a $25 million contribution to UNFPA, to be paid by taxpayers in the 2000 budget.
“I hope our Congress will support that request,” said Mrs. Clinton.
Before Mrs. Clinton spoke, Rep. Caroline Maloney, D-NY, and Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-GA, held a press conference at the Netherlands Conference Center announcing their support for more U.S. funding for UNFPA. Maloney said she planned to introduce the legislation President Clinton proposed, and
criticized Congress for cutting all UNFPA funding in last year’s budget.
“At a time when countries worldwide are uniting behind the Cairo agenda, the United States is failing to do its fair share. My bill will help correct this imbalance and fulfil the promise we made in 1994,” she said. “One hundred and seventy-nine countries can’t be wrong.” McKinney said she also supports
the measure, and plans to help Maloney try to push it through the House during the current legislative session.
Maloney’s bill would restore the $25 million proposed by President Clinton in 2000, but increase the U.S. contribution to $35 million in 2001.