In a nation facing the perils of declining population as a consequence of decades of Soviet central planning, policies to keep mothers in the paid workforce and legalised abortion, the Moscow Demographic Summit has set a new agenda for addressing the greatest challenge to the future of Western civilisation.
The summit, attended by about a thousand politicians, academics, church leaders and family organisations from many countries, was hosted by the World Congress of Families. This is a shortened form of its final resolution.
Basing our findings on objective and widely accepted scientific data and forecasts of leading demographers, we express our deep concern about the dangers of the approaching depopulation of the world.
Despite wrong and biased information about the threat of “overpopulation” promoted by some mass media and international institutions, in reality for several decades we have been witnessing a global process of demographic change.
In recent years, this dynamic has assumed a threatening scale and magnitude. As a consequence of the global decrease in fertility below the replacement level of 2.1–2.2 children per woman, 42 per cent of all people today live in countries where even replacement of the older generation is not taking place.
The destructive process of declining fertility and birth rates has swept all the continents on our planet. In the immediate future, the negative demographic trends could bring about the extinction of whole peoples, destruction of states and disappearance of unique cultures and civilisations.
Even according to conservative estimates by the United Nations, within next three decades the total fertility rate will fall below the population replacement level all over the world. In reality, it could happen much earlier, thus making the whole world community face the unprecedented social and historical problem of humanity’s very survival.
We are alarmed by the fact that the institution of the family is in a state of grave social crisis characterised by:
• the destruction of universal family, conjugal and parental roles based on traditional family values;
• the disruption of the reproductive function of the family;
• an epidemic of sexually-transmitted diseases, including AIDS, caused by the imposition of contraceptive thinking (in terms of “safe sex”) and destructive premarital and extramarital sex patterns;
• widespread divorce and the spread of cohabitation without marriage;
• increasing numbers of single-parent families;
• a wave of social deviations (abortion, homosexuality, paedophilia, drug addiction, refusal to enter marriage and bear children (the child-free phenomenon), prostitution, pornography, etc.);
• disruption of the process of socialisation of young generations; the cutting of ties among relatives and alienation of different generations within one family, etc.
We call on the governments of all nations and on international institutions to develop immediately a pro-family demographic policy and to adopt a special international pro-family strategy and action plan aimed at consolidating family and marriage, protecting human life from conception to natural death, increasing the birth rate, and averting the menace of depopulation.
Nowadays, in most countries of the world, against the backdrop of devaluation of family values, the rights of the family are prejudiced in the information space, in the legal and socioeconomic spheres.
We also insist on putting an end to interference with the private life of the family under the pretexts of “family planning”, “protection of the rights of the child” and “gender equality”.
We consider it inadmissible to continue the policy of birth control, regarding this policy as one of the greatest threats to the survival of humankind and as a means of discrimination against the family.
Every family has the right of reproductive choice, inviolability of family life and bringing up its children in harmony with the culture and traditions of a specific country. Parents have absolute primary and priority right to support, bring up and educate their children.
We call on public associations, religious communities, entrepreneurs, media workers, and all people of good will to get involved in combating the above-mentioned threats that destroy family and marriage.
We support the people and government ofHungaryin their desire to protect natural family values and the inviolability of human life from conception, that are declared in the new Constitution of Hungary.
We support with one voice the definition of the family given below and codified in the final document of the Dialogue of Civilisations World Public Forum that took place in October 2010 on the Greek island of Rhodes, and we urge that this definition be given an official international status.
The family is the basic unit of society with the following inherent characteristics:
1) The union of man and woman (according to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly on December 10, 1948);
2) The voluntary nature of entry into marriage;
3) Co-habitation of the spouses;
4) Joint household management;
5) Entry into marriage through a procedure of social recognition in the form of state registration of marriage and/or the relevant religious rituals;
6) The wish to give birth to, socialise and bring up children. The family is also a necessary condition for the existence, reproduction and sustainable development of civilisations. The mother and the father have, inalienably and in conformity with human nature, the fundamental, prior and primary rights and duties to directly educate, bring up, protect and provide comprehensive spiritual, moral and psychological support to their children.
7) The indissolubility of marriage — the initial mutual intention of the spouses to be together for life despite any difficulties of life.