Putting the Family Back at the Center of Development

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM EDT


Beginning with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international agreements have affirmed that the family, as the natural and fundamental group unit of society, is entitled to protection by society and the state. In recognition of this fundamental obligation under human rights law, UN member states have supported placing the family at the center of international development programming for health, women, and population policies.

The fundamental obligation of States to protect the family is reflected in every UN human rights treaty that addresses civil and social rights. It was reaffirmed through major United Nations conferences such as the Social Summit in Copenhagen, the Fourth World Conference on Women, the International Conference on Population and Development, and the 2030 Agenda.

More needs to be done to ensure international programs prioritize the family.

Sadly, programs to help women and promote global health have undermined the family by promoting new notions that were never agreed by UN Member States. This erodes trust in international institutions and undermines the sovereignty of states.



Laura Cunliffe, Former Chief of Staff, U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva 

The Future of the Geneva Consensus Declaration
Valerie Huber, Architect of GCD, Formerly with the Trump Administration

What Women Want
Rebecca Oas, Ph.D., Director of Research, C-Fam

The Family as the Primary Educator of Their Children
Sharon Slater, President, Family Watch International

Emerging Threats to the Family
Grace Melton, Senior Associate for Social Issues at the UN, The Heritage Foundation

The Family in International Law
Stefano Gennarini, J.D., VP for Legal Studies, C-Fam



Center for Family and Human Rights
Family Watch International
The Heritage Foundation