Conferences, speeches

On Friday the embassies of the European Union member states to Lebanon and the delegation of the European Commission in Lebanon and in collaboration with the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections organised a seminar "Exchange of Experience on European Standards regarding Election Observation" in Beirut .

I was one of the speakers.

Now we are in 2004, exactly halfway to 2015. A renewed commitment is urgently needed. Financial promises have not been fulfilled and there is a growing pressure on the international consensus.

For example the abstinence only campaign, embraced by the United States, the Vatican and a number of Islamic countries. The Global Gag Rule: a policy, reinstated by the Bush administration in 2001 in the US, which imposes restrictions on international planning, by making US funding for foreign NGOs conditional on their acceptance of this policy. In theory, this policy means that foreign NGOs are not allowed to perform abortions or lobby to make abortions legal if they want to keep receiving the generous US funds - in practice, the policy's restrictive implementations means that foreign NGOs are not allowed to have any connection with abortion whatsoever. Since many, if not most family-planning clinics worldwide are run by NGOs refusing to sign up the Global Gag Rule. And since these NGOs have not been able to make up the shortfall of funs by other means. The aim of the Mexico City Policy is pro-life: it is meant to save the lives of unborn children as well as those of their mothers, by discouraging the use of abortion of as a method of family planning.

The Rotterdam Department of Social affairs and Employement invited me to speak at the Shanghai seminar on elderly care and assessment. An invitation I could not refuse. I spoke about the challenges of social policies in our ageing European societies. Shanghai is a megapolis with the highest percentage of elderly people in China. Shanghai has a registered population of 13.342.300 inhabitants.

A Global Concern

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As the European Population Forum in Geneva draws to a close, coming
to grips with high fertility rates remains a daunting international challenge,
particularly in the poorest countries of the world where population growth
continues to outstrip resources, place pressure on the environment, and
exacerbate social disintegration.

Visiting (former) Dutch senator and member of the Council of Europe, Ans Zwerver, has told New Zealand politicians and policy makers they must invest in sexuality education and services if they want to reduce New Zealand teen pregnancie statistics.

A former Dutch MP, Ans Zwerver, recently visited Wellington to offer New Zealand MPs and others insight into why the Netherlands has the lowest teenage pregnancy rate in the world and meet its international aid obligations.

For every 1000 women aged 15 to 19 in the Netherlands, there are four births. This compares with 25 in New Zealand.

Dutch Green Party MP and former Senator Ans Zwerver arrives in Wellington on Tuesday 12 August. Invited by FPA’s International Development unit, she will meet with the New Zealand Parliamentarians’ Group on Population and Development to discuss how domestic policy can successfully reduce teen pregnancy rates, and how these policies mirror the Netherlands’ commitment to international development.

Op bezoek in Vilnius.

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Het parlement in Litouwen is bezig met een wetsvoorstel over reproductieve gezondheidszorg.
In het wetsvoorstel worden zaken als abortus, reproductieve gezondheidszorg voor tieners, inseminatie, seksuele voorlichting op scholen en dergelijke geregeld.
Reden voor de Litouwse parlementaire overleggroep “Bevolking en Duurzame Ontwikkeling” en de Familie Planning en Seksuele Gezondheid Associatie om een internationale conferentie over Reproductieve Rechten en Wetgeving te organiseren.
Ik was gevraagd om te spreken over reproductieve gezondheidszorg in Nederland.

The Bush administration recently announced it would permanently withhold $ 34 milion earmarked for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA). The administration claims that the UNFPA is complicit in China's continued practices of coerced abortion and sterilization, and has therefore denied funding. But this reasoning is unfounded, as a U.S. government study found in May.

STATEMENT BY Ans Zwerver (Green Left Party), member of the Dutch
Senate. Author, Motion for resolution condemning Mexico City Policy (Global
Gag Rule) written for the Council of Europe Parliamentary assembly.

Op uitnodiging van het Centre for Reproductive Law and Policy en International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network ben ik samen met drie Europese politici 5 dagen in Washington geweest om te spreken over reproductieve gezondheid en family planning.

De politici waren Ulla Sandbaek, euro parlementariër uit Denemarken, Mikhail Rokitzky, lid van de Doema uit Kazachstan en Tony Worthington, parlementslid in Engeland.

I am very pleased and honoured to speak to you today. Here in the heart of US democracy.

I will speak about issues which are of vital importance in today’s rapidly changing world. Especially since September 11.

Dilemmas and contradictions in political strategies towards a sustainable future.

Women are essential in the implementation of agenda 21. Over the last 10 years women have carried out many excellent initiatives for sustainable development. In many regions women were the main catalyst for sustainable development. But successful local initiatives often stand little change against the forces of globalisation and weak international agreements at government level.

Daar sta ik dan, in de regen en wind bij een tramhalte in Rotterdam. Drie vrouwen met enorme bossen bloemen komen ook bij de tramhalte staan. Ik begin te fantaseren waarom ze zulke grote bossen bloemen bij zich hebben. Zijn ze met z’n 3en naar de markt geweest ? Waarom koopt iemand in vredesnaam zo’n enorme bos bloemen ? En dan ook nog met dit weer? Mooie kleuren trouwens, vooral die paarse…. Dan komt mijn tram eraan. Op naar het Wereldmuseum. De dames stappen ook in.

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