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IPN to UNFPA: Drop Dead

It's a thankless task keeping up with the Ozymandian agglomeration of bureaucracy that is the United Nations, so it's merciful that our friends at the International Policy Network are following the most recent developments in UN “programme” development for us. This week the UN Fund for Population Activities released a report on “Women and International Migration.” IPN naturally responded with a simple and direct policy recommendation: eliminate the agency. From the press release: When the UNFPA was established in 1979, it was charged with reducing population growth in order to prevent the spectre of ‘overpopulation'. In the pursuit of this mission, it actively promoted policies, such as forced sterilisation, which fundamentally violated women's rights. Meanwhile, it has become clear that ‘overpopulation' was a misconceived notion based on false premises. It is now widely accepted that with new agricultural technologies and better water management systems, the world will easily be able to accommodate a substantially larger population. Meanwhile, the UN has revised down its estimates of population growth. In response, UNFPA has adjusted its mission. It now exists to promote “the rights of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity” — an extremely wide and apparently innocuous mission, which is wide open to abuse. As Caroline Boin of IPN comments: “UNFPA's mission might just as well be to promote motherhood and apple pie. Actually, that would at least be a more coherent and focussed objective. Instead, it promotes ‘awareness' on all manner of issues, from multiculturalism to migration, from ending fistula to ending poverty. And let's not forget its important work in providing condoms to tsunami survivors. The organisation is clearly on a mission to justify its own existence. “What is disturbing is that the UNFPA spends hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money every year — on activities of little merit and with almost no oversight. It is time to shut down this dubious organisation.” Spending “hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money … on activities of little merit” sounds like a functional definition of the entire UN, actually. Defunding the UNFPA would, however, be an excellent start at changing that.