FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 24, 2023) – Today, ambassadors, members of Congress, foreign government officials and women’s health advocates from around the world joined together to celebrate the third anniversary of the Geneva Consensus Declaration (GCD). The event was held on Capitol Hill at a luncheon hosted by the Institute for Women’s Health (IWH), a one-of-its-kind organization committed to advancing the optimal health and thriving of girls and women here in the U.S. and around the world.
Valerie Huber, president and founder of the IWH, architected the Geneva Consensus Declaration in 2020, while serving as U.S. Special Representative for Global Women’s Health. The document – a first-ever strategic international statement of its kind – backs a coalition of 36 nations committed to the sovereign right of nations to adopt policies that align with their values without foreign interference and to advance women’s optimal health, strengthen families and declare there is no international right to abortion.
“The Geneva Consensus is an effective catalyst to foster meaningful progress in women’s health on a global scale – a rare safe haven for nations that deeply value health, life, and family. This growing coalition of nations stands together against the false narratives that conflate ideology with genuine health gains for women,” said Valerie Huber, President of the Institute for Women’s Health. “Authentic gains for women, girls and the family should be a unifying priority of everyone, everywhere – regardless of cultural, economic, religious, or governmental differences.”
Today, both Senator Steve Daines (R-MT) and Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) will introduce bicameral resolutions to the Senate and House respectively to express support of the Geneva Consensus Declaration on promoting women’s health and family strengthening. The resolutions also urge President Biden to rejoin the United States to this historic document after removing the U.S. as a signatory just eight days after his inauguration in January 2021.
During this year’s event, IWH introduced members of its recently-formed International Health Council (IHC), who have been working on the IWH Women’s Optimal Health Framework (WOHF) that will be released publicly in early 2024. The WOHF is being developed to equip nations, health systems and health providers with high-impact, low-cost, evidence-based interventions to support the health and well-being of women and their families.
IWH also proudly presented this year’s “Distinguished Award of International Honor” to President Giammattei and the nation of Guatemala, who addressed attendees virtually. Additionally, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was in attendance to speak on “Why the GCD is more important now than ever.”
“The Geneva Consensus Declaration represents the most historic and significant commitment of nations working together for better health for women, the preservation of human life, support for the family as foundational to a healthy society and the protection of national sovereignty in global politics,” said Alex Azar, the 24th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The commemoration was co-hosted by the Ambassador of Hungary, H.E. Szabolcs Takács, the Ambassador of Guatemala, H.E. Alfonso Quiñónez, the Ambassador of Indonesia, H.E. Rosan Roeslani, and the Republic of Uganda.
Serving as the honorary co-chairs are Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), Senator James Lankford (R-OK), Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN), Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), and Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-AL).
“I am truly honored to have participated in the third commemoration of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, this significant international coalition. Hungary this year was not only present as a signatory and co-host but also on behalf of the GCD Secretariat,” said Ambassador of Hungary, H.E. Szabolcs Takács. “It was a pleasure to see how much interest the cause of GCD creates in many places in the world and how much appreciation it receives from possible future signatories, U.S. members of Congress and the diplomatic community. I am encouraging countries to become members of the GCD to give traditional family values great leverage globally.”
“We are proud to be part of the Geneva Consensus and to stand firm on the defense and promotion of the family and of life from conception until death of natural causes,” said Ambassador of Guatemala, H.E. Alfonso Quiñónez.
“The Geneva Consensus Declaration represents a shared commitment to the universal principles of life, family and national sovereignty—ideals that the American people hold dear. On its third anniversary, it is incredible to see 36 countries remain steadfast in this fight,” said Senator Steve Daines. “While President Biden sadly withdrew the United States from the Declaration, the American people’s commitment to protecting the most vulnerable and strengthening families remains strong, and I will continue to represent that viewpoint in the U.S. Senate.”
“The Geneva Consensus Declaration recognized the critical role of the family as the building block of society, honored the basic human rights of all women and reaffirmed the inherent right to life for all people,” said Senator James Lankford. “President Biden remains the most pro-abortion president in our nation’s history. He removed the United States from the Declaration, which was supported by more than a billion people worldwide, and is instead actively promoting abortion here and abroad. Now, more than ever, we should stand in unity and make it known that all lives are precious—whether born or unborn—and should be honored and protected. I am committed to defending the family, standing for life and fighting for the health needs of women around the world.”
“The Geneva Consensus Declaration coalition protects the sovereignty of every country to adopt national policies that promote women’s health, protect the right to life and strengthen the family as the bedrock of society,” said Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith. “As chair of the Senate Pro-Life Caucus, it is an honor to join the Institute for Women’s Health to celebrate the anniversary of this global coalition, created under the leadership of President Trump, to stand united against efforts to impose an international right to abortion.”
“It is an honor to join the Institute for Women’s Health to commemorate the third anniversary of the Geneva Consensus Declaration, a coalition of 36 nations committed to a future that is pro-family, pro-woman and pro-life,” said Congressman Barry Moore. “I’m disappointed that President Biden withdrew the United States from the GCD, but the removal did not mark the end of the American commitment to advancing women’s health and protecting life and family.”
“Conservatives in Congress need to defend America’s reputation and fight for religious freedom and a pro-family, pro-life agenda around the globe,” said Congressman Jim Banks. “I’d like to thank Senator Daines for partnering with me on this initiative and the Institute for Women’s Health for working to bring attention to an important issue.”
About The Institute for Women’s Health
The Institute for Women’s Health is the only women’s health policy organization of its kind in the U.S. – and possibly anywhere. IWH exists to promote the highest attainable health and wellbeing for women throughout every stage of their lives, and works to tackle the most pressing women’s health issues through honest discourse, targeted action, and empowered alliances. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., IWH engages both domestically and internationally to build coalitions in support of optimal women’s health. IWH works with governments, policymakers, think tanks, academics, health professionals, nongovernmental organizations, faith-based groups, corporations and all who share a common mission to see women thrive everywhere.