The Holy See's permanent observer at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland, last night attended the launch of an international campaign to declare and uphold the right to life of unborn children. The Amnesty for Babies before Birth Campaign will be launched in Geneva in the presence of Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi, CS. Ms Kathy Sinnott, independent MEP for Ireland south, announced the start of the campaign and John Smeaton, national director of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC), launched a declaration on unborn babies' rights. The campaign will be asking nations to sign the declaration. It is also seeking the signatures of pro-life legislators from national and regional parliaments, as well as the endorsement of pro-life, pro-family non-governmental organisations (NGOs). John Smeaton of SPUC said: "We appeal to all UN member states to put protection in place for the most vulnerable members of our society; the genuinely voiceless ones; the child before birth. The declaration on the right to life of the child before birth is the first initiative in this campaign and is central to the reason SPUC was founded. "The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children has attended all major conferences and events at the UN since 1994 and during that time has promoted and fought for the right to life of the child before birth. We have opposed all attempts to make abortion a human right and sought at all times to have language included in UN conventions and other documents that upholds the right to life at all stages and phases of life, from conception to natural death. "One of the problems we have perceived from our lobbying experience is that so called politically-correct ideologies have been adopted by many governments and powerful NGOs. These are ideologies which are hostile to the life of the child before birth. These ideologies must be confronted and shown to be inadequate and, in fact, detrimental to the future population of all nations and, thereby, their economic viability. "This is not the first time a declaration on the rights of the child has been made, but it is the first time that anyone has prepared a declaration dealing exclusively with the rights of the child before birth. "The drawing up of this declaration for consideration of member states is a response to the failure of those charged with the implementation of the UN's 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to properly implement that convention in respect of all children without discrimination. Sadly, the CRC has been unjustly reinterpreted to limit the scope of the convention only to born children. "In launching this declaration we encourage member states and their governments, for whom it is primarily intended, to consider it and hopefully it sign it as soon as possible. "We also invite legislators in national and regional parliaments, and NGOs, to sign this declaration. We encourage those nations which currently have legislation in place which permits abortion to review their policies as a matter of urgency, and to take seriously the statement in the declaration on the rights of the child, and the subsequent convention we have already been reminded about, and which says: 'Whereas the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth,'. "We therefore not only encourage all states to sign the new declaration but also to go beyond that and to put in place legislation which will provide the much-needed special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, for the baby before birth, as envisaged by the founding fathers of the UN in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and which was understood by all to be the correct interpretation of the original declaration on the rights of the child at the time that it was made, a full decade after the Universal Declaration had been made."
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