Participants from 65 countries at the Moscow demographic summit have reaffirmed the natural family as “the basic unit of society and the fundamental social value, that is a necessary prerequisite for the very existence of world civilizations and the whole humankind.” A final declaration of the two-day gathering sates:

The Natural Family is a necessary condition with no alternatives for survival and stable sustainable development of all nations and states, basic and integral condition for the demographic well‐being.

It dismisses concerns about “overpopulation” and expresses “deep concern” about population decline around the world.

Even according to conservative estimates by the UN, within next three decades, the total fertility rate will go down below the population replacement level all over the world. In reality, it can happen much earlier, thus making the whole world community face the unprecedented social and historical problem of humankind survival.

Voicing alarm at the state of the family as an institution, the statement calls on governments to develop, immediately, pro-family policies and put an end to policies which impose birth control under various guises, including “gender equality”.

We consider it inadmissible to continue the policy of birth control, regarding this policy as one of the greatest threats to the survival of humankind and as a means of incursive discrimination against the family. Every family has the right of reproductive choice, inviolability of family life and bringing up their children in harmony with the culture and traditions of a specific country. Parents have absolute primary and priority right to support, bring up and educate their children.

The declaration concludes by reiterating the definition of the family given below and codified in the final document of the Dialogue of Civilizations World Public Forum that took place on 7–11 October 2010 on the Greek island of Rhodes:

Family is the basic unit (first element) of society with the following inherent characteristics:

1. Union of man and woman (according to Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948);

2. Voluntary nature of entry into marriage;

3. Co‐residence of the spouses;

4. Joint household management;

5. Entry into marriage through a procedure of social recognition in the form of State registration of marriage and/or the relevant religious rite;

6. Wish to give birth to, socialize, and bring up children. Family is also a sine qua non demographic condition for the existence, reproduction and sustainable development of civilizations. The mother and the father have, inalienably and in conformity with human
nature, the fundamental, priority and primary rights and duties to directly educate, bring up, protect and provide comprehensive spiritual, moral and psychological support to their
children.

7. Indissolubility of marriage – initial mutual intention of the spouses to be together for life
despite any difficulties of life.

Carolyn Moynihan

Carolyn Moynihan is the former deputy editor of MercatorNet