[Senate Hearing 107-515]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 107-515
U.S. FUNDING FOR THE U.N. POPULATION FUND: THE EFFECT ON WOMEN'S LIVES
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 27, 2002
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COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware, Chairman
PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland JESSE HELMS, North Carolina
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska
RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon
PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota BILL FRIST, Tennessee
BARBARA BOXER, California LINCOLN D. CHAFEE, Rhode Island
ROBERT G. TORRICELLI, New Jersey GEORGE ALLEN, Virginia
BILL NELSON, Florida SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming
Edwin K. Hall, Staff Director
Patricia A. McNerney, Republican Staff Director
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
BARBARA BOXER, California, Chairman
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts MICHAEL B. ENZI, Wyoming
BILL NELSON, Florida BILL FRIST, Tennessee
JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware JESSE HELMS, North Carolina
CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
C O N T E N T S
Biegman, Hon. Nicolaas H., former Ambassador of the Netherlands
to NATO, Amsterdam, The Netherlands............................ 21
Prepared statement........................................... 23
Boxer, Hon. Barbara, U.S. Senator from California, submissions
for the record:
Letter from Senator Gordon Smith to President George W. Bush,
dated January 15, 2002..................................... 1
Article from the National Council of Jewish Women magazine,
dated Summer 2001.......................................... 7
Leaflet on Reproductive Health/Family Planning Project,
distributed by Chinese authorities......................... 41
Letter from Executive Director, UNFPA, to Senator Boxer,
dated March 4, 2002........................................ 60
Brownback, Hon. Sam, U.S. Senator from Kansas, submissions for
Article from the Pakistan News Service, dated November 23,
Report of the Population Research Institute, dated December
12, 2001................................................... 51
Dewey, Hon. Arthur E. ``Gene'', Assistant Secretary of State,
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, Department of
State, Washington, DC.......................................... 9
Prepared statement........................................... 11
Responses to additional questions for the record............. 64
Eberstadt, Dr. Nicholas, Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy,
American Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC.................. 29
Enzi, Hon. Mike, U.S. Senator from Wyoming, prepared statement... 31
Flicker, John, president, National Audubon Society, prepared
Guy, Ms. Josephine, Director of Government Affairs, America 21,
Louisville, KY................................................. 26
Oakley, Hon. Phyllis E., former Assistant Secretary of State for
Intelligence and Research; former Assistant Secretary of State
for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Adjunct Professor,
Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC....................... 17
Prepared statement........................................... 18
U.S. FUNDING FOR THE U.N. POPULATION FUND: THE EFFECT ON WOMEN'S LIVES
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 2002
Subcommittee on International
Operations and Terrorism,
Committee on Foreign Relations,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:20 p.m., in
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Barbara Boxer
(chairman of the subcommittee), presiding.
Present: Senators Boxer, Brownback, and Enzi.
Senator Boxer. I am glad to see that Senator Brownback is
here, and we are going to start pretty much on time. The
Subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism will
come to order.
I am going to enter in the record, unless there is
objection, a letter that had been written by Senator Smith
earlier this year in which he asked for the release of these
funds, saying that he shares the concern about China's brutal
one-child policy, but he is convinced that the presence of
UNFPA in China makes abuses, such as coerced abortion, less
So I would ask unanimous consent that that be placed in the
[The letter referred to follows:]
Gordon H. Smith,
United States Senate,
Washington, DC, January 15, 2002.
President George W. Bush
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW,
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Bush:
I am writing regarding an urgent issue that has come to my
attention involving U.S. contributions to the United Nations Population
Fund (UNFPA). I understand that you have come under pressure to cut
back or eliminate funding for this program, despite a bipartisan
agreement which set UNFPA's funding level at $34 million in fiscal year
2002. I urge you to fully fund this vital international health program.
Throughout my public life, I have supported policies that both
protect the sanctity of human life and prevent the tragedy of abortion.
I believe that whether one is pro-life or pro-choice, we all have an
obligation to work together to make abortion a rare event. Since 1973,
it has been illegal to use U.S. government funds to perform abortions
overseas, and a recent U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) study
indicates that UNFPA recipients have complied with this requirement.
Additionally, all the evidence I have reviewed indicates that
international family planning programs have significantly reduced the
incidence of abortion worldwide, while improving the quality of life
for women in developing countries.
Secretary of State Powell has also supported this position.
Speaking before Congress last year, he stated, ``UNFPA provides
critical population assistance to developing countries and countries
with economies in transition.'' He went on to note that the
``activities of the UNFPA are fully consistent with overall U.S.
efforts in developing countries to raise the standard of living, reduce
poverty, and lessen disparities of wealth within and among countries.''
Secretary Powell also determined that UNFPA was in full compliance with
the U.S. laws against coercive abortion. The State Department then
solidified its support for UNFPA activities last November, when the
agency was granted $600,000 as a key partner in providing assistance
for emergency infant delivery kits and sanitary supplies for Afghan
refugee women in Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan.
I understand--and frankly I share--your concern about China's
brutal one-child policy; however, I am convinced that the presence of
UNFPA in China makes abuses such as coerced abortion less likely. This
conclusion was supported by a recent United Nations investigation. In
fact, because UNFPA only funds programs in Chinese counties that have
renounced the one-child policy, eliminating funding for these programs
risks a return to the policy that would increase the incidence of
abortion in China.
Your administration made a laudable public commitment to
international health programs last year with substantial budget
requests for U.N. AIDS and other global health initiatives, including
$25 million for the UNFPA. Given the overwhelming support in both the
House and Senate for UNFPA funding and activities, I urge you to fully
fund the U.S. contributions to the UNFPA at $34 million.
Gordon Smith, Oregon.
Senator Boxer. Ladies and gentlemen, I want to welcome you
here. Thank you all for coming on both sides of this question.
We hope today the hearing will be illuminating.
The U.N. Population Fund, commonly known as UNFPA, is the
largest international source of population assistance. Since it
began operations in 1969, UNFPA has provided $5 billion in
assistance to developing countries. These funds come from 120
As Secretary Colin Powell has said, the UNFPA ``provides
critical population assistance to developing countries and
countries with economies in transition.'' I agree with him.
The UNFPA provides assistance to more than 140 nations. In
comparison, USAID provides population assistance in less than
half as many countries. UNFPA works to prevent teen pregnancy
and HIV/AIDS, promote safe pregnancy and delivery, strives to
expand reproductive healthcare for the poor and the hard-to-
The fund also supports data collection and research to
encourage appropriate population and development policies and
activities to improve the status of women, such as programs to
eliminate female genital mutilation. UNFPA also provides
assistance to those in emergency situations, such as the one in
Afghanistan. And I am going to concentrate my remarks on the
impact of these programs in Afghanistan.
Just last October the administration seemed to acknowledge
the critical role of the UNFPA when it provided $600,000 to
respond to the reproductive health risks faced by the Afghan
people. To put this into perspective, that $600,000, the
country of Luxembourg, a nation of 450,000 people, gave $4.5
million. So I want to say that again. To help the women in
Afghanistan with their reproductive health risks they did face,
the Bush administration made available $600,000. The Country of
Luxembourg gave $4.5 million.
UNFPA is working in Afghanistan in the areas of primary
healthcare, prevention and management of sexual violence,
prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases,
protection of mothers' and infants' health, and family planning
services that include counseling and literacy courses.
Senator Brownback and I might not agree at the end of the
day on this particular issue, but he has worked with me very
hard in making sure that the women of Afghanistan are treated
with dignity and respect. And I would make the argument to him
and all others that the help to the women is desperately
needed. And that includes UNFPA.
Afghan women bear an average of 6.9 children and face a 1
in 15 chance lifetime risk of dying in childbirth. Of every
1,000 live births, 17 women die of pregnancy-related medical
complications in Afghanistan. And 25 percent of all children
die before the age of 5. Overcrowding is such that even Afghan
women who are fortunate enough to have access to a medical
facility are discharged just 12 hours after giving birth.
This weekend, The Washington Post reported on a clinic in
Kabul where there are no epidurals, no Lamaze breathing, and no
surgeons for emergency C-sections. Oftentimes there is no water
and no lights. This is where UNFPA can help. Next month the
UNFPA will provide equipment urgently needed at this facility
and others like it in Afghanistan, including operating tables,
incubators, anesthesia machine, and a full range of medical
supplies. And now we have cut back on money. And that money is
Given the dire need for UNFPA programs in Afghanistan and
elsewhere in the world, one would think the administration
would be asking Congress to increase the U.S. contribution to
the UNFPA. But the administration has done exactly the
opposite. President Bush has refused to release $34 million in
appropriated funds that has been available since December for
the UNFPA and has chosen to effectively zero out funding in his
fiscal year 2003 budget request.
UNFPA estimates that $34 million for family planning would
be enough to prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies, eliminate
800,000 induced abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, nearly 60,000
cases of serious maternal illness, and over 77,000 infant and
child deaths. Ultimately, $34 million would provide for 13
percent of condoms needed for HIV/AIDS prevention worldwide.
We know that UNFPA will continue to help Afghan women and
children who are in such desperate need. But it is sad to think
that they may have to do that without the help of the greatest
country in the world, the United States of America. Just think
of the good that could be done with that $34 million.
A delay in the U.S. contribution has already forced the
UNFPA to alert its regional divisions of funding shortfalls.
This means that plans for future and ongoing program have been
scrapped. The question is: Why has the administration chosen to
withhold this funding? I happen to believe in my heart of
hearts--I am known for my direct, straight-from-the-shoulder
response--that it is about politics here in this country.
I know that there are small groups that have urged the
President to cut off all funding for the UNFPA. And the groups
have called for an end to this funding saying that the fund is
involved in China's coerced abortion policy. I already put a
letter into the record from a pro-life Senator, Senator Gordon
Smith, who says he totally disagrees with this reason.
Let me just go on the record in a very clear way. China's
coerced abortion and one-child policy is horrible. I believe
that policy is indefensible. And the UNFPA feels the same way.
We should all be on the same page here instead of having an
argument where there should be no argument. The work performed
by the UNFPA is guided by the program of action adopted in the
1994 International Conference on Population and Development.
This document states, ``In no case should abortion be
promoted as a method of family planning'' and ``coercion has no
part to play in population and development programs.'' That is
in the UNFPA. That is part of their guide.
Furthermore, these allegations have been refuted by an
international review team led by Ambassador Nicolaas Biegman,
who is here today. And these allegations are not supported in
the State Department's own human rights report. In addition,
the U.S. contribution to the UNFPA is held in a segregated
account to ensure that no money, underscored, ``no money,'' is
spent in China. It has been that way since 1994.
Nevertheless, in light of these findings, the
administration still refuses to release funding for the UNFPA.
I believe it is time for this administration to look at the
facts, time to set aside political interests and act in the
best interest of Afghan women, Afghan women and the millions of
other men and women whose lives could be saved by the UNFPA
I so admired the First Lady's address on Afghanistan and
the condition of women in Afghan. And I remember how pleased
Senator Brownback and I were when Laura Bush just got right out
there with her words of encouragement and support for the women
This is what she said on November 17, ``I hope Americans
will join our family in working to ensure that dignity and
opportunity will be secured for all the women and children of
I just want to say today, in my opinion, dignity and
opportunity is what the UNFPA is all about. If we care about
children and we care about women, we do not want them to die
needlessly. And that is what is happening because of a lack of
Today we will have the opportunity to hear from the State
Department, hear their views on the UNFPA, and also from the
panel of private witnesses, who will give their expert
testimony on the current situation. I want to give a warm
welcome to all of our witnesses this afternoon. I look forward
to hearing from you all.
And I would be happy to give 5 minutes now to Senator
Brownback for an opening statement.
Senator Brownback. Thank you, Madame Chairman.
First, I would like to thank the Chair for calling the
hearing and Congress and those interested in the activities of
the United Nations Fund for Population Activities. I raise
concerns about their day-to-day activities in countries with
policies that result in coerced abortions and coerced
I am looking forward to hearing from some of the witnesses
that have eyewitness accounts of what is taking place in some
of these countries and situations. I think this hearing
provides a good opportunity to discuss some of these concerns.
First, let me say that I am disappointed that there are no
witnesses representing the UNFPA here today. As most of you
know and as the members of this committee are well aware, the
United States has conditioned its involvement with
organizations that perform or promote abortions at home and has
also done so abroad. This issue is larger than abortion. And in
fact, it is about forced abortion.
The Kemp-Kasten amendment states, ``None of the funds made
available in this act, nor any unobligated balances from prior
appropriations, may be made available to any organization or
program, which, as determined by the President of the United
States, supports or participates in the management of a program
of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.''
The reasons for this policy are simple. There are many in
these United States who object to abortion in principle. There
are many more who object to the performance of forced abortions
and involuntary sterilizations. One of the questions that we
will address in this hearing today is the extent to which the
Government of the United States will force its citizens to
subsidize some of the practices of the UNFPA.
I have my own very deep concerns with the UNFPA, apart from
some of those that we will discuss here today. One point that I
do think we need to discuss today is the very deep concern that
many have over the numerous reports, many of which have been
substantiated as routine practices rather than isolated
instances, that UNFPA officials support the work of officials
from the Peoples' Republic of China in carrying out non-
voluntary abortions and sterilizations for the purpose of
enforcing that country's one-child policy. You will hear from a
witness on that today.
And I have to say, Madame Chairman, this is a very personal
issue for me. My youngest daughter is from China. She is a
beautiful girl. And you do not know the number of nights I have
gone in there in prayer, just thanking God that some mother in
China saw fit to see her on through--she is a gorgeous child--
and to resist the push and the efforts by the Chinese
Government--and I want to know if that is also supported by the
U.N., and we will have witnesses to testify on that today--in
that pregnancy. She is a gorgeous child that we are so
fortunate to have in this country and in our family today.
As well, there is now evidence of UNFPA officials being
involved in singular and equally offensive policies and
practices in Vietnam and Peru. It seems that there is a pattern
of cooperation developing between the UNFPA and those countries
that used forced abortion or sterilization to meet population
We have a news account that--I want to read a portion of
this. ``The United Nations Population Fund''--this is dated
November 23, 2001, by the Pakistan News Service--saying ``The
U.N. Population Fund is distributing abortion devices and
chemicals disguised in kits marked for safe delivery in Afghan
refugee camps in Pakistan. The survey conducted by PNS in
refugee camp in Watertown revealed the survey was also endorsed
by Population Research Institute here on Thursday confirming
the distribution of abortion devices and medicines and on
Afghan women in refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran. Giving the
great unmet needs for food, shelter, water, and basic health
supplies, along with strong opposition to abortion throughout
the Islamic world, the UNFPA's Afghan refugee operations are
gaining little ground against the intended recipients, said
Steve Mosher, the president of the institute, while briefing
I am asking unanimous consent that the full article be
included in the record.
Senator Boxer. Without objection, so ordered.
[The article referred to follows:]
[From the Pakistan News Service, Nov. 23, 2001]
UNFPA Distributing Abortion Devices Among Starved Afghan Refugees
Chaman, Pakistan, Nov. 23 (PNS): The United Nations Population Fund
(UNFPA) is distributing abortion devices and chemicals, disguised in
kits marked for safe delivery in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan, a
survey conducted by PNS at a refugee camp in border town of Chaman
The survey was also endorsed by London-based Population Research
Institute here on Thursday confirming the distribution of abortion
devices and medicines among the Afghan women in refugee camps in
Pakistan and Iran.
Given the great unmet need for food, shelter, water and basic
health supplies along with strong opposition to abortion throughout the
Islamic world, the UNFPA's Afghan refugee operations are gaining little
ground against the intended recipients, said Steve Mosher, the
President of the Institute while briefing the newsmen.
Early reports confirm that war-traumatized refugees, approached by
UNFPA workers pandering abortion services, wander away quickly. And a
few brave refugees in an attempt to protect their female population and
progeny have confiscated abortion pills provided by UNFPA.
``I have informed the authorities concerned about the distribution
of pills among the women, but no action has so far been taken in this
regard,'' Malik Khan, an elderly Afghan refugee told PNS.
Still, the UNFPA offers only abortion and ``family planning''
services to Afghan women and their families. Infant and maternal
mortality rates rank among the highest in the world in this refugee
setting, yet basic life-saving aid from UNFPA remains in want. The
immediate goal for the UNFPA is to break down cultural resistance to
abortion and contraception within the refugee camps, Mr. Mosher
UNFPA's long-term goal is to establish permanent operations in
Afghanistan. In conjunction with international abortion providers Marie
Stopes and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF),
UNFPA plans to spend an estimated total of $20 million for abortion
services within Afghanistan over the next few years, he contended.
Senator Brownback. I think that this committee needs to
hear some answers to some of these allegations today or, at a
minimum, start to get to the bottom of some of these issues.
Again, I am very disappointed that there is no one here
representing UNFPA that might help shed some light on these
Finally, I am looking forward in particular to the
testimony of Ms. Josephine Guy, with whom I have had the
pleasure of previously visiting. I am interested to hear about
her recent trip to China and whether or not she found any
evidence to substantiate some of the charges that have been
brought regarding the apparent partnership that exists between
the UNFPA and the Peoples' Republic of China's aggressive
enforcement of the one-child policy.
There are a lot of issues here, and this is one of these
uncomfortable discussions and one of these uncomfortable
hearings where I and the chairman have worked together on a
number of women's issues, but we are apart on this one. And I
am hopeful that we can, perhaps through the witnesses and
testimony that is brought forward today, get to the bottom of
some answers here to some very serious questions.
Thank you for holding the hearing.
Senator Boxer. Thank you. Thank you so much. We are good
friends. We have agreed to disagree on this one.
I would say that, Senator, as you probably--I hope you
would know that both the minority and the majority chose the
witnesses for today. And it would have been fine if you wanted
to ask someone from the UNFPA. The reason we did not do that is
because this is about the UNFPA, expect them to say they needed
the funding. I thought it would be better to get people from
both sides of the issue, who have actually seen what they do,
to be more objective on point. But you had every right to ask
someone from the UNFPA. I would have said, ``Of course.''
Senator Brownback. Maybe we can do that at a subsequent
Senator Boxer. No problem.
Senator Brownback [continuing]. So that we could have this
Senator Boxer. I would be happy to do that.
Let me just--I would ask unanimous consent to place in the
record an article that appeared in the National Council of
Jewish Women Magazine, an article by the head of the UNFPA,
which reads in part, ``UNFPA does not provide support for
abortions or abortion-related services activities anywhere in
the world. Neither does the fund promote or provide support for
involuntary sterilization or coercive practices of any kind. In
fact, the fund is a global leader in working to eliminate the
use of coercive family planning practices, including places
[The article referred to follows:]
[From the NCJW Journal, Summer 2001]
the united nations population fund:
Global Catalyst for Family Planning and Women
(By Thoraya Obaid)
We don't seem to hear much about the population explosion these
days. In fact we have recently been hearing a lot about the ``birth
dearth,'' an apparent shortage of babies in countries like Italy and
Spain. Perhaps we don't need international assistance for family
planning or for organizations like the United Nations Population Fund.
The UN has been working in this area since 1969: isn't that long
In truth there are more births than ever before, about 130 million
per year, to be exact, and the population of the world is increasing by
about 77 million annually, compared with about 60 million in 1969. At
6.1 billion, there is no dearth of people in the world, and no dearth
of new faces arriving at the world's table.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is the global voice for
international family planning and the largest internationally funded
source of population assistance to developing countries. UNFPA
organized and helped to broker the historic agreement reached in 1994
at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD),
which created a new framework for international family planning and
The comprehensive approach adopted at the ICPD shifts the emphasis
of population planning from reaching demographic targets to promoting
human rights and sustainable development, changing the focus from
numbers to people. That is why UNFPA is guided by, and promotes, the
principles of the ICPD action plan and its commitments to reproductive
rights, gender equality and male responsibility, and to the autonomy
and empowerment of women everywhere. Meeting these goals will
contribute to improving the quality of life and to the universally
accepted aim of stabilizing world population. These goals are an
integral part of all efforts to achieve sustained and sustainable
social and economic development that meets human needs, ensures well-
being and protects the natural resources on which all life depends.
The United States is an important contributor to UNFPA (providing
$21.5 million last year), but far behind the Fund's leading
contributors Japan and the Netherlands, which are each contributing
almost $50 million annually.
UNFPA provides support to 156 countries, more than any other donor
agency, and, in many cases, is an irreplaceable source of funds for
many countries. UNFPA has played a key role in countries where few
other donors provide population assistance--such as a number of small
African countries. Since 1969, UNFPA has provided almost $5 billion for
voluntary family planning in developing countries.
Organized family planning, led by UNFPA during the past 30 years,
has been one of the most successful development efforts ever. Globally,
fertility rates have been reduced from 6 to 3 children per woman,
improving the health of mothers and their children. The rate of global
population growth has slowed dramatically over the past three decades
as a result of international efforts led by UNFPA to provide safe,
voluntary family planning around the world. Still, the 48 poorest
nations in the world are scheduled to triple in the next 50 years,
necessitating continued support for international family planning.
Operationally, UNFPA's three main areas of work are: to help ensure
universal access to reproductive health, including family planning and
sexual health, to all couples and individuals by the year 2015; to
support population and development strategies that enable capacity-
building in population programming; and to promote awareness of
population and development issues and to advocate for the mobilization
of the resources and political will necessary to accomplish its areas
UNFPA does not provide support for abortions or abortion-related
activities anywhere in the world. Neither does the Fund promote or
provide support for involuntary sterilization or coercive practices of
any kind. In fact, the Fund is a global leader in working to eliminate
the use of coercive family planning practices, including places like
As is its right as a UN member, China has requested assistance from
UNFPA. In 1997, after several years of discussion, UNFPA and the
Chinese Government agreed upon activities that the UNFPA can undertake
in accordance with the principles set at the ICPD (including those
associated with human rights, gender equality, and individual liberty).
In fact, UNFPA's activities in China represent a significant
breakthrough. Before agreeing to provide assistance, UNFPA insisted
that China agree to adhere to the principles contained in the ICPD
Program of Action in the 32 counties where UNFPA will provide
assistance. Importantly, Chinese authorities have agreed to abolish all
quotas and targets in those counties.
The four-year program is designed to improve the delivery of
voluntary family planning information and services. Specifically, the
program focuses on improved counseling services; expanding the range of
available contraceptive methods; improving pre- and post-partum care
and assisted births; training health workers about the methodologies
and advantages of informed consent, and emphasizing the international
requirement to do so; and enhancing efforts to prevent and treat
sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, the program includes
components to enhance the status of women and encourage exchanges with
voluntary programs in other developing countries.
UNFPA's efforts in China between 1980 and 1995 have advanced the
availability of quality, voluntary family planning; improved maternal
health; reduced infant mortality; and advanced human rights.
Encouragingly, the U.S. State Department's most recent human rights
report on China notes significant progress toward reducing coercive
family planning practices. For many years, it has been reported that
China's most restrictive practices have occurred in the cities. The
State Department's recent report on human rights in China in 2000
states that ``the Government was beginning to relax its policies in the
cities,'' including Beijing, Shanghai, Zhejiang Province and parts of
Guizhou Province. The report goes on to state, ``outside the cities,
exceptions to the `one-child policy' are becoming the norm.'' Taken
together, these findings essentially indicate a countrywide relaxation
of restrictive practices.
The State Department's report indicates that UNFPA has done exactly
what it said it would do in the 32 counties in which it is working--
getting these counties to eliminate the system of strict, government-
assigned birth quotas. Moreover, the report indicates that Chinese
authorities are recognizing the greater wisdom of the non-restrictive
approach advocated by UNFPA: ``600 counties covering about half the
country's population have adopted more liberal policies.''
All over the world, UNFPA is forging ahead with its efforts to
promote an inclusive, compassionate, voluntary approach to family
planning and reproductive health. Already, the Fund's work has made a
difference for millions of families. In the future, UNFPA will continue
its efforts to realize the hopeful vision agreed upon at the 1994 ICPD
and in the process to help improve the quality of life for people
everywhere, with special attention to those most in need of assistance.
Senator Boxer. So clearly, there are differences of opinion
on this. And we want to explore those differences with our
witnesses here today and through our questions. So why do we
not just get started on this.
I am pleased to introduce again the Assistant Secretary of
State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. Mr. Arthur E.
``Gene'' Dewey. The PRM Bureau, as it is known, is responsible
for U.S. international population policy and promotes its goals
through bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
STATEMENT OF ARTHUR E. DEWEY, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE,
BUREAU OF POPULATION, REFUGEES, AND MIGRATION, DEPARTMENT OF
STATE, WASHINGTON, DC
Mr. Dewey. Thank you very much, Madame Chairman.
Witnesses normally start by saying how delighted they are
to appear before a committee, and immediately compromise their
credibility in the process. I have to confess in this case,
Madame Chairman, that it was a much greater pleasure to appear
before you at my confirmation hearing just a few weeks ago. And
I appreciate your graciousness at that hearing and your
prediction that I would be confirmed, which has been the case.
And I am delighted to be on the job, although it may be less of
a delight to be here at this hearing today.
The central issue for the hearing is the status of the U.S.
funding for UNFPA for fiscal year 2002. There is a short answer
to that, and that is that the status is that the funding is
under review at the White House level. But the central question
that I would like to address in just a few summary remarks, and
then I would like to submit a formal statement for the record,
if I could, Madame Chairman.
Senator Boxer. Without objection, so ordered.
Mr. Dewey. The central question seems to be: Why is the
funding under review, particularly after the administration had
requested $25 million for the program for 2002, and then the
Foreign Operations Appropriation Act provided $34 million, up
to $34 million, for UNFPA and, as you mentioned, Madame
Chairman, the provision of what, aside from Luxembourg, is a
fairly liberal contribution to UNFPA for the needs of Afghan
women in the heart of the crisis which is happening in that
So I will--in these introductory remarks, I will try to
address this question of ``Why is there a review after these
other actions would indicate that there was no problem in going
ahead with the funding?''
It seems that the new situation is the--the new situation
seems to be that the finding of the Population Research
Institute, which alleged complicity of the UNFPA in a coercive
family planning program in China, followed in October of last
year by rebuttal from the UNFPA, and was followed by that by a
sharp response from Capitol Hill, with a sharp division of
opinion as to what the true facts are in this case--it seems
that given this response, this new situation, and particularly
the sharply divided response from Capitol Hill, where the White
House and the State Department have heard very detailed and
sharp replies from both sides of this issue, that no
responsible person or organization would have the choice but to
take another thorough look at this funding question based upon
those circumstances which I just described.
For a variety of reasons--and the central issue here is
whether the law, whether the Kemp-Kasten amendment in the
Foreign Operations Act, is triggered as a result of these
allegations. That seems to be the central issue. And I will
just review the Kemp-Kasten amendment language for everyone's
It prohibits U.S. Government funding to any organization,
as determined by the President, that supports or participates
in the management of a program of coercive abortion or
involuntary sterilization. It seems that with the differences
that have occurred particularly over the last few weeks on this
issue as to whether Kemp-Kasten should be invoked do require
and set out a clear responsibility to review the bidding on
this issue. And that is what the White House is doing at the
I think that such a high-level review has another benefit
for the long term. Let us assume, without prejudging what the
outcome of this review will be, that the United States will
continue funding of the UNFPA. There is a possibility of
setting out through this review greater clarity on what would
constitute true UNFPA independence from a program which is in
such question, or really is in no question as far as China is
concerned with its coercive overtones.
This would seem to be useful in eliminating future
ambiguity over whether or not Kemp-Kasten would apply. And
there surely is a need for that. If you look at the past
administration's determination on Kemp-Kasten, using the same
set of facts, two different administrations came up with
I think another reason for needing to get such clarity is
the recent enactment of the Population and Family Planning Law
by the Peoples' Congress in China at the end of December of
last year. This is a very ambiguous law that seems to codify
current practices, especially the one-child policy, with only
problematical exceptions to that one-child policy.
An outside evaluation could suggest for UNFPA that an
appropriate role would be an independent neighborhood watch
kind of role to deal with reports of abuse and to work to
change abusive practices in the countryside, as well as the
ambiguous policy which exists in the capital itself.
So this kind of independence seems to be needed. It seems,
without that, we are going to continue to have a chain of
confusion in determining whether the provisions of the law are
triggered with respect to U.S. funding. And this is what I hope
certainly will come out of the review which is now underway.
With that, I will conclude and be prepared to take your
questions. Thank you, Madame Chairman.
Senator Boxer. Thank you.
[The prepared statement of Mr. Dewey follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Arthur E. Dewey, Assistant Secretary of
State for Population, Refugees, and Migration
Madam Chairman and members of the Committee, I am pleased to be
here today to represent the Administration in discussing the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and to reaffirm the Administration's
commitment to international family planning.
Throughout its more than 30-year history, the U.S. international
family planning program has had strong support from the American public
as well as Congress. This program is recognized worldwide as an
important component of our foreign assistance. The United States
remains the largest bilateral donor of population assistance in the
world, with programs in nearly 60 countries. We have also been the
largest bilateral donor to UNFPA, providing more than $610 million
since UNFPA was founded in 1968. American generosity over the past
three decades has enabled couples to choose when and how many children
to have, enhanced maternal and child health, and enabled parents to
better provide for their children. As President Bush has said, ``One of
the best ways to prevent abortion is to provide quality voluntary
family planning services.'' And we know that reproductive health care
and family planning saves lives by reducing pregnancy-related deaths
around the world.
The Administration's commitment to international family planning
remains strong, as reflected in the President's FY 2003 budget request
of $425 million for USAID's population program.
When President Bush signed into law H.R. 2506, the ``Foreign
Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act,
2002,'' (Public Law 107-115, January 10, 2002) he stated:
The Act does not interfere with our policies regarding
bilateral international family planning assistance, and ensures
that U.S. funds are not made available to organizations
supporting or participating in the management of a program of
coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization. The Act
provides additional discretion to determine the appropriate
level of funding for the United Nations Population Fund.
In particular, because the Act stated that ``not more than $34
million for fiscal year 2002 shall be made available for the United
Nations Population Fund,'' the Administration has substantial
discretion in determining any appropriate level of UNFPA funding,
within the $34 million cap.
I know that Secretary Powell has testified before you and your
colleagues on the good work UNFPA has done in so many areas around the
world. We support the work UNFPA is doing worldwide to provide safe and
voluntary family planning, enhance maternal and infant health, and
prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Yet, at the same time, we remain mindful of our important
obligations under the Kemp-Kasten amendment to the annual Foreign
Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act,
which provides that no U.S. funds can go to an organization that
supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive
abortion or involuntary sterilization.
We are particularly attentive to periodic reports of abuse and
coercion in China's family planning program, and have frequently
dispatched officers from our embassy or consulates in China to
investigate the credibility of these reports. Since 1998, when the
UNFPA Executive Board--of which the U.S. is a member--approved a new
four-year pilot project in 32 Chinese counties, the U.S. Mission to
China has continued to monitor UNFPA's work closely.
Allegations of UNFPA's complicity in coercive family planning
practices in China have been recently brought to our attention and to
Congress' attention. And while we are aware of UNFPA's response that it
is not involved in coercive practices and is, in fact, supporting a
program that stresses the importance of voluntarism and non-coercion,
it is incumbent upon us to look further into this matter.
In closing, let me reiterate this Administration's strong
commitment to international family planning. As I mentioned, we are,
and continue to be, the largest bilateral provider of voluntary family
planning and related primary health care. The President's FY 2003
budget supports our position as the leading donor.
Senator Boxer. Do you want to start with questions,
Senator Brownback. If I could make sure that I understand
where the administration is, you are just saying you got a
report--you got conflicting opinions from out on Capitol Hill.
And so you are saying, ``We need some more time to review
this,'' is the essence of where the administration is today. Is
Mr. Dewey. That is exactly right, Senator.
Senator Brownback. OK. And then over a period of time, you
will make your own investigation, you will do your own
investigation within the administration to determine whether or
not the Kemp-Kasten is being complied with our not. Is that
Mr. Dewey. The modalities of the review are really out of
my hands, out of the State Department hands. Those modalities
are in the White House itself.
Senator Brownback. Have you had a chance to review, then,
on the coercive abortion issue and coercive abortion policy,
whether it exists in China today? You have not personally, nor
the administration has had a chance to review that issue. Is
Mr. Dewey. My Bureau has had discussions with China at the
reinvigorated human rights meeting just last fall where we have
pressed the issue on making changes in the course of family
planning practices. As you know, the stated policy of China,
even though it is a one-child policy, asserts that there is no
coercion. But the practices seem to be different out in the
And so we have brought it up in that forum. The Embassy in
Beijing also engages Chinese officials, particularly the head
of the State Planning Commission on Family Planning, on this
very issue. So yes, there is a dialog going on where these
issues are raised with the appropriate officials.
Senator Brownback. So you are getting it raised, though--
what I am hearing you say is you are getting it raised to you
in China. The mission is being--it is being raised there at
the--that this coercive policy is still taking place, at least
out in the provinces.
Mr. Dewey. That is right, yes. These are reports that we
are getting. And these reports are not denied by Chinese
officials. They explain them in terms that they cannot control
all the practices that are going on throughout the country and
that, of course, they decry those practices where they do
exist. And they have promised to follow up and to punish the
offenders, those who are guilty of abuses.
So this is the line of the government. But our concern is
that the abuses seem to continue.
Senator Brownback. Have you had a chance, or has the State
Department officials had any chance, to have firsthand evidence
interviewing women that have had coerced abortion or
sterilizations, and these interviews not be conducted in front
of Chinese officials?
Mr. Dewey. I do not have any indication of that or
recollection of any such interviews.
Senator Brownback. Of whether or not they have had or have
not occurred, the interviews----
Mr. Dewey. No, I am not aware of any.
Senator Brownback. Interviews that have occurred?
Mr. Dewey. I am not aware of any.
Senator Brownback. If I could just request that the
administration look into these aggressively, because I know
from my own personal experiences the number of suggestions that
this is taking place are very high, that coerced abortion is
occurring, that that continues to be an active, aggressive
policy in China, that that is taking place, continues to be a
high level number of those being suggested. To the degree that
the administration can interview and try to follow into some of
these rumors or leads to find if they are substantiated or not
would be a valuable bit of information in this debate.
I think you are quite wise to hold up on distribution of
funds until we can get to the bottom of this. I think it would
be helpful in the exchange and the discussion if the
administration, when you get a number of these reports to you,
could start following in to those and see if these are actually
taking place or not.
Mr. Dewey. Well, we will certainly take that suggestion
into account in the course of this review, which is being
Senator Brownback. Do you know if China will permit people
to openly come in and conduct interviews with women who have
alleged that they have gone through coerced abortion or
sterilization? It is my understanding they will not.
Mr. Dewey. I cannot give you a definitive answer on that. I
know that interviews have occurred, but I am not sure under
Senator Brownback. It is my understanding that the
officials, Chinese officials, will not let those take place and
have sanctioned the matter. But I do not--I wondered if you had
a verification of that or not.
Mr. Dewey. No, I do not. I do not know to what extent that
has been tested.
Senator Brownback. Thank you very much.
Senator Boxer. Thank you very much.
I just want to make it clear that this hearing is not about
forced abortion in China. I do not think there is any
disagreement from anyone that forced, coerced abortion goes
against a woman's right to choose, in my opinion. And it should
be condemned, and it is condemned. And that is not what this
hearing is about. We could have a hearing on that, if the
This is about the UNFPA. And the UNFPA's own guidelines
prohibit them to be involved with coerced abortions in China or
anywhere else. I want to make the point clear of what this
hearing is or is not about. And I have joined with my colleague
in his pursuit of the truth as far as what goes on in China. He
has a personal passion about it. And I must tell him that I
share that passion. Although I may not have a beautiful child
of Chinese heritage as my own, I share that passion.
This is about the UNFPA. So I just want to make sure we
know what the hearing is about.
I want to say that, just to correct the record, Mr. Dewey,
you said that Luxembourg gave more than we did to the UNFPA in
that special drive. Let me name the countries that gave more
than we did, just so you know: U.K., the Netherlands, Denmark,
Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and Italy. So I just wanted to make
that point. We should have done more than $660,000. I am so
happy we did that. But if I had a chance, I would have helped
more, because the Afghan people deserved it.
But moving on, just to make sure, Mr. Dewey--and I
appreciate your remarks, and I know from the tenor of your
remarks, I hope, that maybe an investigation can yield us a
good outcome. And I certainly will work with you as hard as I
can, if you need me to help you get facts from the field, that
these funds will be released.
I know I have hope, given the tenor of your statement, that
you are investigating this, and you feel this is your duty. And
I hope that you will investigate it, and I hope you will do it
soon. And I hope you release these funds.
Frankly, the issue of next year's funds, which there are
not any in the budget, is another matter. I do not want to get
into that. That is a travesty from my personal point of view.
But right now I am looking at the funds that were duly
appropriated. As you pointed out, we appropriated more funds in
a bipartisan way in this Congress than the administration asked
for the last year. And those funds are sitting there locked up.
So I want to know: Have you looked over the UNFPA's
guidelines, their program of action, that they adopted in the
1994 International Conference on Population and Development,
which states in no case should abortion be promoted as a method
of family planning, and ``coercion has no part to play in
population and development programs''?
Have you looked at those guidelines? Are you familiar with
Mr. Dewey. I have indeed looked at them, and I am familiar
with them. And I believe that UNFPA sincerely believes that
that is their policy and that they are practicing that policy
of not condoning coercive methods of family planning.
Senator Boxer. Well, do you think somehow they may be
duped? Is that what is going on? Who is duping them and taking
your money and doing the wrong thing with it? Who might be
Mr. Dewey. It ties back to the language of Kemp-Kasten as
to how closely--how close is the support? What does support
consist of, to a program, which we know in China does include
coercive family planning measures? That seems to be the
ambiguity, which, as I said, I am hoping that a review can
Senator Boxer. Are you aware that there was a review of
just this issue by an international review team led by
Ambassador Nicolaas Biegman, who is here today? Have you seen
Mr. Dewey. I have, Madame Chairman. I have seen that
Senator Boxer. Do you have respect for the work that he's--
Mr. Dewey. Yes, and I have respect for his judgment and the
work they did. I would say that the findings of that rebuttal
were no more dispositive, however, than the findings of PRI
were definitive in stating that Kemp-Kasten ought to be
Senator Boxer. OK. Well, we are going to find out, because
we have the Ambassador here. That is not my understanding, but
we will see.
Have you seen the State Department's human rights report on
Mr. Dewey. The State Department human rights report will be
released this evening or tomorrow on this subject. So it has
not been released yet.
Senator Boxer. Well, we are talking about last year's. Hang
on a second.
Senator Boxer. Well, I am going to put into the record,
from last year's human rights report, information which looks
like these are moving in the right direction.
[The following information was subsequently supplied:]
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices--2000
released by the bureau of democracy, human rights, and labor--february
In late 1998, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on an
experimental basis launched a 4-year pilot project in 32 counties to
address family planning and reproductive health issues solely through
the use of voluntary measures, emphasizing education, improved
reproductive health services, and economic development. The SFPC worked
closely with the UNFPA to prepare informational materials and to
provide training for officials and the general public in the project
counties. Although it was still too early for an overall assessment of
this program, visits to selected counties by foreign diplomats indicate
that progress in implementing the program has been mixed. Some counties
have made appreciable progress in implementing the program, while
others have made relatively little. Notably, some counties have
informed the general public about the UNFPA program and have eliminated
the system of strict, government-assigned birth quotas (allowing
couples to choose without authorization when to have their first
child); other counties have not yet done so, or have only begun to do
so. In Sichuan Province a couple can legally have a second child
without applying for permission if they meet all the requirements;
however, regulations and implementation vary from town to town. The
Government has welcomed foreign delegations to inspect the UNFPA
project counties. Although access to these areas has varied from
province to province, foreign diplomats visited several counties during
Senator Boxer. I wonder if you are aware that the same
group that wrote--that gave the information for the Pakistani
news people, that said the UNFPA was involved with doing
terrible things in terms of promoting abortion, do you know
what that same group said about UNFPA that they had worked
closely with Slobodan Milosevic to target Kosovars and accuse
them of genocide in Kosovo?
I wonder if you are aware. It seems like this particular
group is making these charges about UNFPA continually. Are you
aware of that?
Mr. Dewey. Yes, I am, Madame Chairman. I am aware of that.
And I know that that has been used as a way to get at the
credibility of that particular team.
Senator Boxer. Well, yes. And I think it is important
because we need to know the track record of people who seem to
be so powerful that they could prevent thousands and thousands
of women from getting help. And what we went through to show
you what $34 million will do, this is what I want to leave you
with, because I know that you are part of a team here. And I do
not want to be unduly harsh on you at all. First of all,
because it would not be fair. Second of all, because I hope you
are going to release the money. And I want you to come away
from this hearing with good feelings about that, because if you
do that, you are going to save lives. You are not going to
cause injury or harm.
This good you are going to do with the $34 million, you
will prevent 2 million unwanted pregnancies, nearly 800,000
induced abortions, 4,700 maternal deaths, 60,000 cases of
serious maternal illness, and over 77,000 infant and child
So, Mr. Dewey, this $34 million in the scheme of our budget
is not terribly large, as you well know, in the numbers that we
deal with. But when you apply it to real human beings, it does
a lot of good. I hope that your review goes well and quickly
and that you find, in effect, we will save lives by releasing
In particular, I hope you will keep the picture of the
Afghan women in front of your mind, because we made this
promise. And the administration worked so hard with me and
Senator Brownback, as did Kofi Annan, to make sure we had women
in the Afghan transitional government there overseeing health,
making sure that women get the help they need. But they are so
short of funding. And this means a tremendous amount.
Yes, other countries stepped up to the plate. But I would
be ashamed if we did not step up to the plate, because I would
view it as a big mistake.
Again, coerced abortion in China or anywhere else is
deplorable. It has been deplored by this Congress and everyone.
It is deplored by the UNFPA in their own words. And we cannot
use our money in any way for abortion, coerced or otherwise.
That has been in place for a long time.
And I just, you know, hope--my colleague and I come after
it in a different way. He looks at holding back the money as a
way to save life. And I look at it as harming life and causing
death. You know, someone will judge who is right and who is
wrong. Right now, you are one of the judges.
And I thank you very much for coming. And I hope you could
stay and listen to the debate. If not, we will send you a
transcript, because I know you are busy and have a lot to do.
We thank you for taking the time to appear before the
Mr. Dewey. Thank you very much, Madame Chairman.
Senator Boxer. Thank you so much, Mr. Dewey.
Now we will call for our second panel, the Honorable
Nicolaas Biegman, former Ambassador of the Netherlands to NATO;
Mrs. Phyllis Oakley, former Assistant Secretary of State for
Intelligence and Research, also former Assistant Secretary of
State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, and adjunct
professor at Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC; and Ms.
Josephine Guy, director of Governmental Affairs, America 21,
from Louisville, Kentucky; Dr. Nicholas Eberstadt, the Henry
Wendt Chair in Political Economy, American Enterprise
Institute, Washington, DC.
So if you all would take your chairs as soon as our
wonderful staff has provided your nameplates, that would be
Now, what we are going to do is we are going to start with
you, Ms. Oakley, if you want to just come up. We would ask the
others to please take a chair, if you would do so. Thank you.
We are going to use the clock. I think we are going to give
each of you--did you prepare 5 minutes? OK; we will put 6
minutes up for you. And that would give you an extra minute in
case you want to take a breath along the way. So we are going
to go this way, this way, this way, this way, right down the
And we will start with you, Mrs. Oakley, and thank you very
much for being here.
STATEMENT OF MRS. PHYLLIS E. OAKLEY, FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY
OF STATE FOR INTELLIGENCE AND RESEARCH; FORMER ASSISTANT
SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POPULATION, REFUGEES, AND MIGRATION;
ADJUNCT PROFESSOR, JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY, WASHINGTON, DC
Ms. Oakley. Thank you, Senator. In contrast to my
successor, Gene Dewey, I am delighted to be here. I have
written testimony that I will submit for the record. And I
would like, in the interest of time, to simply address two
Two weeks ago, I returned from a 10-day trip to Ghana
wearing one of my former State Department hats. And I was doing
programs on media-government relations in a democracy for the
U.S. Embassy. On Saturday, my day off, I was able to visit
something organized by the African Youth Alliance made up of
the U.N. Population Fund Path and Pathfinder. And it is an AIDS
prevention program for adolescents.
The clinic does some testing and counseling but is mainly
focusing on education among young people. They are using social
groups, videos, and an Internet facility to reach the young
people of one particular sprawling and crowded area of Accra.
It is very impressive, particularly the enthusiasm and the
commitment of the young and in charge and the doctor.
And I am convinced that this type of outreach is absolutely
essential in getting control of the spread of AIDS. In talking
about their future, they do not want a larger or a grander
center. What they want is to replicate that kind of thing
around the country. And I might add that the AID mission of the
embassy, working with a lot of other groups, has plastered the
city of Accra, every bus, SUV, car, chimney, whatever, with a
yellow slogan. And it says, ``Don't forget your ABCs: Abstain,
be faithful, use condoms.'' The ABCs are taking over there. And
I thought it was quite a terrific message.
Now I would like to say something about Afghanistan,
because I dealt with Afghanistan for 6 years. I want to show
you, Senators, what a safe delivery kit looks like. This is a
U.N. Population Fund safe delivery kit. There is a batch number
on it, a bar of soap, a razor, a surgical blade, umbilical
tape, plastic sheeting, and a gauze bandage.
I was very interested to hear about this report of other
safe delivery kits that would include things involved in
abortion. I certainly hope you will be able to see an authentic
copy or an authentic safe delivery kit like that that was
reported. I am absolutely amazed and doubtful that it exists.
Dr. Eberstadt. If I could, Madame Chairman, I would like
to give you a copy of an----
Senator Boxer. Well, if we could just--could we just stop
Dr. Eberstadt [continuing]. Article. And then you could
look at it.
Mrs. Oakley. Yes.
Dr. Eberstadt. And then you would have a copy of this
article. And then you can look at it. And maybe we can comment
during the question and----
Senator Boxer. Yes.
Mrs. Oakley. But I think we would all like to see such a
Let me just say that I think everybody knows from the
papers and television what the situation of Afghan women is
like and how desperately poor they are. I was so impressed with
that article about the hospital. And I love the name, the 52
Beds Clinic. I think that we have to remember that those are
the lucky women. Those are the women who get to some sort of
I have been in too many refugee camps, too many places
where perhaps the facility was a tent. And these things did not
exist. I cannot tell you how important they are.
I also want to add to what Senator Boxer said about the
potential happy ending for this story about the 52 Beds Clinic,
that in early March, a UNFPA-chartered cargo jet loaded with
medical supplies is due to arrive in Kabul from Copenhagen. And
with the support of the Government of Italy, the UNFPA is
planning a complete renovation of that clinic, along with
others in Kabul.
UNFPA has been asked by the new woman Director of Public
Health to help across the board with these programs because,
again, it may be bad enough for the women in Kabul, but just
think of what it is like for the people outside the country.
Anyway, I just wanted to comment on these two very
personal, very real experiences I have had. I have seen the
positive results of UNFPA and their activities. I certainly
urge, not only from my experience in the government but from my
role as a world citizen, as a professor, that the funding be
Let me stop there. And I will be glad to take your
questions. Thank you.
Senator Boxer. Thank you so very much.
[The prepared statement of Mrs. Oakley follows:]
Prepared Statement of Hon. Phyllis Oakley, former Assistant Secretary
of State for Intelligence and Research and former Assistant Secretary
of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration; Adjunct Professor,
Johns Hopkins University
Good afternoon to you Madame Chairman and Members of the
Subcommittee. As most members of this Subcommittee may know, I served
in the United States Foreign Service for most of my professional life,
including stints as desk officer for Afghanistan, as Deputy
Spokesperson under Secretary George Schultz, as Assistant Secretary for
Population, Refugees, and Migration and my final assignment as the
Department's Assistant Secretary for Intelligence and Research. During
the past several years of my retirement, I have been teaching at Mt.
Holyoke in Massachusetts and on Massachusetts Avenue at the John's
Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. I also serve on the
boards of several organizations concerned with education and foreign
affairs, including, for the past year, the Board of the U.S. Committee
for UNFPA. As always, it is a pleasure to be with you today and I
welcome the opportunity to share with you my perspectives on
international family planning issues and the work of the United Nations
I have been engaged in foreign policy work longer than I might like
to admit--over 40 years. So much has changed in that time. I was
involved when the Cold War began in earnest, and was there when the
Berlin Wall came down. I experienced the transformation of that bipolar
world and the emergence of an age of increasing interdependence, where
issues, challenges, opportunities and threats transcend national
boundaries. Economists have talked of this transformation in terms of
the era of globalization. For those of us working on the front lines of
diplomacy to protect American interests, we have seen this
transformation in terms of an altered landscape of security threats and
challenges. Issues like international crime, the proliferation of
weapons of mass destruction, growing numbers of refugees, global
environmental challenges, and, of course, the emergence of worldwide
networks of terror--these have all emerged from the sidelines to the
mainstream of American foreign policy.
My experience in the Foreign Service has taught me many things. And
one of the most important is that rapid population growth and
associated poverty are dangerous, crosscutting trends that must be
addressed through international cooperation. To ignore them is to
ignore some of the driving forces underlying the global issues that are
so prominent today. Mine is the first--and hopefully it will be the
only--generation to have lived through more than a tripling of global
population. When I was born, there were about 2 billion people on the
Earth, today there are more than 6. That is a whole lot of change--and
it is profound. Today, there are 2 billion people who live on less than
$2 a day.
Now, I am no expert on whether the Earth's environmental systems
can sustain that kind of growth or the demand for resources associated
with 6 or 7 or 8 billion people. But what I can tell you is this:
First, that population growth has made the world a much more
complicated place--exponentially so. Demographic forces are not
divorced from issues of state power, and help to shape not only
our bilateral relations with other nations, but also our global
Second, I have learned--because I have seen it--that rapid
population growth and persistent, jaw-dropping poverty are a
dangerous mix. That was true in Pakistan when I lived there; in
Zaire; it was true in Afghanistan when I was a desk officer; it
was true in the dreadful refugee camps that I visited after the
genocide in Rwanda; and it is true in so many places today.
In the early 1990s, I was working on Humanitarian Assistance
programs on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The discrepancy
between rapid population growth and the ability of governments to
respond was striking. In overstretched infrastructure, heroic efforts
were made to try and get people into school. Those lucky enough to get
through school were rudely awakened by the reality that the society
could not produce enough jobs to keep up with growing numbers. There is
little surprise, then, that strident, fundamentalist religious schools
became popular with the uneducated and the underemployed.
I don't want to belabor the point, suffice it to say that my own
experience has led me to the belief that rapid population growth should
be and must be considered as an important factor influencing America's
engagement around the world.
The question is, what can we do about it? I understand that nobody
wants to talk about these issues, involving as they do sensitive
personal, social and religious issues. But we can't ignore them, so we
have to talk about them. That is one of the reasons why we are
fortunate to have the United Nations Population Fund as an institution
and forum for confronting these issues in a civilized, adult manner.
I was somewhat familiar with UNFPA's work for many years, but
learned much more about them when I became Assistant Secretary for the
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. At that time, UNFPA was
coordinating preparations for the International Conference on
Population and Development, which was held in Cairo in 1994. And they
did a wonderful job, not only in the logistical preparations for that
conference, but in working with the world to create a remarkable new
vision for international population policy.
They listened to the world--hearing from representatives of all
regions, diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, NGOs and
individuals from all over the world. Because they listened, the bedrock
principle of the action plan reached at the ICPD is that population
policies should be pursued with full respect for not only national
sovereignty, but also diverse religious and ethical values and in
accordance with universally recognized human rights.
They moved the world away from a fixation on the number of people
on the planet and towards a needs-based approach--focusing on the fact
that if people, especially women, have access to family planning and
other health services, if they are educated, if they have economic
opportunities, if human rights are respected, and if men will recognize
their responsibilities for homelife, if all these conditions are met,
the global population will stabilize on its own, and we need not focus
This new approach, forged through UNFPA leadership and agreed at
the ICPD, was all aimed at addressing concerns--held especially by
women and NGOs around the world about the use of demographic targets
and certain situations in which coercion was encouraged. This is a very
important point Madame Chairman, and I want to underscore it. The
United Nations Population Fund was the leading advocate, the force that
moved international population policy away from numeric targets and
other tactics that could encourage coercion. UNFPA championed a human
rights based approach to population policy.
All of us who were at Cairo recognized what a wonderful achievement
this was. And all of us on the U.S. delegation were thrilled to be a
part of it.
After Cairo, I became more and more familiar with UNFPA's work in
the field. Not only its ongoing efforts in more than 140 countries
around the world. But especially its efforts in areas that overlapped
with other responsibilities I carried, particularly in crisis
situations in refugee camps around the world.
In Goma, I saw how important UNFPA's work was in providing
emergency supplies for pregnant women. You all will recall the honor of
those vast numbers moving so quickly, the outbreak of cholera, camps
organized amazingly overnight when hundreds of thousands of people fled
the massacres occurring in Rwanda and crossed over into what was then
Zaire. These were difficult and dangerous situations. Ethnic tensions
were high. Thousands of women had been raped as an instrument of
terror. Gangs were commonplace and security in the camps almost non-
existant in the beginning because the Government of Zaire could supply
none. In the midst of all of this, brave international public servants
from UNFPA worked tirelessly to provide the most basic supplies so that
pregnant women would have a chance to deliver a child safely.
They supplied soap, plastic sheeting, a razor blade to cut the
umbilical cord, sutures for complications, rape treatment kits and
basic contraceptive supplies.
In Kosovo, several years later, UNFPA was there as part of the
United Nations humanitarian response team when hundreds of thousands of
Kosovars fled mass killings and the systematic use of rape. Again,
brave international civil servants responded and helped to provide
emergency supplies and such things as underwear for girls and women.
For their efforts, a handful of organizations, including the
Population Research Institute, chose to go on the attack, going so far
as to make the outrageous accusation that UNFPA was conspiring with Mr.
Milosevic in a campaign of genocide.
Those same organizations have been giving UNFPA a hard time over
Afghanistan, where the Fund is again working to meet the needs of those
displaced by 20 years of civil war and the welcome efforts of the
United States and others to rid that country of terrorists and the
harsh rule of the Taliban.
I have been to Afghan refugee camps and I have seen UNFPA's
contribution to international humanitarian response efforts. I wish
that all those who take potshots at the UN, who think that
international cooperation is about bloated bureaucracy, or who
cavalierly attack UNFPA could experience these heart-rending
situations. If they did, they would have their hats off to these brave
individuals and the hard-working organizations they represent. And if I
have not been clear enough, let me just say that I resent and take
great offense to those who have attempted to ruin the reputation of
UNFPA and international family planning in such a reckless fashion.
Nowhere has this been more evident than in the endless campaign
that has been waged to suggest that UNFPA is complicit in the very
serious and disturbing violations of human rights that occur in China.
As a woman, and one who has seen the anomalous gender ratios in China,
I am not about to defend China's one-child policy, the incidence of
coercion or female infanticide. The facts are pretty clear, and very
It is equally clear that UNFPA has absolutely nothing to do with
these practices, nor does the United States contribution to UNFPA. U.S.
law has prevented even one cent of the U.S. contribution to UNFPA from
being spent in China for years. More fundamentally, the clear evidence
is that the UN Population Fund is aware of the problems in China's
program and that it is attempting to work with the Chinese to
demonstrate the greater wisdom and effectiveness of voluntary, non-
coercive population policies. Reflecting the consensus it championed
and forged at the Cairo Conference, UNFPA has insisted that Chinese
authorities agree to discontinue to the use of targets, quotas and
other coercive means in each of the 32 counties in which it is
providing assistance to the Chinese. This does not mean that UNFPA's
staff of four people in China has taken over China's program--it means
that UNFPA is having a positive influence. And that fact is being born
out in the reporting of our own foreign service officers.
Last year's Human Rights report--not known for pulling punches--
found clear evidence of UNFPA's positive influence in China. Let just
quote a few passages:
600 counties covering about half the country's population
have adopted more liberal (population) policies.
The Government was beginning to relax its policies in the
cities. Other jurisdictions, such as Minglan village in Yandu
County, have reportedly followed the earlier example of Beijing
and other cities, abolishing birth permits and allowing couples
to decide on their own when to have a baby.
The evidence from others, including the many monitoring teams that
have been sent to observe progress of the UNFPA program echo these
There is only one place in the world where UNFPA's activities are
questioned--and that is right here in Washington. I was the relevant
Assistant Secretary of State for three years. During that time, I have
to tell you that never, not once, did I hear from another government,
from my forceful colleagues in the human rights bureau, from the
intelligence community, or from any reputable human rights organization
expressing concerns about UNFPA's work in China or anywhere else. Not
one cable, not one letter, not one phone call. Nothing.
Because this is only an issue of American domestic politics--not of
foreign policy or of the actions of an international organization.
UNFPA is a good organization caught in the vise of American politics.
That is what makes this issue so sad, so frustrating, so Kafkaesque.
Hours and hours are wasted at the Department, on the Hill and
throughout Washington in an annual fight that is based on smear,
innuendo and hatefulness.
All of us who have worked on this issue have been tempted to throw
up our hands, to give up, to become frustrated by the groundless nature
of this debate. But if it is tempting, it is also wrong.
For to give up would not only abandon the architecture that has
been put in place for addressing common global issues, but it would
also abandon those women and children who depend on UNFPA in refugee
camps, it would be to give up on the 350 million couples that want to
plan their families but don't have access to modern family planning
services, and it would be to abandon those people in China and
elsewhere who yearn to realize their basic human rights as individuals.
This is not a debate about what words are put in an appropriations
bill. This is a fight for the most impoverished and repressed people in
the world, it is about truthfulness, and it is about American
leadership on the great issues of this new century unfolding.
I thank the Subcommittee for inviting me hear today. And I hope
that you will endeavor with your colleagues to put this issue behind
us--where it belongs--once and for all.
Senator Boxer. Mr. Ambassador, please go ahead for 6
STATEMENT OF HON. NICOLAAS H. BIEGMAN, FORMER AMBASSADOR OF THE
NETHERLANDS TO NATO, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Ambassador Biegman. Madame Chairman, I would like to thank
you for the opportunity to testify this afternoon on the work
of the U.N. Population Fund and specifically on its activities
I am truly pleased and honored to share with you what I
Senator Boxer. Can you move closer to the microphone? Thank
Ambassador Biegman. Is this all right?
Senator Boxer. Much better. Thank you very much. I just
want you to be heard.
Ambassador Biegman. So do I.
Before I start, let me tell you just a little about myself.
I served my country, the Netherlands, for 38 years in the
Foreign Service. I was Ambassador to Egypt, to the United
Nations and, until recently, to NATO. And I managed our foreign
assistance program between 1988 and 1992.
As U.N. Ambassador, I was very actively involved in the
International Conference on Population Development in Cairo in
1994. I was vice-chair of the preparatory process, chairing
many sessions of the main committee.
UNFPA is the main international agency working on the
implementation of the program of action of which you have
cited, already quoted some of the principles. It is committed
to a range of internationally agreed human rights standards,
UNFPA is, including the right of all couples and individuals to
decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing, and timing
of their children; to have the information and means to do so;
and to make decisions free of discrimination, coercion, and
The UNFPA provides financial, technical, and program
assistance to 140 governments to help them carry out effective
maternal and child health, reproductive health, and voluntary
family planning programs. UNFPA is active in HIV/AIDS education
and prevention. And all these activities are watched very
closely by an executive board composed of representatives from
36 governments among which the United States is an active and
The U.N. Population Fund is prohibited from providing
support for abortion or abortion-related activities anywhere in
the world. That has been said already, and I do not have to
repeat it. It is one of these policies which have been spelled
explicitly out in the program of action, which I was proud to
So in this context I was asked to lead this independent
international review team to investigate allegations linking
the U.N. Population Fund to human rights abuses in China,
allegations which were brought forward by a group called the
Population Research Institute at the hearing before the House
Committee in October 2001.
I would like to state for the record that I accepted this
invitation with an open mind, an open mind. I am familiar with
the U.N. Population Fund. I believe that they have been
extremely helpful in the developing world. But I know that
everyone knows that the possibility for abuses exists and that
it must be vigilantly guarded against. So I traveled to China
with my team, prepared to uncover and weigh the facts
impartially and to respond fairly and accurately to whatever we
So the investigation in China started on October 22 of last
year and lasted a total of 5 days. Apart from myself, the team
consisted of diplomats, all female, from the Missions at the
U.N. of Honduras, the Czech Republic, and Botswana. To aid our
investigation and help our departure, we requested some
specific information from the organization making the
allegation, especially about the places where they--which they
had visited in the county of Sihui. Unfortunately, they were
either unwilling or unable to provide a response.
So our job was to look for evidence that UNFPA is linked to
a coercive family planning policy in China. I was not asked to
simply look for human rights abuses. The U.S. State Department
documents an extensive array of human rights abuses in its
annual human rights report for China. These allegations of
abuse are horrendous and should be addressed as forcefully as
The mission I led had a single goal, to see if we could
uncover any credible evidence that the U.N. Population Fund
violated the human rights of Chinese citizens or was complicit
in any way in helping the Chinese Government violate the human
rights of its citizens.
During our 5-day investigation in China, we met with
officials for UNFPA and the Chinese Government and with
officials from the U.S. Embassy. We visited a total of seven
family planning clinics, service centers and hospitals in the
county from which the allegations stemmed, and also in another
county that receives funding from UNFPA. As far as time
permitted, we interviewed Chinese citizens at random, on the
street, in family planning and mother and child health clinics,
in villages, using two independent interpreters and without
Chinese Government officials present.
Senator Boxer. Mr. Biegman, I will give you another minute.
I will give each of the next speakers an additional minute.
Ambassador Biegman. Another minute, Madame. That is very
short. But it is safe to say----
Senator Boxer. Well, we could be here a long time. But what
I need you to do is summarize, and then we will have questions.
Ambassador Biegman. Very well.
OK. In short, let me say that we found absolutely no
evidence that the U.N. Population Fund supports coercive family
planning practices in China or violates the human rights of the
Chinese in any way. We found that the quality of care had
improved in the counties we visited, which coincided with the
findings of the journalist of the Wall Street Journal, which
were published in the Wall Street Journal in February, on
February 2, 2001.
We did find that the UNFPA is a positive force for change
in China away from the alleged abuses, as you will find in the
PRI report, and toward a client-based voluntary approach. The
practice followed in the pilot counties where UNFPA is working,
32 of them has been followed up now in 600 of the about 1,700,
I think, counties in China. It is meant to be followed in the
rest of the country as well.
So let me conclude, Madame Chairman, by saying that the
U.N. Population Fund is doing what needs to be done in China,
as far as it can, spending $3.2 million a year in a country of
1.3 billion people.
Are the results perfect? No. But is the effort worth it? I
think the answer to that would be a resounding yes. And I think
the worst the UNFPA could do is take the easy way and walk out
of that country.
Thank you very much.
Senator Boxer. Well, thank you, Mr. Ambassador, very much.
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Biegman follows:]
Prepared Statement of Dr. Nicolaas H. Biegman, Former Ambassador of the
Netherlands to NATO
Madame Chairman, members of the Subcommittee, I would like to thank
you for the opportunity to testify this afternoon on the work of the
United Nations Population Fund and specifically on its activities in
China. I am truly pleased and honored to share what I know with you
Before I start, let me tell you a little about myself I served my
country the Netherlands for 38 years in the Foreign Service. Among many
postings, I have been Ambassador to the United Nations and to NATO.
From 1988 to 1992, I was the Director-General for Netherland's
International Cooperation, managing and overseeing our foreign
While I knew the work of the United Nations Population Fund before
I became Ambassador to the UN in 1992, I became better acquainted with
UNFPA through my active involvement in the 1994 lnternational
Conference on Population and Development. I was the Vice-Chair of the
preparatory process and I chaired many sessions of the Main Committee
at the Conference itself in Cairo, where the last-minute negotiations
took place. After much push and pull, 179 governments, including the
United States, approved a program of action, which continues to guide
the work of United Nations Population Fund to this day.
The United Nations Population Fund plays a very specific role in
developing countries. It helps them to provide reproductive health and
family planning services on the basis of informed individual decision.
This is the central guiding principle of the Programme of Action of the
1994 Cairo Conference, which, in effect, shifted the focus of
population policy away from achieving demographic targets and quotas to
promoting human rights and meeting the individual needs of women and
Since the United Nations Population Fund is guided by and promotes
the Programme of Action, it is committed to a range of internationally
agreed human rights standards, including the right of all couples and
individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and
timing of their children; to have the information and means to do so;
and to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination,
coercion and violence. The ICPD Program of Action also states, and I
quote: ``In no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family
The countries that provide funding to the United Nations Population
Fund, including the United States, insist that UNFPA follow these
principles and that it carefully monitor its activities to ensure that
all activities are not only in line with the ICPD Programme of Action,
but that they are producing positive results. In the case of the United
States, its contributions are kept in a segregated account and not one
cent of the U.S. contribution to UNFPA is spent in China.
UNFPA provides financial, technical and program assistance to 140
governments to help them carry out effective maternal and child health,
reproductive health, and voluntary family planning programs. In recent
years, HIV/AIDS education and prevention has also become an important
component of UNFPA's programs in many countries. All of the activities
of the UN Population Fund are watched very closely by its Executive
Board, which is composed of representatives from 36 governments. The
United States is an active and longstanding Board member.
The involvement of the United Nations Population Fund in any
country is based on a written agreement between UNFPA and the
government that must meet the internationally agreed standards and
principles of the Cairo Conference. These country work plans are
carefully reviewed and approved by the intergovernmental Executive
Board to ensure that they make efficient use of scarce resources to
meet the pressing needs of recipient countries, and that they comply
with the strict standards and policies that the world's governments and
the Executive Board have set for UNFPA.
The United Nations Population Fund is prohibited from providing
support for abortions or abortion-related activities anywhere in the
world. Written policy clearly states that the Fund is ``not to provide
assistance for abortion, abortion services, or abortion-related
equipment and supplies as a method of family planning.'' The Fund is
also prohibited from promoting or providing support for involuntary
sterilization or coercive practices of any kind. All of these
principles and policies are spelled out explicitly in the Cairo
Programme of Action and I vividly remember the negotiations that led to
their final approval.
It is within this context that I was asked by the UN Population
Fund to lead an independent international review team to investigate
allegations linking the UN Population Fund to human rights abuses in
China. The crux of these allegations is whether UNFPA is violating its
commitments under the Programme of Action of the 1994 International
Conference on Population and Development and acting directly against
the express wishes of its intergovernmental Executive Board and its
donors, including the United States.
The allegations were brought forward by the group Population
Research Institute at a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign
Relations on October 17, 2001. They alleged that abuses had taken place
by family planning workers in one of the counties in China that
receives assistance from the UN Population Fund.
I would like to state for the record that I accept this invitation
with an open mind.
Although I am familiar with the UN Population Fund and believe that
its work has, on balance, been very helpful in the developing world,
everyone who works on these types of issues understands that the
possibility for abuse exists and must be vigilantly guarded against. I
traveled to China prepared to uncover and weigh the facts impartially
and to respond fairly and accurately to whatever I might find. I also
believe that the delegation that accompanied me was open-minded and
quite ready and able to identify any and all possible complicity by
UNFPA in violating human rights.
Our investigation in China began on October 22, 2001 and lasted a
total of five days. I was accompanied by Ms. Noemi Ruth Espinoza-
Madrid, the Deputy Ambassador of Honduras to the United Nations; Ms.
Jana Simonova, Minister Counsellor of the Czech Mission to the United
Nations, and Emolemo Morake, First Secretary of the Botswana Mission to
the United Nations.
In preparation for this mission we endeavored to collect as much
information as we could about the specific allegations that had been
brought forward about the UNFPA program in China. To aid our
investigation, we requested specific information from the organization
making the allegations via a direct telephone conversation and also
through a written statement that they requested. Unfortunately, they
were either unwilling or unable to provide a response, so we had to
rely upon the evidence and allegations made at the October 17th
I also entered this mission with a very clear view of what my job
was. I was asked to look for evidence that UNFPA is linked to a
coercive family planning policy in China. I was not asked to simply
look for human rights abuses. The U.S. State Department documents an
extensive array of human rights abuses in its annual Human Rights
Report for China. These allegations of abuse are horrendous and should
be addressed as forcefully as possible. The mission I led had a single
goal: to see if we could uncover any credible evidence that the UN
Population Fund violated the human rights of Chinese citizens or was
complicit in any way in helping the Chinese Government violate the
human rights of its citizens.
Our investigation found absolutely no evidence that the UN
Population Fund supports coercive family planning practices in China or
violates the human rights of Chinese people in any way. After we
returned, we prepared a detailed report of our activities and findings,
which is publicly available and I believe the members of the
Subcommittee have copies of this report.
During our five-day investigation in China, we met with officials
from UNFPA and the Chinese government, and with officials from the
United States Embassy. We also visited a total of seven family planning
clinics, service centers and hospitals in the county from which the
allegations stemmed and also in another county that receives UNFPA
funding. As far as time permitted, we interviewed Chinese citizens at
random--on the street, in family planning and mother and child health
clinics, in villages--using two independent interpreters and without
any Chinese government officials present. Our random interviews with
people on the street included over three hours of discussions.
Responses varied, but generally people believed that family
planning policy in their area had been relaxed considerably in recent
years and that the quality of care had improved. No one expressed any
grievances or complaints or knew of any abuses in recent years. Such
abuses had occurred in the past, they said, but not in the present.
The team also asked nearly every government official and family
planning/reproductive health service provider whether they knew of
recent abuses. None said he did. The team also asked these people if
such abuses were possible. They all said yes, such abuses were
possible, but that those responsible would be punished in accordance
with the severity of the abuse because Chinese law now forbids such
abuses. I took this to be a very positive sign.
Madame Chairman, our goal was to uncover the truth, and to
determine if the reported abuses are true. But in some cases it became
quickly apparent that the allegations were simply wrong. For example,
the desk that supposedly comprised the UNFPA office in Sihui County
that was constantly referred to in the testimony before the House
Committee simply does not exist. That purported UNFPA office, which
formed a central part of the testimony of the Population Research
Institute, is a complete and utter fabrication. UNFPA has no offices in
China outside Beijing.
Now that I have told you what we did not find, let me tell you what
we did find.
Our investigation found that the UN Population Fund's program in
China, which took two years to establish, appears to be playing a
positive and catalytic role in the reform of reproductive health
services--away from an administrative approach to a client-oriented
approach that promotes informed choice of contraceptive methods through
information, education and counseling.
Voluntary, quality family planning services are not yet the norm
throughout China. However, our investigation found that UNFPA's
program, which operates in a limited number of counties in China, is
helping to show Chinese officials that voluntary family planning
programs are the best way to reduce population growth.
The overall impression that the team came away with was that the
Chinese approach had changed in the two project counties we visited and
that the people we met were aware of, and benefiting from, this change.
It was also apparent that the United Nations Population Fund does
not support the Chinese Government's one-child policy in name or
practice and does not take any part in supporting or managing the
Government's program. In fact, assistance from UNFPA is less than 0.1
percent of the $3.6 billion annual cost of China's national family
The UNFPA program, which exists in 32 counties, is meant to
demonstrate the efficacy of the client-based approach, which is based
on voluntary family planning, and is purposefully designed to eliminate
the sort of abuses alleged. The principles and non-coercive policies in
these demonstration projects are now being adopted by the Chinese
Government on a larger scale in the future.
I would like to stress that this view was reinforced by officials
at the United States Embassy in Beijing who noted during a lengthy
discussion that UNFPA was definitely a positive force in moving China
away from precisely the kinds of practices and abuses alleged by the
Population Research Institute. The U.S. officials further noted that
the UN Population Fund had had a direct, positive effect on the
language of new legislation on family planning and reproductive
health--a point that was reinforced by the Vice-Chairperson of the
Madame Chairman, let me be clear: the UNFPA program in China is not
a panacea, it is not by itself going to change China's policies
overnight. That is unrealistic and naive. But I would argue it is far
better for the UNFPA to stay engaged and promote dialogue, better laws
and better services than taking the easy route and packing their bags.
The UN Population Fund is doing what needs to be done, one step at a
time, to assist China in moving away from coercive policies and
practices. Are the results perfect? No. But is the effort worth it? I
think the answer to that is an overwhelming yes. The UN Population Fund
represents the world's interests in helping China to move in a
direction that is in line with international human rights standards.
The investigation I led was by no means the first visit by foreign
government officials to UNFPA project sites in China. As I mentioned
earlier, the United Nations Population Fund relies on rigorous
monitoring visits by foreign diplomats, its Beijing-based staff,
independent experts and delegations of its 36 member intergovernmental
Executive Board to ensure that human rights standards are maintained.
Since 1997, nearly 60 diplomats from some 30 countries, including the
United States, have visited project counties and found no evidence of
any wrongdoing by the United Nations Population Fund.
Thank you Madame Chairman and members of the Subcommittee for the
opportunity to share my knowledge with you today of the UN Population
Fund and its activities in China. I am pleased to answer any questions
you may have.
Senator Boxer. I am very happy that the ranking member has
arrived. And he and I--he was just at another hearing, playing
an important role. He is going to get his papers together, his
thoughts together, listen to the main panelists, and then give
his opening remarks. And then we will resume the questioning.
So, Ms. Guy, welcome. And let me--I should reintroduce you,
since it has been awhile since we have heard about you.
Ms. Guy is head of Governmental Relations at a non-
governmental organization called America 21. And I understand
that you also work as a consultant to the Population Research
Ms. Guy. I do not work as a consultant, no.
Senator Boxer. Do you have any affiliation with them at
Ms. Guy. Officially?
Senator Boxer. No, not officially.
Ms. Guy. Yes. I have a relationship with----
Senator Boxer. OK. As a non-official relationship with the
Population Research Institute. But I think it is important,
because we are going to have a discussion about this.
So, please proceed, Ms. Guy. Welcome. And we have given you
an extra--you have 7 minutes for your presentation----
Ms. Guy. Thank you.
Senator Boxer [continuing]. As does Mr. Eberstadt.
STATEMENT OF MS. JOSEPHINE GUY, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENTAL
AFFAIRS, AMERICA 21, LOUISVILLE, KY
Ms. Guy. I would like to thank each of you for inviting me
here today. To make this precise, I am simply going to read, so
we can move along, because we have a video we would like to
Senator Boxer. Sure.
Ms. Guy. My investigation in China began last September 27,
2001. With two translators and a photographer, my investigation
lasted 4 days.
I volunteered for this assignment and sought no assistance
from the PRC. Had such assistance been sought, the PRC
Government would likely have obstructed our investigation or
influenced the testimonies provided by the victims in this
UNFPA county program.
We interviewed over two dozen victims and witnesses of
coercion in this so-called model county program. During primary
interviews, some choked back tears as they spoke of the abuse
they suffered. Others flocked to tell us of their stories of
Interviews were recorded in notebooks, on audio and
videotape. Additional photographic evidence was obtained. The
abuses we documented are recent. They are rampant and
unrelenting. And they exist in a program where the UNFPA claims
that women are free to determine the timing and spacing of
On the first day, we interviewed women about a mile from
the office desk of the UNFPA representative in Sihui, at the
Dasha Hospital. A 19-year-old there told us she was too young
to be pregnant, according to the law. While she was receiving a
non-voluntary abortion in an adjacent room, her friends told us
that she desired to keep her baby, but she had no choice, since
the law forbids.
In a residential area within this UNFPA so-called model
county program, a woman testified that she became pregnant
despite an earlier attempt by family planning officials to
forcibly sterilize her. She was forcibly sterilized a second
time. Had she refused, she told us on videotape, family
planning crews would have destroyed her home.
We asked, ``What happens if you want to give birth to
another child? Would someone come and take you in by force for
She responded, ``Yes.''
``And if you don't go?'' we asked.
``They would tear down my house,'' she said, adding ``Right
now things are very strict.''
We were told that many women hide their pregnancy so they
can give birth to a child they desire and escape retribution
We asked a group of women in another residential area
within this UNFPA county program about 5 miles from the Sihui
Office of Family Planning, ``Do you know of anyone whose houses
have been destroy for not following an order to have an
``Yes, many,'' was the response.
We were told of the punishments inflicted on those who wish
to freely determine the timing and spacing of pregnancy. We
were told of the forced use of IUD's and mandatory IUD exams.
In another residential area, we asked a couple, ``Did they
tell you that you have to go in regular to have your IUD
The woman responded, ``Yes, absolutely. We have to have it
checked four times a year. The birth control workers come and
tell you it's time.''
We asked this couple, ``If someone in the village had more
than one child, would there be consequences for the entire
The man told us, ``Those who have additional births will be
fined. Whether the birth control work is done well affects how
much money the village birth control workers get.''
In another residential area, we interviewed a victim who
had heroically escaped forced abortion by hiding in a nearby
village. As punishment, three people in her mother's family and
six people in her mother-in-law's family were thrown into
prison. They were released after 4 months, only after a
crippling fine of 17,000 RMB, about $2,000 U.S., equal to about
3 year's wages. And it was paid to the family planning
officials. Today this woman's black child is about 14 months
old, and she must pay another 17,000 RMB before her child can
be legally registered.
Of the family planning workers who extracted the fines,
this woman said, ``These people embezzle the money. They are
corrupt. The district family planning officials take the money
back home. The majority of the women have their children
without proper spacing and suffer consequences.''
When this woman's relatives were in jail, the Office of
Family Planning sent a crew of officials to their homes. And
they destroyed their homes and belongings with jackhammers. One
of her relatives testified, ``The whole family was arrested.
Everything in the house was stolen. The houses were completely
emptied. We didn't have anything left inside.''
All interviews were conducted within a few miles from the
desk of a UNFPA representative, in a county where UNFPA
contends that coercion does not exist.
Through contact made with local officials, we located the
county government building. And within this building we located
the Office of Family Planning. And within the Office of Family
Planning, family planning officials showed us the location of
the UNFPA desk. We were told that a UNFPA representative works
with, in and through the Sihui Office of Family Planning. We
photographed the UNFPA office desk--and you can see over here
on the podium--which faces, in fact touches, a desk of the
Chinese Office of Family Planning.
All of the locations of the interviews that were conducted
fell within this county and under the governance of the county
bureaucracy housed in the county government building.
Prior to my arrival in China, research had been done to
reveal that volunteerism does not exist in at least two more
UNFPA so-called model counties in China, in Korla, in Xianjiang
Province, and in Jianou--you have to forgive me--Fujian
Province. But due to the information already obtained, and
mindful of potential risks and dangers to the individual
interviewed, it was decided that I should return home.
Honorable chairman, members of this committee, in this
county where the UNFPA operates, where UNFPA insists that only
volunteerism exists, we were told by victims of coercion
themselves that there is in fact no trace of volunteerism in
this county. There is only coercion in abundant supply in this
county where UNFPA operates, from within the Office of Family
And before I add the video, I would like to add that if we
seem uncooperative in trying to assist the interviews that were
conducted earlier, I made a promise to these women that we
would not develop a path where it could be used to come back to
them. And I just want that to be understood.
Senator Boxer. Well, we are going to--we will show your
video after we go through the panel, because we have--you got 7
Ms. Guy. OK.
Senator Boxer. I want to be fair. So let us go--and thank
So let us----
Ms. Guy. The video is very short.
Senator Boxer. All right.
Ms. Guy. OK. Good.
Senator Boxer. Thank you very much for your eloquence.
Ms. Oakley. We have a video, too. I did not bring it up in
Senator Boxer. Is it very short?
Ms. Oakley. Three minutes--in the interest of time.
Senator Boxer. How long is yours?
Ms. Guy. Under three.
Senator Boxer. Good. Well, that is a fair deal. So we will
show both at the end of this.
Ms. Guy. OK.
Senator Boxer. So thank you for your eloquent testimony.
Dr. Eberstadt, welcome back. I have had you before me
before. We welcome you.
STATEMENT OF DR. NICHOLAS EBERSTADT, HENRY WENDT CHAIR IN
POLITICAL ECONOMY, AMERICAN ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE, WASHINGTON,
Dr. Eberstadt. Thank you very much, Madame Chairman,
distinguished members of the committee and esteemed guests. It
is always an honor to be back before your committee.
Madame Chairman, I thought that I might best use my time
this afternoon to provide a little bit of background on UNFPA.
The U.N. Population Fund, UNFPA, is a runaway agency, an
institution that has been hijacked, diverted from its original
mission, and subsequently infused with a radical and ambitious
If one takes a look back at early documents from the UNFPA,
this is what one reads. In its 1975 annual report it says,
``Serious warnings have been issued from time to time in the
population situation, but the fund has advisedly avoided making
apocalyptic statements since that would be contrary to its
mandate to influence government decisions in any way.''
Today, by contrast, the UNFPA speaks of its mandate for
promoting what it calls a ``universally acceptable goal of
stabilizing world population.'' Now ``stabilizing world
population'' is code language. And it is also a bit of a
misnomer. Russia's population, for example, is declining by
about 1 million people a year due to the excess of deaths over
births. But UNFPA does not indicate any great interest in
stabilizing Russia's population decline.
Instead, ``stabilizing world population'' or ``stabilizing
population'' means depressing birth rates worldwide, or, as the
former executive director of UNFPA put it, ``achieving the
lowest level of population in the very shortest time.''
That objective, by the way, is shared by current executive
director of the UNFPA, Dr. Obaid. She was quoted this month
during a visit to Pakistan as saying, ``Yes, Pakistan has been
doing well to slash its population growth rate, but it still
has more to do in this regard.'' I think that is quite a fair
exegesis of the self-directed mandate.
To justify this anti-natal posture, UNFPA has repeatedly
invoked disaster and purported impending catastrophe, often
against received scientific knowledge or through a skewed and
partisan reading of scientific data. I will not go through
chapter and verse, but I will read you a few headlines that the
UNFPA has garnered over the years.
``The United Nations yesterday asked people everywhere to
pause July 11 and contemplate the bleak future of Baby 5
billion, the child whose birth will push the Earth's population
over the 5 billion mark.''
``Nutrition levels are dropping and infant mortality may
once again be on the rise.''
`` `The world's population is growing by three people every
second. And unless this is curbed, most gains so far achieved
and improving the quality of life will be swept away,' the U.N.
Population fund said today.''
``U.N. report warns of population `catastrophe.' '' And on
and on and on.
From 2001, ``U.N. says 4 billion will be living in hunger
by the year 2050.'' That is many times higher than the FAO
would claim or project.
The UNFPA's extreme view is disavowed even by other
branches of the United Nations. Thus we hear from Joseph
Chamie, the Director of the U.N. Secretary's Population
Division, ``The UNFPA is a fund. They have an agenda,'' Chamie
said, distinguishing his work from theirs.
The UNFPA's infatuation with coercive population control
goes back at least to 1983. In that year, the UNFPA awarded its
first population prizes, one to Indira Ghandi, the other to the
chief of China's State Family Planning Commission at that time.
At that time, there was no doubt, no disagreement among
objective observers, that China's program was coercive. Indeed:
the respected American Nobel Laureate Economist, Theodore W.
Schultz, resigned in protest from the UNFPA Advisory
Commission, which was supposedly awarding these prizes, but had
no actual say in granting them.
The tone deafness toward coercive population control of the
UNFPA thus is really nothing new.
One or two extra points which I would submit for
consideration: There is a fungibility question. Funds granted
to organizations can be used in different ways to advance their
purposes. The UNFPA funds in support of China's program can be
used by that government to support its own priorities, just as
ostensibly segregated U.S. funds to UNFPA will advance other
There is the human rights question, of course, which we
have already touched on, and the abuses in China's population
And I would encourage us all to engage in a further thought
experiment. In many areas of the world, the appalling practice
of female genital mutilation is still implemented. What would
we think if the UNFPA involved itself in a country where this
practice was occurring, with the argument that by improving the
health quality of such procedures, women's lives could be
saved? I think we would not want to legitimize that practice.
We would not want to ratify that practice. We would not want to
Finally, Madame Chairman, let me say I have no doubt the
UNFPA has supported very many worthy activities. An
organization which has dispensed over $5 billion surely should
have some achievements to claim. But the ideologizing of the
leadership of UNFPA risks degrading the quality of the
organization's work and of making that leadership
insufficiently attentive to possible human rights abuses
committed in the service of the agenda that it prefers.
I will stop there. Thank you.
Senator Boxer. Thank you so much.
I think what we will do is hear from our esteemed ranking
member. Then we will go to the videos. And then we will take
You are welcome to be here, and we are happy to hear from
Senator Enzi. Thank you very much. And again I apologize
for not being here earlier. I was in an OSHA hearing across the
hall. We were trying to reduce the number of injuries and
deaths among immigrant workers. And that was one of my first
committee assignments when I came to the Senate.
Senator Boxer. Great.
Senator Enzi. And I do appreciate your holding this
subcommittee hearing. And I do not want to destroy the flow of
it. I will submit a statement for the record. I would rather do
that, and then move onto some questions.
Senator Boxer. Thank you so much, Senator. You are very
[The prepared statement of Senator Enzi follows:]
Prepared Statement of Senator Mike Enzi
Madame Chairman, Thank you for calling this hearing to address
United States funds going to the United Nations Population Fund. While
UNFPA may have a very positive impact through some local programs, I
believe it is the responsibility of the United States to ensure that we
are not monetarily supporting programs that oppose our values. The
right to bear children is a basic human right and the forced
termination of a pregnancy is the ultimate denial of human rights.
President Bush and his Administration are correct in withholding
U.S. funds for UNFPA until we can determine if UNFPA is supporting or
participating in coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization
The continued existence of coercive programs in China is evident,
as we will hear from some of today's witnesses. While the government
states that coercive practices are no longer condoned, they are still
widely practiced in China. As UNFPA continues to focus solely on family
planning issues and assisting Chinese population policies, I am
concerned that other areas of health are being neglected.
We also must remember that China may not be the only country where
coercive abortion exists. The history of Peru's family planning
practices raise too many questions about possible cover ups in order to
protect UNFPA programs. In addition, I am concerned that UNFPA may be
neglecting their own Mission statements, not only by possibly
supporting coercive programs, but by failing to adequately and
appropriately investigate the programs in which they are involved.
I hope today's hearing will shed some light on China's practices. I
also hope we can begin to work with the Administration to see how best
the United States should address this situation. I thank each witness
for participating in today's hearing and look forward to hearing their
testimony. Thank you, Madame Chairman.
Senator Boxer. And yes, let us show--Ms. Guy, do you want
to show your video first? And then we will show Ms. Oakley's.
And then I will have some questions for 5 minutes. And then I
will give you over to Senator Enzi and then Senator Brownback
and back to me.
[A videotape was shown.]
Senator Boxer. I will be asking some questions as to how
you get to that conclusion after watching that very moving
film, how you came to that conclusion. But we will let you
And, Mrs. Oakley, do you want to show----
Mrs. Oakley. Yes.
[A videotape was shown.]
Senator Boxer. I think that's all of the time we--
Mrs. Oakley. Yes.
Senator Boxer. Let me ask you, Ms. Oakley, who paid for
that? Is that a UNFPA-paid-for film?
Mrs. Oakley. It is my assumption. May I turn and get
Senator Boxer. Yes. Just let me know.
Mrs. Oakley. Yes. It is a UNFPA----
Senator Boxer. And, Ms. Guy, who paid for your film?
Ms. Guy. PRI.
Senator Boxer. PRI. So that is your affiliation. They paid
for your trip, and they paid----
Ms. Guy. They paid my expenses, but they did not pay me to
Senator Boxer. I think that is very important. You did not
say that at first. I asked if you were a consultant. You said
at the beginning you were not. But in fact, PRI paid for--it is
fine. I just wanted to set the record straight.
Ms. Guy. Yes, that is correct. I guess I want to clarify
what you mean by consultant. In my mind, when you hire someone
to be a consultant, it is because they have an expertise in the
field. I did not go in that capacity. I thought that is what
you meant by consultant.
Senator Boxer. No. Somebody who gets their expenses paid by
an organization in which something like this, a report, is
made, I would say----
Ms. Guy. OK. I just misunderstood what you meant.
Senator Boxer. That is fine. I just wanted to clarify it.
We have an argument here between UNFPA and PRI and a couple
other people who get involved. But that is what we really do
Ms. Guy, in your very, I thought, moving presentation, plus
your very moving videotape, are you suggesting in any way that
UNFPA actually conducted an abortion?
Ms. Guy. Am I suggesting that they conducted it?
Senator Boxer. Yes, that they performed an abortion, anyone
working for them performed the abortion.
Ms. Guy. I was never anyplace where an abortion was
performed, so I have no idea who performed the abortion.
Senator Boxer. So you do not know whether they did or they
Ms. Guy. I do not know who did.
Senator Boxer. I thought you said the government. I thought
that was your question, was about the question.
Ms. Guy. My question?
Senator Boxer. Yes, to her. Did the women refer to the
government, that the government says you have to go to their--
Ms. Guy. The family planning officials----
Senator Boxer. Yes.
Ms. Guy [continuing]. Are part of the PRC Government.
Senator Boxer. So none of the women said to you that UNFPA
encouraged them to have an abortion. They did not bring that up
on their own.
Ms. Guy. None of the women, when I asked them about the
UNFPA, even knew what UNFPA was.
Senator Boxer. Good. Good. That is what I am trying to
Is there anything on this list, this partial list of
minimum required equipment for the maternity ward in 52 Beds in
Kabul that the UNFPA is buying? Is there anything there that
you would object to, Ms. Guy, or Mr. Eberstadt, anything on
that list that you think is upsetting to you in any way?
Ms. Guy. Is your question to me, is it upsetting?
Senator Boxer. Yes. Is there anything that upsets you on
that list that you think is inappropriate for the UNFPA to be
doing, getting operating lamps, EKG monitors, et cetera,
refrigerated products, a baby scale? Does anything on that list
say to you that something is--that these things would not help
people get healthcare?
Ms. Guy. Based upon the face of it, nothing upsets me, no.
Senator Boxer. Good.
Mr. Eberstadt, anything there that rings your bell?
Dr. Eberstadt. No, of course not.
Senator Boxer. I guess that would fall under the category
of ``they do some good things'' then.
Dr. Eberstadt. Absolutely.
Senator Boxer. This would be good, right?
Dr. Eberstadt. Yes.
Senator Boxer. Good. And the bad thing they do, could you--
I was not clear, because you said they are radicals and that
they have--they are all radicals. They have this radical
agenda. I did not see anything radical in what they are trying
to do. But you are saying that in their mind they are radical.
What is the problem?
Dr. Eberstadt. No. I did not say they are all radicals. I
said that in the leadership there is some radical ideology that
is pervasive. Pervasive does not mean every single one. And
that ideology, as I tried to explain, is anti-natal ideology,
striving everywhere to depress birth rates under the argument
or the belief that this will help avert global catastrophe at
some future date.
To the extent that this ideology substitutes for a
scientific appreciation of facts, it necessarily distorts
Senator Boxer. Well, from what I know about the work they
do, they seem to save an awful lot of lives. So what they
think, what their ideology is, is one thing. I am----
Dr. Eberstadt. They could say a lot, Senator.
Senator Boxer [continuing]. Pro-choice. You are probably
not. Is that right? Am I guessing right on that?
Dr. Eberstadt. I am very troubled about the issue.
Senator Boxer. You are troubled about the issue, and I am
not. I am pro-choice. But clearly, you are troubled about the
issue. I have enormous respect for that. If you do something
good for people, save their lives, I am going to love you for
it regardless of whether you are troubled about the issue.
So Mrs. Oakley, you may be one of these people who is
referred to, because you are involved in the UNFPA, are you
not, on the American committee that supports----
Mrs. Oakley. Yes, I am involved in it. I was a member of
the delegation that went to Cairo for the conference in 1994. I
gave it my all. I was very pleased with the results of the
conference. I am now on the U.S. committee for UNFPA.
Senator Boxer. Do you agree with Mr. Eberstadt that the--I
hope I am quoting correctly--that the leadership and it is--he
said pervasive in the leadership is a radical mind set that is
motivating UNFPA to depress----
Dr. Eberstadt. Anti-natalism.
Senator Boxer. Anti-natalism. That means against little
babies, I guess.
Mrs. Oakley. Yes. I am delighted to take that question. And
I am very interested in his approach, because I think he sets
up a strawman, this idea that population policies supported by
UNFPA is based on numbers. I think that we all know that fields
evolve. As I understand it from some population work, 30, 40
years ago it was more numbers driving it. And all you have to
do is read the literature from the Cairo conference, the
program of action, to realize that people in this field have
moved away from numbers.
There is no way that you can talk about it. I think he is
very right to talk about the disparities in Russia of falling
populations, the drain of the population in the United States
and Japan. We all know about it.
What we are talking about is growth rates that are
appropriate for the development of those countries. There are
no numbers attached.
Senator Boxer. In other words, so that the children that
are born--first of all, will be born--in a healthy fashion,
because I think that is the point. What is important to me is
that these children are born healthy and that we do not force
women to have abortions by virtue of the fact that they will do
anything because they are so desperate not to have a child.
That is the irony that I see. This concentration on China, I
understand, and every one of us deplores it.
Now, Ambassador, I want to ask this: You did not say in
your statement, which is very pro-UNFPA, you did not say that
there is not coerced abortion in China, did you? What I thought
your group found out is that there is improvement in that area
because of UNFPA. Is that what you said? It is certainly not
perfect, but to throw UNFPA out of there is going to lead to
more trouble. Is that not what I basically heard you say?
Ambassador Biegman. What I would say about coercion in
China is that in approximately two-thirds of China there still
is coercion, because they have not moved yet from the old
coercive policies toward the Cairo approach of volunteerism.
The volunteerism area is expanding. They started with 5
counties in 1995. They moved to 32. They are now at 600, very
much with the help of UNFPA.
Senator Boxer. So your point is that we are not contesting
our side, because I am on your side of the issue. I do not
think there is a question of where we all stand--and I will
conclude with this in this round. You are not contesting the
fact that these women are suffering in some cases and maybe
even these counties where it should not be happening. You are
basically saying it is moving in the right direction. And UNFPA
is playing a vital role.
And if you look at their own charter, that is very clear,
they can do nothing to promote this, they have to oppose this.
And that is what you found. How many people were in your trip,
on your delegation?
Ambassador Biegman. We were four.
Senator Boxer. From which countries?
Ambassador Biegman. From the Netherlands, Honduras, the
Czech Republic, and Botswana.
Senator Boxer. Very interesting. Thank you.
Senator Enzi. Thank you, Madame Chairman.
I know that I was not here for part of this and that there
is a statement put on the record about some abortion devices
among Afghan refugees. Mrs. Oakley, is this the only kit the
UNFPA puts out?
Mrs. Oakley. This has been the main one. There is another
one that substitutes sterile clamps for this cord in this one
to tie the umbilical cord. You will notice up here there is a
batch number. These are registered. And when they are
distributed--and in response to the suggestion that there may
be kits that include abortion whatever, I have asked and I
thought it would be very interesting if we could all see one of
Senator Enzi. So the two kinds of kits are the only kinds
that were put out by the UNFPA.
Mrs. Oakley. The only kind I have ever heard of.
Senator Enzi. You were the Assistant Secretary of State for
Population, Refugees, and Migration. And after charges were
brought that the Peruvian Government was involved in coercive
population growth programs, the UNFPA denied any knowledge of
any coercion. A report by UNFPA confirmed those charges, but
the report remained buried until recently.
If UNFPA knowingly continued to fund coercive programs,
would it not be a violation of UNFPA's own guidelines that all
funded programs are voluntary?
Mrs. Oakley. It certainly would be. Let me say that I left
the Bureau in 1997. The issue of Peru had not come up. I am
going to have to excuse myself on that one. I had not heard
about it until this afternoon.
Senator Enzi. If the UNFPA guidelines do require that the
programs are fully voluntary, fully voluntary, before they can
receive funding, how did UNFPA determine that China was
eligible for funding?
Mrs. Oakley. Again, it is because of where they are going
that they have moved away from the programs on coercion that
were described by Ambassador Biegman, that they recognize that
they have a problem. I would also say, as an outside observer,
the Chinese Government realized that their programs really were
not working and were not sustainable over the long run.
So they have had a move away from that. Nobody is saying
that they are completely there today, but I think you have to
look at the direction and the way they are going and how we can
help them stay on that path.
Senator Enzi. So all the country has to do is show a little
bit of improvement.
Mrs. Oakley. No, I do not think a little bit of improvement
does it. I think they have to make a sincere effort. And I
think there are ways to establish that.
Senator Enzi. It is unfortunate that we cannot do some of
our own audits on these things, that we do have to rely on
I appreciate your testimony and comments.
Ms. Guy, based on your interviews and investigations, do
you think that it is plausible for UNFPA to have a fair
assessment of women's responses to family planning when it
works under the permission of the Chinese Government?
Concerning the coercion phase of the family planning offices,
do you think women would be willing to talk about their
experiences in the presence of government officials?
Ms. Guy. No, I do not believe that would even be possible,
based upon the conversations that I had with them. It was under
the promise that I would not identify them and lead anybody
back to them. The one woman whose testimony you heard about the
little boy that you saw in the video, we were able to get a
still shot of her. But she strictly forbid us to use the video
when we were interviewing her, because of the fear of reprisals
from the PRC.
Senator Enzi. Did you see any evidence during your
investigation that the UNFPA program is voluntary? Did you see
any evidence that the Chinese Government family planning
program is voluntary?
Ms. Guy. Since I cannot read Chinese, I can--when you say
``see,'' do you mean did I see pamphlets or things of that
nature? When you say ``see,'' what do you mean?
Senator Enzi. I give you wide latitude on that.
Ms. Guy. OK. Well, when I went into the villages,
everything was written in Chinese, of course. It was pointed
out to me that there were some signs about family planning.
When I had discussions with all of the women about the
volunteerism in this particular county that we were in, they
all were emphatic that, in fact, it did not exist.
And my conclusion was that if UNFPA was working separately
from the family planning officials, that they may have known
about the program, but maybe they did not come to their homes
to discuss it, or to implement such programs in the villages.
But they had absolutely no knowledge about anything that UNFPA
may or may not have been doing in their villages.
If I may respond to the unanswered question that Senator
Boxer had asked, she asked how did we come to, your words, come
to that conclusion about--on the videotape, if I may just say,
that the UNFPA works out of the same office as the family
planning official. And if you look at the videotape or if you
want to put up the still there, their desk actually faces--they
have to face one another.
So for them to actually say or even give testimony that
they do not know about coercion, I find that--I would have to
ask you if that--I find that highly unlikely, that these things
could be going on and UNFPA would not know about it.
When we went to the office, we specifically asked for them
to show us where the UNFPA desk or office was. We thought it
would be in a separate office, that they would be working in--
and that the family planning official would be somewhere else.
But, in fact, there is one desk. They pointed it out to us.
And we asked to speak to the U.N. worker, and they told us
that she was unwell, she was in the hospital. So we were not
actually able to get testimony from her. But they clearly
pointed out that that was the United Nations desk. That was
from the family planning officials themselves.
Senator Enzi. Since the consultant thing seems to be a key
Ms. Guy. Yes.
Senator Enzi [continuing]. When you went over, I understand
that you got expenses.
Ms. Guy. True.
Senator Enzi. Were you compensated? Were you paid a salary?
Ms. Guy. I was not compensated one penny. I even used some
of my own money to go.
Senator Enzi. Thank you.
I will yield back the balance of my 10 seconds.
Senator Boxer. Senator Brownback.
Senator Brownback. Thank you. Thank you, Madame Chairman.
It is quite a heroic activity you did, Ms. Guy, to go in
undercover and to be able to report those and then to get a
videotaping of that. I think we would all agree that that is a
deplorable situation that needs to be investigated much
Have you had a positive response from U.S. officials, or
have UNFPA officials said, ``Well, we need to investigate this
further'' after your return with this videotaping and pictures?
Ms. Guy. To me personally? No.
Senator Brownback. Or to any group you know of?
Ms. Guy. You may want to ask the president of PRI that
question. He is behind me right here. I personally was not
asked that question. I do understand there was an
investigation, as we heard today, to follow up on that.
Senator Brownback. But have you been contacted by the U.N.
to say, ``We want to investigate this further after what you
Ms. Guy. I did receive one call after I got back from China
at my home. And I do not remember the gentleman's name, but I
did understand him to say that he was a consultant for the
UNFPA and he wanted to question me and wanted to know where the
women lived in the villages. And I told him that I was not
willing to give him that information, and if he had any other
questions, he could direct them to PRI.
Senator Brownback. It seems like we should have this
further looked at. And we ought to have a UNFPA official in to
question them about what your findings were and about what Dr.
Eberstadt's comments are. I find the suggestions very
troubling, if we are putting that sort of funding toward this
I note you have a list of items here for hospitals. There
are other organizations other than the UNFPA that funds
hospital items and equipment, particularly even from the
American Government within AID, the Agency for International
Development, American schools and hospitals abroad, funds
hospital equipment. In my own state we have a group called
Heart to Heart that provides equipment, provides medical care.
And maybe that is something that I can work with you, Mrs.
Oakley, on securing this from other sources.
I think you are certainly getting to know here that there
is some question about how UNFPA funds things. There is no
question that we need to help out with the hospitals. So if
there are things that I or others can do, because we have
multiple different sources to be able to get hospital equipment
and items from--and we should not let this long-term question
about UNFPA, its ideology, the continued assertions of it
supporting or knowing of forced abortions or sterilizations and
not being actively involved differently, we should not let that
question get in the way of our helping hospitals in
Afghanistan, which I strongly support us doing.
And I think we ought to look at some different sources for
the funding, so that we do not get this held up in that fight,
because they need the equipment now. They need to go through
One thing, Ms. Oakley, that I want to direct your attention
on, and it is a bit of an aside, but you are on the witness
stand, so I want to ask you about it. You were head of the
office here during the Clinton administration as Assistant
Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration. You have
worked with a number of different groups.
We had this enormous falloff in the number of refugees that
we have admitted into the United States during the last 10
years and particularly during your tenure at the Bureau of
Population, Refugees, and Migration. And we just had the prior
witness up in a hearing that I held in the Immigration
Subcommittee, berating him about why we are not taking more
refugees. It is not that there is not enough refugees in the
world. There are something like 14 million. And yet we have
really been declining in our commitment and acceptance.
And I have put a chart in front of you that I have up here
about during the years that you were there, 1993 to 1997, when
we fell off to nearly 15,000 per year refugees that we were
taking into the United States. Why are we not receiving more?
Why did that fall off so rapidly?
Mrs. Oakley. Senator, may I say at the beginning that I am
extremely flattered that you could think that I can remember
the absolute details of those programs. But let me----
Senator Brownback. You do not have to remember the details;
Mrs. Oakley. Let me try and give you the answers as I
remember them. But perhaps if I make a mistake on this, I could
correct it for the record.
When I took over as the Principal Deputy and then as
Assistant Secretary in 1994, we had two major refugee programs.
The first was the Vietnamese program, the whole programs of the
boat people that were winding down, that had been such an
Our second largest program, and the numbers varied on this,
involved Pentecostals, Evangelical Christians, and Soviet Jews
from the former Soviet Union. Generally the numbers for the
Soviet program were extremely high. And we were coming to the
end of that program.
And as some of the resettlement was talked about, when you
come to the end of programs, you get the people who are older
and who are sicker and who do not qualify under the
requirements for refugees to come into the United States.
And as I remember, most of those numbers that were unused
came from unused Soviet numbers, that we simply did not have
enough people then to fill the slots that were available for
them. It was of great concern to me that our numbers of what we
were asking for and what we could bring into the country did
not--were not closer together, because I felt that the
integrity of refugee programs really involves making those
numbers match as best we can.
And so I worked on that to see how we could reduce some of
those programs so that it would match what we were actually
Senator Brownback. I hope you will work with us to try to
get these numbers back up, because there are a lot of refugees.
And your expertise in the past would be helpful for us to try
to do that again.
Mrs. Oakley. Yes, certainly.
Senator Brownback. Madame Chairman.
Senator Boxer. Thank you.
Senator, did you want to ask one more question before you
had to leave? Because I am happy to just defer to you.
Senator Brownback. Go ahead.
Senator Boxer. Thank you.
On the issue of refugees, I mean we hope for a peaceful
world where Communist countries do go away and totalitarianism
does go away. And then people do not have to come here because
they can stay home and find peace and find freedom to worship,
et cetera, et cetera. So I hope that we do not have to see
numbers go up, because if the numbers go down, I would hope it
meant that there were not that many people who needed to escape
from the terror and the horror. And I know we are all going to
work on that.
Let me get back to the question of this particular hearing,
and that is: Do we do any good by holding $34 million hostage
because in one country we know there are still bad things going
on in terms of China? And there is no debate about it. The
question is whether UNFPA is making things worse.
And, Ms. Guy, you seem to think they do. I am not exactly
clear how because you said, to your knowledge, they are not
involved in the actual abortions in any way. So my question to
you is: Do you know----
Ms. Guy. I do not believe that was testimony, Senator
Boxer. I do not think that is what I said.
Senator Boxer. You said that you did not know that they
were involved in actually performing the abortions.
Ms. Guy. I said I was not in the room where the abortions
Senator Boxer. So you are holding that out, that it is
possible that the----
Ms. Guy. No, I am not. No.
Senator Boxer. So let us be clear.
Ms. Guy. I am not holding that out.
Senator Boxer. You are not holding that out?
Ms. Guy. I just wanted to make the record clear.
Senator Boxer. Well, the record is murky. What I am saying
is: You are certainly not suggesting you are telling us today
that the employees at the UNFPA are performing abortions in
China. You are not telling us that.
Ms. Guy. I am not telling you that.
Senator Boxer. Very good. OK. Now let me get on.
How many people work in China for the UNFPA in the whole
Ms. Guy. I believe that is a question you would have to
direct to UNFPA. I have no knowledge.
Senator Boxer. I have knowledge. How many do you think? You
are showing them this great, all-consuming power----
Senator Brownback. I do not know whether you should ask her
Senator Boxer. Well, I am asking--I am questioning the
witness, and she does not have to answer if she--
Ms. Guy. OK. Well, you----
Senator Boxer. But if you were to think--are you thinking
it is in the tens of people, it is in the hundreds of people?
How many people do you think work for the UNFPA?
Ms. Guy. I would only be guessing. I have no idea.
Senator Boxer. OK. Well, there are four people who work for
the UNFPA. And I just think the way this whole presentation is
going, it is as if they are hovering over every clinic and, you
know, encouraging bad things to happen. It just does not make
any sense at all.
And I want to--Mr. Biegman, when you were in China--Ms. Guy
said that she saw the office of the UNFPA, but no one was
there, no one was at the desk. But she was told that----
Ms. Guy. I am sorry, Senator Boxer. I do not mean to keep
interrupting. But I did not say that I saw the office of the
Senator Boxer. Oh, I am sorry. I thought you said that the
desk of the UNFPA, they had an office across the way from the
Ms. Guy. No. If you want to look at the picture, I can
point it out to you.
Senator Boxer. Why do you not just explain it? I am glad to
hear this. What did you exactly say was the relationship in
terms of where the UNFPA had its office with the Chinese
Ms. Guy. OK. I believe, if we look back at the record--it
is probably better to just look back at the record for the
accuracy, but I said that there was an office that was
identified to us by the Chinese officials as the Chinese Family
Senator Boxer. Oh. I see.
Ms. Guy. May I continue with that thought?
Senator Boxer. Certainly.
Ms. Guy. And within that office was a desk that was
identified as the UNFPA desk.
Senator Boxer. OK.
Ms. Guy. If you look at the picture, I can show you exactly
which desk it is.
Senator Boxer. That is fine. Now I get it.
Ms. Guy. OK.
Senator Boxer. So it is the Chinese Family Planning Agency,
in which there is a desk. So that it may be that the UNFPA may
come there once in a while to keep their eye on this program,
because I think what has been testified to is that they are
trying to help ensure that these counties, these special
counties, move away from coercion. They would have to, in fact,
talk to the people there. So I do not see anything nefarious. I
think it is good that they would be hanging close there.
Mr. Biegman, you were actually there. What was your
impression? Do you think that the UNFPA--I am going to be just
using pretty straightforward terms here. Are they trying to, in
your opinion, move China away from coerced abortions and
sterilization toward voluntary family planning, or are they in
essence working with the Chinese authorities to coerce
abortions? Your sense; you were there.
Ambassador Biegman. It is very much my impression, having
talked to both the Chinese authorities and UNFPA people at
length, that indeed UNFPA and the Chinese authorities are
working together on eliminating coercive policies in the field
of reproduction health and family planning.
I would like to refer to one of the attachments to our
report, which may not be familiar to everybody, but which is a
leaflet with two children on it, not one, which is a
distribution among the households of the various project
counties in China.
Senator Boxer. I am going to ask that that be included in
the record without objection.
[The information referred to follows:]
[On the front cover.]
Reproductive health/Family planning project
The Project Office of the State Family Planning Commission
[The contents of the main body of the text:]
Dear people of reproductive ages:
How are you?
The Project of Reproductive Health/Family Planning (RH/FP) is the
4th cycle of cooperation between the Chinese Government and the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The county where you are residing at
is one of the project counties. We sincerely hope you and your family
will actively participate in our project activities.
The purpose of the project is to have contributed to increasing
dissemination of RH/FP information and knowledge, promotion of
responsible reproductive behaviour and practices, providing
comprehensive services of quality of care concerning RH/FP and to have
contributed to the formulation of the Government's RH/FP strategies for
the next century, in line with the principles of the Programme of
Action of the International Conference on Population and Development
The ICPD Programme of Action points out that people have the right
to decide freely and responsibly whether to have children or not, or
the number and timing of their children. The Programme of Action
defines 15 principles: Among them the major contents concerning human
rights include the following: all humans are born free and equal in
terms of dignity and rights; human beings are at the center of concerns
for sustainable development; the promotion of gender equality, equity
and women's rights; the elimination of violence against women; the
assurance of women's ability to decide their own childbearing; each
individual is entitled to education. The content concerning the right
to development are: population-related goals and policies should be
integral parts of cultural, economic and social development; the right
to development is a part of fundamental human rights; economic growth
and social progress must be effected on the condition of sustainable
development and the alleviation of poverty.
The Programme of Action also points out that it is the sovereign
right of each country to carry out the recommendations contained in the
Programme of Action. The implementation must be consistent with
national laws and development policies, with full respect for the
various religious and ethical values and cultural backgrounds of
people, and be in line with universally recognized human rights.
Reproductive health is a state of complete physical, mental and
social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,
in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions
and processes. Reproductive health therefore implies that people are
able to have a satisfying and safe sex life and that they have the
capability to reproduce and have the right to decide responsibly and
freely whether or not to have children and the number and timing of
their children. Implicit in this last condition are the right of men
and women to be informed and to have access to safe, effective,
affordable and acceptable methods of family planning, as well as other
methods of their choice of regulation of fertility which are not
against the law, and the right of access to appropriate health-care
services that will enable women to go safely through pregnancy and
childbirth and provide couples with the best opportunity of having a
During the implementation of the project in 32 counties, the
Chinese Government and the United Nations Population Fund will work
together to ensure doing the following:
Advocate for responsible reproductive health/family planning
behaviour and practice; provide the technical skills and health
care for safe, effective, affordable and reproductive health
and family planning services.
Increase RH/FP information and knowledge; mobilize all
people and organizations at all levels to actively participate
in all project activities.
Adopt an integrated approach, one that will combine the
promotion of family planning with economic development,
universal education, improvement of women's status and
provision of quality family planning and reproductive health
Not engage in any form of coercion.
Abolish birth quotas and targets.
After reading this letter, please kindly pass this message on to
your friends, and we hope you actively participate in all project
activities. If you need more information, please contact your local
family planning or village offices. They will kindly provide services
of quality of care with all their heart.
Thank you for your cooperation and support.
Project Office of the State Family Planning Office.
[On the back cover:]
If you have any reproductive health or family planning problems,
you are welcome to contact your local reproductive health services or
health care organizations. You are also welcome to contact the Project
Office of the State Family Planning Commission.
Our address is:
State Family Planning Commission Project Office
14 Zhichun Road, Beijing (100088)
Tel: (010) 62051834
Ambassador Biegman. There is a translation of this. This is
in Chinese, of course. There is a translation attached as well,
which I might read out to you, just the main things which says
the--it is about the project, Reproductive Health and Family
Planning Project of UNFPA and the State Family Planning
And it has, among other things, the ICPD Programme of
Action points out that people have the right to decide freely
and responsibly whether to have children or not, or the number
and timing of their children. And then there are the 15
principles of the program of action and so on and so forth.
There is a very orthodox, I mean worldwide orthodox,
definition of reproductive health taken straight from the Cairo
program of action.
And then it says, ``During the implementation of the
project in 32 counties, the Chinese Government and the United
Nations Population Fund will work together to ensure doing the
following: Advocate for responsible reproductive health/family
planning behavior'' and so on, ``increase reproductive health
and family planning information and knowledge; mobilize all
people and organizations at all levels to actively participate;
adopt an integrated approach.'' And then it says ``not to
engage in any form of coercion,'' and ``to abolish birth quotas
This was spread very widely, because once we knew about
this, anywhere we went in--and we went into the houses of some
people on and off. We asked them, ``Do you know this?'' And
they said ``yes.'' And sometimes they produced it, you know.
They produced it.
So it is very much my impression that, of course, UNFPA
cannot work on its own in China. They have to work together
with the Chinese authorities or quit. So that is what they are
doing. And they are doing it in the right direction. They are
doing a good job.
Senator Boxer. Well, thank you. I think that is clearly--
you believe that, you saw that with your own eyes. Ms. Guy had
another experience. And, you know, I think we are going to have
to make the decision as to what we want to do.
Senator Enzi. Thank you, Madame Chairman.
Now that we have established that the UNFPA only has 4
employees in China, how do 4 employees monitor the programs in
32 counties, Mr. Ambassador?
Ambassador Biegman. UNFPA does not work with its own
employees, but it works with other U.N. agencies. And it works
with NGO's, like, you know, others. They are the executive
agencies in all those counties. UNFPA monitors. They visit
these counties at least once a year. They have their regular
meetings with the executive agencies. That is how it works.
Senator Enzi. I am just trying to recall my map of China
and the towns. I am from Wyoming. A big town there is 250
people. And I can understand 4 people monitoring this sort of
thing in Wyoming, but I am having a little problem just with it
itself, with figuring out how people would know what is going
on anywhere at any time.
You say that they get out into the field and they visit
where every year? Everywhere every year? And I cannot get----
Ambassador Biegman. Every year it seems they visit one of
the project counties of UNFPA. They know about as much about
the China program as a minister knows about social security in
his own country. These are huge fields. And you try to know and
to be secure about the trend which is developing and about the
general lines of policy which are being followed by the Chinese
Government. I think that is the main thing.
Senator Boxer. Would you yield to me? I----
Ambassador Biegman. And it is impossible to know about all
Senator Boxer. I might have something--it would not come
off your time--that might help. During the 4-year history of
the current China program, UNFPA's activities in China have
been visited by more than 60 outside international observers
representing more than 30 countries, one of which was Mr.
Biegman's--this does not count, Ms. Guy's visit, which was in
an unannounced, undercover operation. But we have people
And so the fact is they are dealing with other people in
the U.N., which leads to a bigger problem, because if you think
that is not working well, and you take the money away from this
agency, and there are a lot of people involved here who go
after their money, we will really have a problem.
Would you add two more minutes to Senator Enzi's time?
Senator Enzi. And I thank you for mentioning that Ms. Guy's
meeting was unannounced. And that, of course, implies that
these others were announced.
Your trip, Mr. Ambassador, was announced, was arranged with
the Chinese Government?
Ambassador Biegman. Yes. It could not have been otherwise.
Senator Enzi. During these visits, how much time was spent
doing private interviews, do you know, without the knowledge or
observation of the government officials?
Ambassador Biegman. We calculated we had about 3 hours of
private conversations, the various members of the team. But
what we did from time--we had one or two Chinese Government
officials with us, of course, on all of the trip. I would try
to monopolize their attention. And the other three members of
the team would go into this clinic and talk to women who were
sitting there being counseled. That is how we did it.
Senator Enzi. A very difficult task, then, of distracting
them so that people could actually ask questions.
Ambassador Biegman. It could be done. It could be done.
There were three of them. There were one or two Chinese with us
whom we had to distract--or not to distract, but I kept talking
to them, you know, about interesting things.
Senator Enzi. Right. But again from an auditing standpoint
here, I am very sensitive right now; I am auditing. The people
that happened to be in the clinic, could that have been
controlled in any way by the Chinese Government, or were they
all purely random?
Ambassador Biegman. I think the Chinese authorities would
have been--would have to be very, very well organized in order
to orchestrate all that. I cannot imagine that, not really. And
they looked genuine. They were, you know, humble village women,
who had their stories to tell, but who did not tell about
abuses or things like that. They could have done it easily,
easily, and they did not.
Senator Enzi. How were the homes that you went to chosen
for the interviews?
Ambassador Biegman. They took us to one or two villages in
the vicinity of Sihui and let us--let us walk about, let us
walk about. That, frankly--frankly, if I were you, I would
not--I would not take too seriously, because that, of course,
could be set up. You have a village. You have three or four or
five houses where somebody happens to be home and they have us
come in and visit. Even there we asked people, how--young, say
young man, around 20, 22 years old, not yet married, ``How many
children would you like to have in the future?'' They would
say, ``Well, maybe two, maybe three. I will see.''
May I--excuse me. May I come back to this famous desk,
this famous UNFPA desk in Sihui County? I cannot believe there
is one. I mean, if UNFPA visits the county once a year, is
there a desk for them? I mean, they would walk about. They talk
to the state people. They--
Senator Enzi. Quite frankly, if I wanted to keep somebody
from actually looking at the problem, I would provide them with
Ambassador Biegman. You know, they can walk about without a
desk. But, I mean, it is to speak, as the report did, which was
presented to the Congress last year, about abuses occurring
within a mile of the UNFPA desk in Sihui is not giving accurate
Senator Enzi. Would you like to comment on this, Ms. Guy?
Ms. Guy. My comment would be we asked the Chinese where we
could find the United Nations desk. And they directed us to
that desk and pointed it out to not only me but to the Chinese
translator, who was with me when I arrived, the day prior to my
arrival. Actually, we went three times. And three times they
told us the same thing.
Senator Enzi. Were there Chinese officials with you all the
Ms. Guy. They were never with us. They did not know we were
Senator Enzi. How did you select the people that you talked
Ms. Guy. Just random, just going--finding a village and
walking in and going to the resident with--most of the villages
up front, there are market areas where people are selling and
buying goods. And then you proceed to the back of those
villages, and you find the residential areas.
And we would just find a group of women or people
congregating and told them that we wanted to speak with them
about family issues. And when we got very pointed about our
questions, I expected that possibly they would not really want
to talk about it. But to my surprise, I found that they very
much wanted to talk about it and were very adamant.
If you--if anybody gets an opportunity, you might want to
just actually listen to the audio tape itself. We translated
it, but you can hear the voices in here. And they are very
passionate, these voices. And when they found out that we were
talking about this particular issue, they came around and
rallied around the table always outside under a tree, except
for the one or two that was in the home there. And especially
the elderly women, who were the mothers of the women who were
in a big force in these provinces, were very passionate about
how bad it was for their daughters. And they just really wished
things would change.
And so we just went and randomly selected villages and
Senator Enzi. Thank you.
No, I will not take the extra 2 minutes.
Senator Boxer. Are you sure?
Senator Enzi. I thank you, Madame Chairman, for your
Senator Boxer. Thank you so much, Senator Enzi, for your
Senator Brownback. Thank you, Madame Chairman. I would ask
for unanimous consent that the full report from the Population
Research Institute be submitted into the record.
Senator Boxer. Without objection, it will be done.
Senator Brownback. Thank you.
[The report referred to follows:]
Report of the Population Research Institute, Front Royal, VA
UNFPA, China and Coercive Family Planning
december 12, 2001
Population Research Institute (PRI) sent an independent
investigative team to China on September 27, 2001. The investigative
team consisted of Ms. Josephine Guy, a paralegal with a background in
security affairs, two translators and one photographer/videographer.
Additional assistance was provided by two associate researchers based
PRI's investigative team spent a total of four days in China.
During this period, the investigative team interviewed family planning
workers and spent over 10 hours interviewing more than two dozen
victims or witnesses of coercion in Sihui County. Over four hours of
testimonies were recorded on audiotape, and approximately 30 minutes of
testimonies were recorded on videotape.
Interviews with victims were also recorded in notebooks, in both
Chinese and English, and additional photographic evidence was obtained.
Victims and witnesses of coercion were interviewed privately, not in
the presence of officials, to ensure those interviewed were able to
speak about their own experiences with the one-child policy without
fear of reprisals.
The investigative team also located the Chinese office of family
planning in Sihui county, Guangdong Province, and spoke with local
family planning officials. Local officials provided information about
UNFPA's county program, including the location of the office desk of
UNFPA's worker for the Sihui county program.
PRI's lead investigator returned to the US in early October with
the audiotaped and videotaped testimony, and all other information
obtained by the investigative team during its investigation.
Doing field research in the People's Republic of China presents
challenges. The government is hostile to investigators who do not take
the nature of its policies on face value, and punishes its domestic
critics with extreme severity. PRI's investigative team, therefore,
took precautions to protect those who testified.
In addition, the names of the translators, the photographer, and
China-based personnel of the investigative team have been withheld to
prevent retribution by the government of the People's Republic of
Moreover, PRI sought no assistance from the government of the
People's Republic of China to carry out its investigation, and received
none. Had such assistance been sought, it is likely that the PRC
government would have either obstructed PRI's investigation by denying
visas to the members of our investigative team, or attempted to
influence the investigation and the testimonies provided by the victims
and witnesses of coercion.
UNFPA County Program in Sihui
The goal of PRI's independent investigative team was to carry out
an in-depth analysis of a UNFPA county program.
UNFPA has stated on the record that it operates family planning
programs in 32 counties in China. In these programs, UNFPA states,
family planning is ``fully voluntary'' and that there is no coercion.
UNFPA also states that in these counties, targets and quotas have been
lifted, ``women are free to voluntarily select the timing and spacing
of their pregnancies,'' and abortion is not promoted as a method of
family planning. (See: ``UNFPA's County Program in China: Providing
Quality Care, Protecting Human Rights,'' UNFPA, August 10, 2001.)
PRI obtained first-hand evidence which calls into question the
accuracy of UNFPA's claims.
The county program selected for investigation was in Sihui county,
in Guangdong Province in Southern China, approximately 100 miles
northwest of Hong Kong.
While this report focuses on the findings of PRI's investigative
team in Sihui county, PRI researchers were also told of the existence
of coercion in two other UNFPA county programs.
In Sihui county, during phone conversations and discussions in
person with local officials, members of PRI's independent investigative
team were provided with information about:
The geographical extent of Sihui county.
The location of the Chinese Office of Family Planning.
The location of the office desk of the UNFPA family planning
representative for Sihui county.
PRI investigators were told by county officials that UNFPA's county
program in Sihui operates in support of the Chinese family planning
The investigative team was told by officials that UNFPA's
representative in Sihui and Chinese family planning officials work from
the same office, the Sihui County Office of Family Planning.
PRI investigators spoke to Chinese officials in this office, and
inquired about UNFPA. PRI investigators were shown by these officials
the UNFPA desk. Photographic evidence of the UNIFPA office desk within
this office was obtained by PRI's photographer. Local officials told
PRI investigators that there is no distinction between UNFPA's program
in Sihui and the Chinese family planning program in Sihui. PRI
investigators visited this office on three occasions. On two of these
occasions, officials pointed to the UNFPA desk, and also said that the
UNFPA representative was at the local hospital. On the third occasion,
additional photographic evidence was obtained.
Officials also informed PRI investigators of the borders of Sihui.
All interviews referred to in this report were conducted within the
borders of Sihui county; namely, within the area that the Sihui office
of family planning, and the UNFPA family planning representative,
The investigative team received testimony from over two dozen
victims and witnesses of coercion within Sihui, all within a few miles
of the UNFPA office desk. Interviews were conducted in a government
medical facility, and in four different residential areas. By many
victims and witnesses of coercion, PRI investigators were told that:
There is no voluntary family planning in Sihui.
Coercive family planning policies in Sihui include: age
requirements for pregnancy; birth permits; mandatory use of
IUDs; mandatory sterilization; crippling fines for non-
compliance; imprisonment for non-compliance; destruction of
homes and property for non-compliance; forced abortion and
Witnesses and victims said that population control is implemented
by force of the state, rather than, as the UNFPA claims, through ``a
The UNFPA Office Desk
On September 26, 2001, one of PRI's translators placed calls to the
Sihui county government building. PRI's translator was given the room
number of the Office of Family Planning by a local official. PMI's
translator, on September 26, went to that office and spoke with family
planning officials. A family planning worker, in the Sihui County
Office of Family Planning, pointed to an office desk. Two family
planning workers in this office told PRI's translator that ``this is
the desk'' of the UNFPA worker.
On September 27, the investigative team entered the Sihui County
Government Building and spoke again with local officials, who again
gave the location of the office desk of the UNFPA officer within the
Sihui County Family Planning Office. Photographic evidence of the
office, its occupants, and its signage was obtained on this and the
The sign outside the door of the office says: Family Planning
Office, Room 1. The offices--a single large room--house six family
planning workers. One is described as the UNFPA representative. The
UNFPA representative's desk faces, in fact touches, the desk of a
Chinese family planning worker.
Interviews in Government Facility
On September 28, the investigative team visited a government
medical facility located within a mile of the Sihui County Family
Planning Office and within the borders of Sihui county. The team
interviewed one doctor, and four women who said that voluntarism does
not exist within the county's family planning program. The team met a
woman who was at the facility to receive a non-voluntary abortion. She
was accompanied by three friends, all of whom said that Chinese law
mandates abortions for women pregnant without government permission.
They asserted that their friend wanted to continue her pregnancy, but
the law forbids it.
Interviews in Residential Areas
On September 27, 28 and 29, the investigative team visited four
residential areas, all within a few miles of the Sihui County Family
Planning Office and within the borders of Sihui county. In interview
after interview, local men and women said that, in Sihui county's
family planning program:
Coercion is as bad today as it has ever been.
Forced abortions, forced sterilization, and forced use of
Depro Provera, IUDs and other forms of birth control are
The punishment for noncompliance includes crippling fines,
destruction of homes, and imprisonment of women and their
Voluntary family planning is non-existent.
The interviews were conducted in open-air settings, as well as in
peoples' homes. As formal interviews were being conducted and recorded,
bystanders often gathered and began to tell their own stories of
coercion. No one disputed that the county's family planning programs
were coercive. Several of those interviewed spoke of the routine
destruction of homes for attempting unauthorized births.
Propaganda slogans promoting the necessity and the benefits of
family planning were posted throughout the four residential areas. None
of the slogans mentioned that coercion has been eliminated and quotas
and targets had been lifted, as the UNFPA claims, in Sihui county.
On September 29, the investigative team visited what locals called
a ``model family planning village'' within this UNFPA ``model county.''
Two residents of this village said in interviews that local family
planning workers receive benefits and promotions based on their
compliance with targets and quotas.
These same residents also said that, within the ``model family
planning village,'' family planning policy was enforced using the same
non-voluntary measures that were found elsewhere.
While conducting interviews, the investigation team did not attempt
to administer a survey instrument, but asked open questions about the
interviewee, their family, and their experiences with the family
In the words of Ms. Josephine Guy, PRI's lead investigator:
We struck up casual conversations, and asked people if they
would talk to us about family life. People were friendly and
pleased to have visitors from outside of China. As the
conversation began in earnest, more and more people would
invariably gather around, curious to discover the reason for
our visit. Many times they would chime into the conversation.
At times it was difficult to carry on conversations, so many
people were talking at once. Everyone was eager to talk and
answer our many questions. After a few minutes, we would begin
to ask pointed questions about family planning policies and
their own personal experience. I was initially worried that
they might be bothered by the subject matter and hesitate to
answer. To my surprise, they continued with enthusiasm.
Several women testified that the penalty for noncompliance with an
order to abort an unauthorized pregnancy, or to undergo sterilization
after the birth of a second child, was the destruction of one's home.
One woman told PRI investigators of a woman nearby, who was recently
forced to leave her home to protect her pregnancy against forced
abortion. As this woman spoke, she became very emotional and began to
hide her tears.
In another residential area, we spoke with a man who was working in
his garden. He turned out to be the father-in-law of a woman who had
been ordered to have an abortion but had instead gone into hiding. He
was angry at local officials because his home and two others had been
recently destroyed by Sihui family planning workers as punishment for
his daughter-in-law's refusal to submit to an abortion as required by
Nine of this woman's family members had been imprisoned and they
had been forced to pay fines to win their release. Their neighbors had
loaned them the funds they needed to pay the fines.
This man took PRI's investigative team to interview his daughter-
in-law. She told PRI investigators of the punishments she and her
family had experienced. She showed us the areas of her house that had
been destroyed. Before leaving, PRI investigators were able to meet her
baby boy, who was thirteen months old.
She told us of the additional fines that must be paid if her son is
to be eligible for medical care, schooling or employment in the future.
At present, she described her little boy as a ``black child,'' that is,
an unregistered and illegal person, who does not exist in the eyes of
the state. Many of those we interviewed told us of the problems
experienced by ``black children,'' who are punished for being born
without a permit.
At an October 17, 2001 congressional hearing, the lead investigator
of PRI's independent investigative team showcased the following
testimonies recorded on audio- and videotape in China. These
testimonies are a sample of the interviews carried out in China. All
interviews took place within a few miles of the UNFPA office desk and
within the borders of Sihui county:
Questioner: If you violate the population control regulations
by having too many children, what happens to you?
Woman: When I had my children, things were not as strict.
Right now, things are very, very strict.
Questioner: What happens to you if you give birth to another
Woman: You want to have another child! You think it's that
easy to give birth!
Questioner: Would someone come to your house and take you in
by force, in for an abortion?
Woman: Yes. But they don't need to use force. They simply
require you to go.
Questioner: And if you don't go?
Woman (astonished): They require you to go and you don't go?
Questioner: What if you say you don't want to go?
Woman: What reason could you give [for resisting.] Giving
birth to an extra child is difficult, very, very difficult to
have a child.
Questioner: But you yourself had three children. How did this
Woman: First I had two. Then seven years later I had another
baby boy. They had already tied my tubes and I had another boy.
Questioner: After you had an operation? After they tied your
tubes? How did they know you had a baby?
Woman: They found out. Someone told them.
Questioner: Then the family planning workers came to your
house. Did a whole troop of them come?
Woman: A lot of them came. Many, many people.
Questioner: What if you hid?
Woman: That wouldn't work. They would tear down my house.
(Points at the ceiling). They would wreck it.
Narrator: So she was sterilized a second time, at the
government's insistence, and there have been no more children.
(Photo of woman, with child, interviewed September 2001, a
short distance from UNFPA office, in county where UNFPA
operates and claims coercion does not exist. This interview was
recorded on audio tape.)
Narrator: This woman was pregnant with her second child, and
the authorities wanted her to abort . . .
Woman: I was four-and-a-half months pregnant. They wanted me
to report to the hospital for an abortion but I refused to go.
I went into hiding in my mother's village. Then my brother, my
older sister, and my younger sister were all arrested. I had no
choice but to go somewhere else to hide. They arrested three
people in my mother's family but didn't destroy any homes. They
arrested six people in my mother-in-law's family and destroyed
(Photo of man and damaged home, interviewed September 29, a
short distance from UNFPA office, in county where UNFPA
operates and claims coercion does not exist. This interview was
recorded on audiotape.)
Narrator: When they couldn't find the woman, they attacked
her home--and the homes of her relatives--with jackhammers. Her
father-in-law describes the damage.
Man: Look at this. All of the doors and windows destroyed.
Here's a big hole that they knocked in the wall. It took forty
bags of cement to repair the holes.
(Photo of women in waiting room, taken a short distance from
UNFPA office. PRI investigators spoke with several women in
this photo who confirmed that forced abortion exists in this
county where UNFPA operates.)
Narrator: Here in a hospital waiting room, a pregnant woman
waits for an abortion. Too young at 19 years of age to get
married--the minimum age is 23--she has been ordered to report
for an abortion. As she disappears into the operating room, we
ask her three friends here with her: ``Would she like to keep
her baby?'' ``Oh, yes,'' they all replied, ``But the law
UNFPA Operations in Jianou County, Fujian Province, and in Kuerle
County, Xinjiang Province
PRI researchers also obtained information about two other UNFPA
county programs, the first in Jianou county, Fujian Province, and the
second in Kuerle county, Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
We were told that the population control regulations of Fujian
Province, which are enforced without exception in all counties, call
Mandatory use of IUDs.
Mandatory quarterly exams.
Fines of 50 yuan per day, and 2,000 yuan per month imposed
for non-compliance with mandatory examinations.
Forced sterilization after six months of non-compliance with
Mandatory registration of child within one month after birth
of child, punishable with forced sterilization for non-
Forced abortion, forced sterilization and 10,000 yuan fine
for pregnancy before age 20.
In Xinjiang Province, particularly in rural areas like Kuerle
county (Korla in the local Uighur language), local family planning
officials frequently resort to brute force. Kuerle (Korla) county is
the location of UNFPA's Xinjiang county program. Abuses include:
Forced abortion and forced sterilization under imprisonment.
Note on UNFPA's Reaction
The UNFPA responded to PMI'S investigation by organizing an in-
house delegation of UNFPA employees and associates to visit China. The
eight-page ``Mission Report'' issued by UNEPA describes the details of
their 22-26 October visit to Beijing, Guangzhou, Sihui county, and
Qianjiang City, Hubei Province. Of the five days spent in China, half
was spent in Beijing, in meetings, banquets and barbecues with Chinese
officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the State Family
During half-day visits to Sihui and Qianjiang, the delegation was
accompanied by Chinese officials from the national, provincial,
prefectural, municipal, and county governments. They went on guided
tours of several family planning clinics, and spent only 30 minutes on
``household visits,'' which were again conducted in the presence of
Chinese officials. In the absence of unsupervised contact with ordinary
Chinese, it is unlikely that UNFPA could accurately assess the state of
the one-child policy in Sihui county or anywhere else in China.
The UNFPA's ``Mission Report'' presents no credible evidence, based
on interviews with ordinary Chinese, to support its claim that
voluntarism exists in its county program in Sihui, or anywhere else in
China. Its ``Mission Report'' simply repeats assertions made by Chinese
officials that coercion has been eliminated and targets and quotas have
been lifted in Sihui county. The Chinese officials who make these
assertions are not unbiased observers, but interested parties, who have
every reason to put the best face on the family planning programs that
they supervise, especially when these are called into question.
UNFPA Supports Coercion
PRI's investigation in China shows that UNFPA supports China's
family planning policy. UNFPA's support consists of public praise for,
and misinformation about, China's coercive family planning policy.
UNFPA also directly supports coercive family planning with funding, and
through its complicity with the implementation of policies which are
fundamentally coercive in principle and practice.
Ms. Guy. And I did ask this to be officially moved into the
record. May I do that, Senator?
Senator Boxer. All of the statements will be placed into
Ms. Guy. OK. All right. Thank you.
Senator Boxer. Thank you.
Senator Brownback. Both of you made the point to me about
just how much that mother went through that delivered my
youngest daughter. As I think you said, Mr. Biegman, you still
found two-thirds of the counties in China going through some
sort of a forced abortion, even after this international
pressure has been brought on China about their forced abortion
policies. Was that the number you said?
Ambassador Biegman. China is a big country, sir. It needs
time to make this U-turn, which they made in principle when
adhering to the Cairo program of action. It needs time to
adjust its policies and to go toward the Cairo approach of
Senator Brownback. But did you state there were two-thirds
of the area that were still----
Ambassador Biegman. At this stage, yes. I could have put it
positively. I could have said one-third of China is already on
the right track and the rest will follow whenever they can
manage that administratively. That is the main bottleneck at
Senator Brownback. I just want to make sure I understand
what percentage of the country is still operating with this
forced abortion policy.
Ambassador Biegman. Yes. But I would like--I would like to
stress that that is a part of the country where UNFPA is not
Senator Brownback. I take it there is large portions of the
country that you would submit that that was the case as well,
that there are other ways that they can operate in a country,
that they operate through other U.N. employees, sort of what
you have said through other groups.
Ms. Guy, I want to ask you, if I could, on some of the
women that you interviewed, you said particularly the older
Ms. Guy. Yes. The older women that were past the
childbearing age, they wanted to talk mainly about what was
going on with their daughters, because the programs were not in
place as they are now for them. And they were really great. And
I was moved. I have to say I was very moved about hearing what
they had to say.
The translator was there. She was translating to me some of
the things that they were saying. And they just really wished
it was not so for their daughters to have to be forced into
this type of program.
And the most intimate part of their lives is having had the
IUD's inserted, and every 3 months they have to go and make
sure that they are still there. I mean, one of the most
personal things for me, and I am sure for most women in this
room, is that our privacy, in terms of our reproduction, is
just that. And this is something that is so intimate in a
person's life. To just be wide open to scrutiny like this, I
Senator Brownback. Did you hear that in multiple occasions
from older women?
Ms. Guy. Yes. Yes, I did.
Senator Brownback. Was it a common comment that they made?
Ms. Guy. It was every comment, every--every village that I
Senator Brownback. That they would say that they were
regularly--their daughters were regularly having to go in to
make sure that the IUD's----
Ms. Guy. Oh, yes. We have--we have testimony. Yes.
Senator Brownback. Did any of them describe any forced
abortions that their daughters were having to go through or had
to go through?
Ms. Guy. None of the older women, but the gentleman at the
village where you saw the home, that was the father-in-law of
the woman who went into hiding. He was very, very angry. You
can hear--if you get an opportunity to listen to this, you can
hear the anger in his voice about what happened to them. They
lost a lot of money. They lost their homes.
You just saw the window that had been repaired, but what
they did with the jackhammers is they went to the third--if
any--you have been to China. And so you know what the homes are
like. In this area of China, they are brick homes, and the
floors are cement. So you have the bottom floor, you have the
second floor, and then you have the top floor. Well, they would
go to the top floor and jackhammer an area maybe eight feet in
diameter and jackhammer that floor. Then they would jackhammer
the second floor. And then they would tear out their windows.
And that means taking out iron bars, not just glass. They do
not have windows like we have windows.
So when they basically got finished, it was a frame that
was left made of brick. And all of their household goods were
carried off, and they had nothing. And they did that to try to
force her out of hiding. She was a very--the hero of this story
is this young woman, because she fled her village and went to
her mother's village. And they discovered her there. So she had
to leave again.
And as a result of that, they imprisoned her family and her
husband's family and destroyed three homes in her husband's
family. And they were in prison for over 4 months. And the
village, the villagers actually raised the money to get them
out of prison, which was the 17,000 RMB. But she still has to
pay another 17,000 before she can register her child to be able
to go to school.
Senator Brownback. So the child cannot go to school unless
she raises the additional 17,000----
Ms. Guy. Unless she comes up with the additional money.
Senator Brownback. You know, I am going to submit your
report to the UNFPA.
Ms. Guy. OK.
Senator Brownback. And I will invite other members to join
me on this, because I think, as the chairman noted, we all find
forced abortion, forced sterilization taking place, as well as
to the State Department, to ask them to specifically respond to
the case that you have brought forward. And I would hope that
they would thoroughly investigate a continuation of these sorts
of charges and this happening. It is so aggressive on the part
of the Chinese.
Ms. Guy. Yes. If an investigation could be conducted where
the officials were not present, I think they would--I think
most of us here would have to admit that the results may have
been a little different for them also.
But--you know, I promised these women that I would not
reveal their identity. And so because of that, on the face it
may appear as though I am obstructing an investigation, but
that is not my purpose. My purpose is to protect them, because
they were relentless in what they did to this woman and to her
family. And I cannot imagine what they would do if they were
able to identify her.
Senator Brownback. The chairman and I have worked a great
deal on women's rights in Afghanistan. And thankfully we are
seeing some good progress taking place there. And I am hopeful
we can get some funding for hospital equipment, so that women
will have--women and everybody else will have it. But for this
sort of thing continuing to take place in China is just not
acceptable. So I am going to put that forward and ask for
responses and see if other members will join me on that as
Ms. Guy. And as a reminder, I just want to point out that
this was one of the model counties that UNFPA was operating in,
that they said was going voluntary. And, you know, I did not--I
thought at first, when I went, I thought, how am I going to
walk into a village and just find these kinds of stories? And
to my surprise, every village I went to, it was not hard to
find stories. I did not have to search them out. I just started
to ask people.
Senator Brownback. Amazing. Tragic.
Senator Boxer. Well, perhaps you could tell Senator
Brownback the names of those people so he can follow up with
them, maybe make a trip ourselves.
Let me ask you this question, which confused me a little
Ms. Guy. I am sorry?
Senator Boxer. You said you went into the family planning,
Chinese Family Planning Agency, which of course, if these
things happened, is quite responsible for all those things that
we have talked about, Correct? Why did you go there? Did you go
there to--you went three times. Did you go there to tell these
people what you had seen, to try to get them to stop? Why were
Ms. Guy. The sole purpose of going was to try and locate
the UNFPA. That was the only reason for going.
Senator Boxer. You went there to find the UNFPA office.
Ms. Guy. We were told that UNFPA was operating in this
county. So we made----
Senator Boxer. So getting back to the famous empty desk
Ms. Guy. Yes. Do you mind if I finish my sentence?
Senator Boxer. You can finish as many as you would like.
Ms. Guy. OK. Thank you. So we made the assumption that if
they were operating in this county, maybe thinking like
Westerners, that there would be a county office where the UNFPA
operated. So based upon that assumption, we just--we went to
the county building, which you saw, the large building.
Senator Boxer. Yes, we sure did.
Ms. Guy. And when we inquired as to where the family
planning office was, they took us in--if you can read--I cannot
read Chinese, but the Chinese language on the sign says ``The
Chinese Family Planning Office.'' And then after further
inquiry, they are the ones that identified the UNFPA desk.
Senator Boxer. Was there a sign that said U.N. desk?
Ms. Guy. No.
Senator Boxer. And you said the person--you went back three
times, and no one was there.
Ms. Guy. No. There were----
Senator Boxer. At the so-called UNFPA desk, there was not
anyone there three times, three different times?
Ms. Guy. You mean actually sitting at the desk?
Senator Boxer. Yes.
Ms. Guy. No. We asked where this individual was, and that
is when we were told that she had a serious illness and that
she was hospitalized.
Senator Boxer. OK. But you have just heard before that
there are four people, and they only make trips once a year. So
I think we should pursue that issue as well about this shared
desk and the people and the sick person and try to figure this
thing out because I will tell you why, I will tell you why. I
would like to talk to that person.
Ms. Guy. Well, we wanted to, too. And that is why we----
Senator Boxer. Well, I know. Well, good. So now you have me
on your side. I would like to talk to the person who was ill,
in the hospital, who sits at that desk every day because, first
of all, they are not supposed to be. They are supposed to come
once a year. So I have to find out who that is. And then I am
going to show them this tape, if you will leave it with me.
Ms. Guy. It is part of the official record, I believe.
Senator Boxer. Very well. I would show that person that
tape and start asking some questions, ``Is it true that you are
here? And how often are you here?''
Ms. Guy. I would volunteer to do that for you, because I
honestly, Senator Boxer, do not believe that you would get an
Senator Boxer. Well, thank you. You do not know me well
enough. I think I would.
Ms. Guy. OK.
Senator Boxer. And since I am one of the biggest advocates,
and continue to be after this hearing even more than ever, of
UNFPA, I think the UNFPA will in fact tell me who was at that
desk. You have the picture there. So we can show them the
picture. Who was ill, what was that story, and do they know
anything about these individuals whom you have shown us,
because if, in fact----
Ms. Guy. Which is a path back to those individuals.
Senator Boxer. If, in fact--excuse me?
Ms. Guy. I think which would lead you back to those
individuals. I think it is the hope that you have.
Senator Boxer. Well, the hope that I have is to find out,
and this is important, if UNFPA people knew about this and
actually sat in an office where, as you say, they had to know,
when it conflicts with what I know about UNFPA, that in fact
they only go there--you know, there are four of them, and they
cover the whole country.
So I need to find out. Your testimony is fascinating. But
it leads me to a lot of curiosity.
Ms. Guy. I understand.
Senator Boxer. Yes. So I am going to--just so you know what
I am doing----
Ms. Guy. Sure.
Senator Boxer [continuing]. I am going to get in touch with
UNFPA. I am going to--I want them to see this, because it is
highly upsetting. And I want to find out, you know, the
situation with this desk.
[The following letter from UNFPA was subsequently
The Executive Director,
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund,
New York, NY, March 4, 2002.
The Honorable Barbara Boxer
United States Senate,
Senate Hart 112,
Washington DC, 20010.
Dear Senator Boxer,
I understand that the Senate Foreign Relations Sub-Committee on
International Operations and Terrorism held a hearing last week on the
U.S. funding of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). I would
like to thank you for bringing this issue to the attention of the Sub-
It is my understanding that several questions related to UNFPA and
its programme in China were raised, and I hope that I can help to
clarify any outstanding issues.
First and foremost, I share your deep and profound concerns
regarding the allegations of forced abortion, coercion and destruction
of property in China. It is precisely because of these concerns that
UNFPA developed a programme in China to demonstrate to the Chinese
Officials that population programmes can be effective while respecting
basic human rights. UNFPA's Executive Board, which takes decisions on
all UNFPA country programmes, believes that we should be engaged in
China with open eyes, not close our eyes and turn our backs on China.
All UNFPA activities adhere to international human rights
standards, including those articulated at the 1994 International
Conference on Population and Development. These standards assert that
in no case should abortion be used as a method of family planning and
that coercion is unacceptable in family planning programmes. This is
our mandate, and we are committed to ensuring that nations provide
voluntary family planning services that respect the rights and dignity
of all their citizens.
It has been brought to my attention that Josephine Guy, Director of
Government Affairs for America's 21, testified concerning her early
Fall investigative trip to China. I want to assure the Sub-Committee
that UNFPA is well aware of her investigation and subsequent report. In
fact, when the House International Relations Committee held a hearing
on this subject, a member of my staff spoke with the staff of
Representative Henry Hyde and requested that Ms. Guy and any other
witnesses meet with UNFPA and U.S. Department of State representatives
so we could discuss details of her troubling allegations and
investigate her charges. Unfortunately, Representative Hyde's staff
member, Joseph Reese, refused our request.
Although we were unable to meet with Ms. Guy to discuss her
findings, UNFPA made a quick determination that the serious nature of
her allegations required an independent review. As you may be aware,
UNFPA is a multilateral organization and we are both governed and
supervised by an Executive Board that is comprised of Member States of
the United Nations, including the United States. Accordingly, we asked
members of our Executive Board to conduct an investigative mission to
China. I believe that the Sub-Committee has a copy of the resulting
investigative report, as well as the written and oral testimony of the
mission's leader, Ambassador Nicolaas Biegman.
I understand that some members of the Sub-Committee question the
independence of this investigation. Accordingly, I would be pleased to
work with all of you and the Department of State to develop a U.S.
review team that can visit the UNFPA programme counties in China and
satisfy your concerns for independence. As you may know, the UNFPA
programme in China is one of the most monitored programmes in the
entire United Nations system. Since 1999, there have been over 60
independent reviews of this programme, in addition to UNFPA's own
internal monitoring. Moreover, as a member of the UNFPA Executive
Board, the United States has regularly monitored this programme from
their Embassy in Beijing. Accordingly, I am confident that any further
investigation and consultation with the U.S. embassy and its
professional foreign service team will confirm that UNFPA does not
support or participate in forced abortion or other human rights
violations in China.
I also understand that concerns were raised about an alleged UNFPA
desk in the State Family Planning Commission in Sihui City in Guangdong
Province. I have attached to this letter a listing of all UNFPA staff
in China, which consists of four international professional staff and
nine local recruits primarily for administrative functions. All of
these staff are based in Beijing, and none of them has a desk in Sihui
or any other county. The UNFPA China Office also handles the programme
in Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) (North Korea). I
understand that Ms. Guy testified that she never observed any UNFPA
staff at the desk in question and was told that the individual was
``seriously ill and in the hospital.'' While Ms. Guy and the Population
Researcb Institute (PRI) (which she has referred us to for all
inquiries) remain unwilling or unable to provide us with the address of
this alleged UNFPA desk, perhaps we could gain your assistance in
earning the name of the person she believes works for UNFPA and was
seriously ill and in the hospital at the time. This would enable us to
follow-up on these allegations.
Finally, the central assertion of PRI is that UNFPA has certified
or claimed that these counties are coercion free. In fact, UNFPA is not
capable of making any such assertion. We have required that China
formally rescind quotas in these counties. Strengthening voluntarism
and avoiding coercion is the raison d'etre of the programme, and is
therefore the central concern of both government and UNFPA in its
planning, implementation and monitoring of the programme.
If you or other members of the Sub-Committee have any additional
questions or need more information, I would be happy to provide it.
Again, thank you for your time and attention to these serious matters.
The United Nations Population Fund considers the United States a
supportive partner in its efforts and would be deeply troubled by a
loss of its critical leadership on international family planning
I would be pleased to meet with you in person at your convenience.
Please accept, dear Senator Boxer, the assurances of my highest
Thoraya Ahmed Obaid,
List of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in China and Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)
International Office Staff
Representative: Ms. Siri Tellier
Deputy Representative: Ms. Junko Sazaki
Junior Professional Officer for PO1 ``Reproductive Health/Family
Planning'': Ms. Magnus Bjorg (leaving in May).
Junior Programme Officer: Ms. Kumiko Yoshida (will take over for Ms.
UN Volunteer for PO2: ``Women's Empowerment'': Ms. Lisa Eklund
UN Volunteer for PO1: ``Reproductive Health/Family Planning'': Dr.
National Office Staff
National Programme Officer: Mr. Jin Zhicheng
National Programme Officer: Mr. Yu Yu
National Office Support Staff: Seven support staff.
Senator Boxer. Now I do not have any questions, other than
I would like to sum up.
Do you have any further questions, Senator?
Senator Brownback. I would like to sum up as well.
Senator Boxer. Why do you not go ahead then? And then I
will close it.
Senator Brownback. The question that I think all of us are
having here is: No. 1, setting aside the hospital here, because
we need to get funding for these items--and we ought to find it
from any source that we possibly can at this point, so that we
can get that aid into Afghanistan. And I am committed to doing
And, Ms. Oakley, or others, if you see ways that we can go
at that or we can put it forward right now, let us get that
there, rather than get involved in this bigger fight.
The second issue here is the involvement of UNFPA in forced
abortions in China, which has been a simmering issue for a
long, long period of time, allegations, cross allegations, back
and forth. And I think at the base of that what we have to ask
is: How does the UNFPA operate in China?
One of the allegations has been that UNFPA puts a lot of
money in without adequate observation in China. And so some of
it is being used in ways that many people do not support.
Another--and this is just--I just heard this today, that
UNFPA operates with four people, but subcontracts to a lot of
other U.N. agencies in China. So we need to understand just how
they are structurally operating in China. That should not be
too difficult to be able to determine just how structurally
they operate in China.
And certainly I would hope they would come forward with
some pretty straight answers for us here, so we can determine
their degree of responsibility.
And finally, just this practice that is taking place in
China, we need to determine UNFPA's funding of that. And maybe
it is funding without their knowledge of what actually is
taking place. Maybe it is funding with their knowledge of what
is taking place. Maybe they are not funding it at all or even
involved in it.
We should find out to what degree that that is taking place
in China or other places around the world, so we can just
understand particularly this, because this has been a
simmering, long-standing issue. This is not something new to
this committee's undertaking today.
So I would hope the administration would take its time and
look at trying to figure out what that case is and, in the
meantime, get the funding for the hospital and other places
that has been brought forward here in Afghanistan. I plan to
submit this information to UNFPA and to the administration for
them to thoroughly get a chance to look at these items.
So though the chairman and I come at this from different
perspectives, I think you have raised, all of you, some very
troubling questions about what is taking place. And hopefully
we can do some things that need to take place now, such as the
funding for the hospital, and then find out at the bottom of
this just what else is happening at the UNFPA, how complicit or
not it is in some of these operations.
Thank you, Madame Chairman----
Senator Boxer. Thank you.
Senator Brownback [continuing]. For holding a tough
Senator Boxer. Well, it is a very important issue. And let
me say how strongly I feel that the administration should
release the $34 million yesterday. And I feel that more than
ever. We knew when we started this hearing that sadly there is
still coercion and forced abortion in China. Every one of us
We knew when we started this hearing, and we still know,
that American funds that are given to UNFPA cannot be used in
China. So what is happening by this punishment--and my friend
talks about the hospitals. Listen, that $34 million can be used
in 140 other countries, including Afghanistan, to prevent 2
million unwanted pregnancies. And are we going to hold it up,
because of a policy that we all think is terrible, but has
nothing to do with United States of America's dollars?
You know, that is cruel, cruel. That money will help, will
prevent, will help prevent, 800,000 induced abortions, 4,700
maternal deaths, 60,000 cases of serious maternal illness, and
over 77,000 infant and child deaths. You know, for the life of
me, I do not get it. It will prevent HIV/AIDS, which we all
desperately want to stop.
We are holding up money to make a point that we can make
every day of the week and not hold this money hostage to help
all the other people. We are not using our funds there. So from
what I understand, what I hear--and, Ambassador, I thought you
were eloquent on the point, because you were talking from your
experience on the ground. You were honest about it. You
admitted. You said there is still a real problem in China. But
they are moving in the right direction. And one of the reason
So to me, it seems so counterproductive to say how much we
are appalled by the coercion in China, and we will work to end
it, and then do something that in essence does not help that
situation but condemns a lot of other people to a lot of
misery. I think this is an opportunity for all of us of every
single political persuasion to team up here and say, ``We will
work together and raise our voices against any coercion when it
comes to family planning or abortion.'' That is why I am pro-
choice, because I want people to choose.
I would fight any government every step of the way for
forcing a woman to go in any direction. And so to me we should
be joining hands. Instead, we are in this debate. Now the
Senator has given me an opening, because he is concerned very
much about the hospitals in Afghanistan. We will work together
But that does not address the bulk of the funds which are
being used to help people live. So I feel very passionate about
I will follow up on this tape and with UNFPA. And Ms. Guy
will work with Senator Brownback on that issue. We will let you
know how our--what we find out about the missing individual at
the desk. We will learn----
Ms. Guy. I would be happy to work with you, too, Senator
Senator Boxer. I look forward to that and getting those
answers for you, because you went back three times and were
told something and then never could follow up.
And I hope, Mr. Eberstadt, to see you again soon. Maybe one
of these days we will actually be together, but it is always a
pleasure to see you.
Ms. Oakley, thank you very much.
Ambassador, my good friend Senator Brownback, we appreciate
everybody coming today. It is a hard issue. We each see it
differently, but that is what this great country is all about.
That is what we are fighting for, the ability to disagree and
respect the way and move forward with compromise.
We stand adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 4:45 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned, to
reconvene subject to the call of the Chair.]
Responses to Additional Questions for the Record
Responses of Hon. Arthur E. Dewey to Additional Questions for the
Record Submitted by Senator Barbara Boxer
Questions. Your written testimony demonstrates the concern of the
State Department over periodic reports of abuse and coercion in China's
family planning program. You mention in your testimony that U.S.
Foreign Service officers have been dispatched from time to time to
investigate such reports. Can you tell us what these officers have
reported to the Department about: (a) coercive activities in China; and
(b) concerning the issue at hand, whether they have ever reported,
inferred or in any way suggested that DNFPA is involved, complicit or
in any way associated with coercive activities in China?
Your testimony also says that since 1998, the Mission has been
``closely'' monitoring UNFPA's pilot program in China. Again, please
advise the subcommittee as to what the Mission has found. Has the
Mission expressed concern about UNFPA's activities? Has the Mission
ever--in any reporting or any communication with the Department--
suggested that UNFPA's activities are helpful in encouraging
voluntarism? The issue of UNFPA's program in China is well known to the
Department, to the Congress, and presumably to the Mission. Has the
Mission ever been asked its opinion about whether UNFPA has been
involved in or in any way supports--directly or indirectly--coercive
activities in China? What is the Mission's view about UNFPA's presence
Can you tell the Committee what the administration and the
Mission's view is about whether the nations and organizations that
uphold universal standards of human rights should be engaged in China?
Does the administration believe if there are violations of human rights
in China, that U.S. activities in China should be discontinued? For
example, if there are reports of forced labor, does the administration
believe that U.S. business should no longer do business in China?
The subcommittee was also interested in your spoken testimony, in
which you indicated that the issue of UNFPA funding was out of the
State Department's hands. Can you report to the subcommittee as to why
the State Department has been relieved of its responsibilities in this
Answers. Coercion in China's family planning program is a violation
of international human rights instruments and an issue of concern to
the Department. Our officers continue to report on this issue. For
example, the Department raised the issue of coercive family planning
last October during the resumed U.S.-China human rights dialogue.
Specifically, we urged Chinese authorities to take action against
family planning officials when abuses occur (e.g., coercive abortion,
destruction of property, imposition of punitive fines). We also urged
them to effectively implement the central government's policy
prohibiting coercion in family planning programs, and stressed that
steps be taken to ensure that local officials are held responsible for
Our Ambassador to China--Ambassador Randt--also raised this issue
in a meeting last month with the Director General of China's State
Family Planning Commission (SFPC). Specifically, Ambassador Randt
stressed the need for China to establish a more transparent system of
enforcing family planning regulations and a better method for Chinese
citizens to report abuses by local family planning officials. The
Ambassador noted our concern about coercive practices, particularly
forced abortions and sterilizations.
In both conversations, Chinese officials acknowledged problems with
enforcing family planning regulations and promised that violators of
the central government's policy prohibiting coercion in family planning
programs would be investigated and, if found guilty, punished. They
reaffirmed earlier Chinese government commitments to work closely with
us to investigate allegations of abuse and promised to provide us with
information about their efforts to investigate, prosecute and sentence
those found guilty. They also agreed to consider suggestions that the
SFPC publish regular reports of administrative sanctions against
malfeasance. We plan to follow up and monitor their actions to see if
they are consistent in word and deed.
Regarding UNFPA, the U.S. has worked closely with the Fund on its
China program. Following the conclusion in 1995 of UNFPA's previous
program in China, UNFPA spent two years negotiating a new program. The
new program, approved by the Executive Board in 1998, requires the
removal of birth targets and quotas in the 32 program counties in which
UNFPA is active. It also provides for expanded access to voluntary
contraceptive methods, improved quality of care, and women's economic
Prior to joining consensus approving the new program in 1998, the
U.S. insisted on and received assurances from Chinese officials that
monitoring access and oversight by the UNFPA Executive Board, U.S.
diplomatic staff in China, and independent observers to assess the
voluntary nature of UNFPA's program would be allowed. As a Board
member, we take our oversight authorities very seriously. We continue
to raise concerns in our statements at Board meetings about the
importance of China moving to a voluntary family planning program.
Officers in our Embassy and Consulates have visited UNFPA projects
in China. However, no comprehensive review has been undertaken. The
primary issue is whether UNFPA's program in China is in violation of
legislation that prohibits USG funding to any organization that
supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive
abortion or involuntary sterilization. Until such time we conduct a
comprehensive assessment of UNFPA's overall program in China, the
administration cannot determine whether the Fund is in violation of
this legislation. The State Department is actively preparing the launch
of such an assessment.
Additional Statement Submitted for the Record
Prepared Statement of John Flicker, President, National Audubon Society
Madame Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
Thank you for the opportunity to testify about the importance of
meeting the congressional goal to provide $34 million to the United
Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Audubon believes that international
family planning is an environmental issue. We believe it is critical to
emphasize the connection between the health of birds, wildlife, humans
and the environment.
Human population growth is one the most pressing environmental
problems facing the world today. International family planning
programs, the very programs carried by UNFPA, have been proven to slow
population growth and decrease environmental degradation. The United
States must fully fund UNFPA programs as Congress intended. We urge
President Bush to end the delay and fully release the $34 million for
For thousands of years, birds have been one of our most important
early warning systems. Birds have predicted the change of seasons, the
coming of storms, the presence of land at sea and the rise of toxic
levels of pollution in the food chain.
Now birds are telling us something is terribly wrong with the
More than 50 percent of migratory songbirds in vast sections of the
United States are in decline. Across the nation, warblers are
disappearing, as are painted buntings, bobolinks and dozens of other
songbirds. Scientists say the demise of these songbirds is caused by
the destruction of their habitat, brought about by rapid rates of human
Many of ``our'' songbirds spend four to nine months of the year in
the tropical forests of Latin America and the Caribbean. These forests
are being cut to the ground at record rates. In Central America, more
than 40 percent of the forest canopy has been destroyed in the last 30
years, as the population of the region has doubled.
Whether the birds are flying north or south, they are being
hammered by rapid rates of population growth. And it's not just the
For millions of years, Caribbean sea turtles have migrated
thousands of miles to nest on the very beaches on which they were born
many years before. Now rapid coastal development in the Caribbean--
combined with pollution, reef destruction, and over-fishing--threaten
every species of sea turtle found in U.S. waters--leatherback,
hawksbill, Kemp's ridley, loggerhead and green.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, population pressure and
habitat destruction are pushing gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans, and
smaller monkeys closer to extinction. The 600 Mountain Gorillas
remaining in the world live in the rainforests of Rwanda, Uganda and
the Congo--countries with the fastest population growth rates on Earth.
The orangutan, found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in
Indonesia, is near extinction because of hunting and habitat loss.
Experts now say all the great apes may be extinct within the next 20
What's happening to birds, great apes and sea turtles is happening
to wildlife all over the world--to tigers in India, elephants in
Thailand, and jaguars in Central America. Though many of the world's
creatures face peril now, the real trouble lies ahead.
Across the globe, more than a billion teenagers are entering their
reproductive years--the largest cluster of teens in world history. The
choices these young people make in the next decade will determine the
fate of our natural world for generations to come. If birth rates
remain at current levels, demographers say the world will add more
people in the next 50 years than it has in the previous 500,000 years.
Population growth is about more than the environment, of course.
It's also about the health of women, crushing unemployment and poverty
rates, and rising levels of social and economic instability in the
The United States has done too little to help. As the global
population has climbed 60 percent since 1970, U.S. family planning
assistance, as a percentage of total federal budget outlays, has
declined by 40 percent. Although we joined 179 other nations in Egypt
in 1994 in pledging specific support for international family planning
efforts, this country has actually made good on less than one-third of
Right now, the U.S. contribution to the UNFPA is in jeopardy. While
Congress appropriated $34 million for the UNFPA last year, the
Administration's proposed budget for FY 2003 contains UNFPA funding
language that ``reserves'' this money for FY 2002 and asks for a
reduction to $25 million for FY 2003 (again ``reserved'').
We find this hedging language extremely disappointing.
We urge President Bush to act on what is a matter of life and death
for wildlife, women and children the world over. Voluntary family
planning programs like those carried out by the UNFPA in 140 developing
countries around the world are vital to slowing human population growth
and the pace of habitat destruction worldwide.
We thank you and the Members of this subcommittee for giving this
matter the attention it deserves. We hope that this hearing results in
the release of the funding for UNFPA.