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Kuta Bali, Indonesia, August 5-7, 2005

We, as representatives of many of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region and leaders concerned about life and family, declare our readiness to contribute to the dialogue on the future of life and family in our region. As citizens and leaders of our own cultures, we also accept our own responsibility to participate in the strengthing of the family and the protection of human life and dignity in our region.

We call upon the governments and citizens of Asia to reaffirm the recognition – expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations – of the inherent dignity and inalienable rights of all, including the inviolable right to life, as the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in Asia.

Our shared identity as Asians is based upon recognition of the fundamental dignity of the human person, which is possessed by all and must always be respected, from conception until natural death This intrinsic dignity is the basis of all human rights and must never be violated in any way. We therefore plead that every form of abortion be prohibited by law and that all life will be protected and welcomed in our societies and in our hearts.

Government, as servant of the primary institutions of social stability, marriage, and family, must ensure the development of social and political conditions in which marriages and families will thrive and grow. We therefore plead with our government and social leaders that laws and policies will be implemented for the protection and strengthening of marriage and family as the basis of harmonious social life.

We recognize as Asian culture in which children and youth are considered a precious gift and resource, not a burden on society. We assert with conviction that our children are our future and that there is no such thing as an unwanted child. We declare that the population control programs from western powers, which aim to reduce our fertility rates and violate our families, are destructive of Asian culture. We therefore plead with our government, our social leaders and most of all our medical professionals, that they prohibit by law all contraceptive programs and policies and help families to be prosperous, with authentic health care, social justice, and generous public assistance.

We commit ourselves to participate in the construction of Asia as a free association of peoples, respecting their unique civilizations, committed to the protection of fundamental human rights, and to the creation of a renewed Asia based upon justice and authentic human values.

[Adopted Sunday, 7 August 2005, by family representatives from Indonesia, Belgium, China, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, India, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, and the United States.]

[HLI Special Report #250, October 2005]