World Congress of Families: 


  World Congress of Families IV  2007 Warsaw, Poland

  World Congress of Families III  2004 Mexico City, Mexico 

  World Congress of Families II   1999 Geneva, Switzerland

  World Congress of Families I    1997 Prague, the Czech Republic

  World Congress of Families Regional Meetings (all dates & locations)


The first World Congress of Families convened under Allan Carlson’s guidance in Prague, The Czech Republic, in March, 1997. Seven hundred delegates from 145 pro-family organizations in 45 nations gathered to affirm a fixed definition of the family, to counter recent aggressive, anti-family acts by the United Nations, and to chart a positive path for family policy and family preservation. Speakers from a variety of disciplines (social science, law, history, psychology, economics, education, anthropology, and theology) defended the natural family, explored common sources of family decay, and identified real solutions. These speeches are being prepared for publication and broad distribution. Daily reports on the World Congress appeared in the Czech and European press, and on 4,500 American radio stations. 

The World Congress of Families II, held November 14-17, 1999 in Geneva, Switzerland, can be judged a great success. A fireworks display set to special music over Lake Geneva on Wednesday evening, 17 November, opened the final Plenary session of the WCF II.

One thousand, six hundred delegates and participants, representing 275 pro-family organizations from 65 countries, took part in the Congress. This represented a doubling in participation, relative to the first Congress, held in Prague, The Czech Republic, in 1997.

Highlights of the Congress included the opening Plenary held in the General Assembly of the Palace of the United Nations and adoption of "The Geneva Declaration" on the last day of the meeting.

The Howard Center for Family, Religion, & Society served as one of two Convening Organizations for this event, joined by NGO Family Voice of Brigham Young University.

The Opening Plenary convened in the General Assembly Hall of the Palace of the United Nations, on November 15,1999. In his welcoming remarks, Allan Carlson noted that 51 years earlier, delegates to the new United Nations, meeting in this very Hall, had approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). It's strongly pro-family language included Article 16, declaring "The Family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State." He explored the meaning of the key word, natural, described contemporary challenges to the family, and called for new action toward family reconstruction.

The WCF II also presented two awards at his time. The Familias Award for Scholarship went to French historian and demographer, Pierre Chaunu, for his work in detailing the "depopulation" problem looming over the developed world. The Familias Award for Humanitarian Service went to Margaret Ogala, MD, Medical Director of the Cottolengo Hospice for HIV-positive children in Kenya.

In her Response, Dr. Ogala spoke passionately for the need to return to a time when the power to create life was treated as a sacred obligation. She blamed the rise of promiscuity in Africa on the new belief among people that they can "get away with infidelity and premarital sex" on "value free education based entirely on how pregnancy and disease could be avoided," on "worldwide dissemination of a culture of pleasure as the ultimate desirable good." and on an "entirely individualistic philosophy of me and I."

Co-convening organizations represented Christian, Jewish, Islamic, and secular groups, and included The Australian Family Association, The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines-Office for Women, The Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, Endeavour Forum (Australia), Family Research Council, The Latin American Alliance for the Family, The Organization of the Islamic Conference, The Relief Society Organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and Toward Tradition.

Our program featured Eight Plenary and 20 Concurrent sessions, involving speakers from 36 countries. Dom Duarte, The Duke of Braganza (and titular King of Portugal), served as one of the seven Co-Chairman of the Congress, who presided over these sessions. The other Co-Chairman were Charles Francis QC, of Australia, Dr. John A. Howard, Ambassador Mokhtar Lamani, Professor Arcadi Nebolsine, Juliette Sayegh, M.D., and Madame Christine de Vollmer. 





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