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International agreement to be signed soon. Poland's opposition to an ideological interpretation of concepts

Published: 10.11.2023

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- The partnership agreement between the EU and the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) is due to be signed on 15 November.

- The adoption of the agreement could result in, among other things, the pushing of the concept of so-called reproductive and sexual rights or gender theory.

- The signing of the agreement was opposed by Namibia. The country's deputy prime minister, Nandi Ndaitwah, stated that her country would not sign the treaty in its current form, as its provisions undermine state sovereignty.

- Poland has prepared a declaration on the agreement indicating, among other things, that it will only interpret the concept of 'reproductive rights' as activities that may have the direct purpose of promoting and saving human health and life, and is therefore opposed to deriving abortion from these 'rights'.


"The New Partnership Agreement is an important part of the international legal order. The conclusion of the Agreement in its proposed form may result in the introduction of liberal thought aimed at destroying the fundamental values of a given society and community, including the cultures of African, Caribbean and Pacific countries," noted Dr Przemysław Kulawinski, analyst at the Ordo Iuris Centre for International Law.

The Namibian government had already raised concerns about the provisions of the Agreement in 2021, based on demands made at the African Inter-Parliamentary Conference on Family Values and Sovereignty, organised by the Uganda Parliamentary Forum on the Family, in collaboration with the African Bar Association and the African Heritage Foundation. Namibia has opposed the ideology of the LGBT movement, and this year passed a law banning the recognition of so-called same-sex marriages. The Entebbe Declaration, published after the Conference, called on the leaders of all African OACPS countries to refrain from signing the agreement, as it will legally bind the countries for 20 years - except for explicit reservations to protect the sovereignty of African countries and their family values.

The Attorney General of the Republic of Namibia was asked to provide a legal opinion on the agreement. The elaborated legal opinion pointed to normative regulations in conflict with the provisions of the Namibian Constitution, its legal framework and its international relations and cooperation policy. The Prosecutor further highlighted that the provisions of the treaty lack a glossary and a glossary of definitions, which is fundamental to understanding the document. This ambiguity may cause a problem with the implementation and evaluation of the treaty.

Namibia's Deputy Prime Minister, in turn, stated that the adoption of the agreement would impose on Namibia the implementation of some 80 treaties, agreements, strategies, initiatives that her country does not intend to implement. Of particular concern, according to the Namibian government, is the wording of Article 101, subsection 7, according to which a country that fails to comply with its obligations will be required to pay appropriate measures.

Guests invited to the Conference commented on the concepts of 'sexual and reproductive health' and 'sexual and reproductive health and rights'. This was motivated by the fact that both the EU and the UN often invoke these terms to advocate abortion. It was noted that every country must have the right to amend the treaty if it conflicts with their law, religious and cultural values on LGBT issues. Furthermore, it was pointed out that a clause must be included to prohibit the promotion and encouragement of abortion, sex education, gender identity, other autonomous 'sexual rights' or the sexual services of minors. This is required in order to respect the religious, cultural freedoms and rights of a country.

The countries associated with the European Union agreed to sign the Agreement. However, at the same time, representatives of Poland prepared a declaration according to which, where the Agreement provides for 'gender equality', the Republic of Poland will interpret this principle in accordance with European Union law, i.e. as the principle of equality between women and men. Moreover, it will interpret the expression 'gender', contained in the Agreement and absent in the Treaties, as 'sex', in accordance with Articles 10, 19(1) and 157(2) and (4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. Furthermore, 'reproductive rights' and other derived, identical or similar rights Poland understands only as activities that may have the direct purpose of promoting and saving human health and life, and therefore opposes deriving abortion and the use of contraception from these rights as a form of health promotion, family planning or guaranteeing human rights. Abortion - as the Polish government rightly points out - is not a human right but, on the contrary, a form of deprivation of the right to life. With regard to so-called sexual education, the Republic of Poland understands it as age-appropriate and content-appropriate education, in accordance with the relevant Polish laws and curricula based on them.

The Ordo Iuris Institute already reported on the agreement in 2021, pointing out the dangerous provisions and drew attention to the need for objections if it was signed, including preparing a petition and forming an international coalition of opposition. The Institute's experts also prepared a memorandum addressed to the foreign ministries of the signatory states, in which they showed the dangers of signing the document.

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