Health Desk: 17th Nov’18: The United States failed Thursday at the United Nations to push for changes to a resolution on forced marriage that would have weakened access to reproductive health for girls.
Four amendments presented by the United States would have specified that information and services on reproductive health be provided to girls “in accordance with national law.”
The US proposals were defeated in a vote at a General Assembly committee, with 96 countries voting against, 33 in favour and 35 abstentions.
China, Gulf countries, Pakistan, Malaysia, Cameroon, Libya, Djibouti and Burundi were among the countries that backed the US move.
US diplomat Kelley Currie argued that the changes would not “strike reproductive and health preferences. Rather they improve them by referencing national laws.”
The United Nations estimates that every year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18.
The United States is expected to seek amendments to other UN resolutions that call for access to reproductive health in what some diplomats see as a push from ultra-conservative supporters of US Vice President Mike Pence.