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Nigerian integrity

June 2013

A diplomatic controversy has erupted after the Nigerian UN representative refused to accept references that supported abortion and ‘reproductive rights’ in the Commission on Population and Development’s draft document.

     Joy Ogwu, Nigeria’s permanent representative at the UN and first chair of the UN Women Committee, had objected to the terms ‘sexual and reproductive health services and reproductive rights’ in the commission’s draft document.

     Following this, a Planned Parenthood lobbyist Doris Mpoumou wrote a letter to her, criticising Ms Ogwu’s decision and the Nigerian legislature.

     The letter said, ‘We are writing to express our concern about the position taken by Nigeria during the 46th Session of the Commission on Population and Development. We are particularly concerned about the fact that Nigeria has called for the bracketing of all language around sexual and reproductive health and rights.

     ‘As a signatory to Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of women in Africa, we trust that your government will commit to a positive resolution that reaffirm women’s rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment’.

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