World Congress of Families IX Declaration

We, the delegates attending World Congress of Families IX, held in Salt Lake City, Utah, concluding this 30th of October 2015, reaffirm Article 16 section 3 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

We meet at a time of great challenge for individuals and families around the world. Coming from diverse religious, national, ethnic, professional and personal backgrounds, we unite at this World Congress of Families in support of two primary ideals:

First, we value every human life, life which must be respected from its beginning at conception to natural death. We commend individuals, organizations and governments who seek to strengthen protection for every human life.

Second, we believe the natural family is the fundamental unit of society; that it is the basis of all healthy, dynamic and sustainable civilizations. We reaffirm the definition of natural family authored by a working group of the World Congress of Families, crafted in May, 1998, in a Second Century B.C. room in the ancient city of Rome. It is informed both by Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) and by the findings of social science. This definition is:

The natural family is the fundamental social unit, inscribed in human nature, and centered around the voluntary union of a man and a woman in a lifelong covenant of marriage, for the purposes of:
• satisfying the longings of the human heart to give and receive love;
• welcoming and ensuring the full physical and emotional development of children;
• sharing a home that serves as the center for social, educational, economic, and spiritual life;
• building strong bonds among the generations to pass on a way of life that has transcendent meaning;
• extending a hand of compassion to individuals and households whose circumstances differ from these ideals

Where this pattern is upheld as the basic building block of human society, we believe human happiness will increase, the potential of each person will be more fully realized, and the demands on government relief diminished.

Life and family precede the state, and the state is morally bound to protect the dignity and rights of both.

We reiterate the calls contained in the World Family Declaration:

We call for a culture that honors and enables faithful, fulfilling, and resilient marriages; that recognizes and protects the uniquely valuable contributions of both mothers and fathers to the lives of their children; and that encourages the values and vision necessary for young people to look forward to and prepare for successful marriage and parenting.
We call upon officials and policymakers, internationally, nationally, and at all levels of government, to immediately establish policies and implement measures to preserve and strengthen marriage and family.

We urge citizens, leaders, and people of influence everywhere to place as their highest priority the protection and strengthening of the family as the irreplaceable foundation of civilization and our only hope for prosperity, peace, and progress.

To these ideals and goals we pledge our voices, hearts, and hands.

Dated this 30th Day of October, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah.