Ambassador raps UN THE VATICAN'S ambassador to the United Nations has told the organisation that its five-year review of the 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development "took a step back" and that negotiations over a review document showed an "unbalanced emphasis" on population issues at the expense of development.
Archbishop Renato R Martino delivered his statement at the final meeting of a special session of the UN General Assembly.
"The goals of Cairo could be best pursued by concentrating on such aspects of development as poverty reduction, access to basic social services, especially health care, education and security," he said.
John M Klink, a member of the Vatican's UN mission, said that the Vatican was able to work substantial improvements into the document.
"Instead of referring only to sex education, we insisted on speaking more broadly of education," he said.
Mr Klink said the final document included refugee needs such as food, shelter, sanitation and clean water, while the draft mentioned only contraceptives.
The Vatican had less success, he added, in keeping references to reproductive services for adolescents related to the rights and responsibilities of parents.
A STUDENT in Mississippi has successfully sued her school for broadcasting daily prayers over the intercom.
Lisa Herdahl, a newcomer to a rural Mississippi town, first protested to the headteacher.
When the prayers continued, she sought legal advice and the case was taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union.
After a three-month trial, the judge ruled against the school and ordered it to stop transmitting morning prayers and imposing other devotional practises on students.