Nominee Says Reproductive Health Not Relevant to UNICEF Mission

Ann Veneman, the outgoing US Secretary of Agriculture under the Bush Administration, has been nominated by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to head the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Veneman was questioned at a press conference Tuesday about her views on comprehensive reproductive health education, which the UN has long supported. Veneman said that reproductive health and education are not “relevant to the missions of UNICEF,” according to Voice of America.

Veneman will replace Carol Bellamy, a Clinton nominee who has served as UNICEF’s executive director for 10 years. Bellamy is an outspoken advocate for comprehensive sex education, global reproductive health, and children’s rights, which frustrated conservatives in the Bush Administration, according to the Washington Times.

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Associated Press 1/18/05; Voice of America 1/19/05; Washington Times 1/19/05; LA Times 1/18/05

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