Jarring note

Published: Saturday 31 August 2002

The us administration's move to withhold a tranche of us $34 million meant for the United Nations Population Fund (unfpa) may be music to the ears of the right wing anti-abortion activists. But it is not in tune with the country's own stated stand.

For, not only has the Bush administration disregarded the recommendations of its own study team which gave a clean chit to unfpa, it has also contradicted secretary of state Colin Powell's statement appreciating the "invaluable work" done by the unfpa. The us is upset with the un body over its alleged abetment of China's coercive population programmes.

Though the us withdrawal would have meant the wiping out of 12.5 per cent of the fund, the European Union has come to the rescue by pledging an additional amount of us $31.8 million.

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