Pro-life worldwide

“Let us renew our hope”: Answering the Secretary-General’s call on United Nations Day 2022

Responding to the Secretary-General’s call on UN Day 2022, the IOF has issued the following statement, which has been joined by organizations worldwide and provided to all UN ambassadors and their missions in New York.

“Let us renew our hope”: Answering the Secretary-General’s call on United Nations Day 2022

“Now, more than ever, we need to bring to life the values and principles of the UN Charter in every corner of the world.”[1] So proclaimed Secretary-General António Guterres on United Nations Day, October 24, 2022, marking the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of that Charter.

Those values and principles as mentioned in the Charter include “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all” (Article 1), an objective of such importance that the United Nations lost no time in organizing its Human Rights Commission tasked with drafting “a fundamental declaration on human rights, acceptable to all the United Nations.”[2] On the eve of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948, Eleanor Roosevelt, who had directed its creation, expressed her hope for the destiny of the document.

We stand at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind… This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere. We hope its proclamation by the General Assembly will be an event comparable to the proclamation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man by the French people in 1789 [and] the adoption of the Bill of Rights by the people of the United States.[3]

All of the rights recognized in this modern-day Magna Carta are rights of individuals, with one notable exception. Article 16(3) declares: “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State.”

How the family is society’s “natural” group unit was explained by Michael J. Novak, who served as US ambassador to the Commission on Human Rights: “The roles of a father and a mother, and of children with respect to them, is the absolutely critical center of social force.”[4] Or, as stated by Pope Francis, “The complementarity of man and woman… is a root of marriage and family.”[5]

Novak also explained how the family is society’s “fundamental” group unit, and his words loom ever more urgent as our world faces a proliferation of natural and man-made disasters. “Throughout history, nations have been able to survive a multiplicity of disasters—invasions, famines, earthquakes, epidemics, depressions—but they have never been able to survive the disintegration of the family.”[6]Or, as stated by President Russell M. Nelson, “If there is any hope for the future of nations, that hope resides in the family.”[7]

Hope was the impetus at the creation of the UN, noted the Secretary-General on this year’s United Nations Day, and hope must be our impetus today. “The United Nations is the product of hope. The hope—and resolve—following the Second World War to move beyond global conflict to global cooperation…. As we mark UN Day, let us renew our hope and conviction in what humanity can achieve when we work as one, in global solidarity.”[8]

We, the undersigned organizations, express our ardent hope that all nations will work in global solidarity to provide the protection to which the family is entitled, and will do so in accordance with the commitment undertaken in Article 10.1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: “The widest possible protection and assistance should be accorded to the family, which is the natural and fundamental group unit of society.”

Let us indeed renew our hope as we protect and promote what is truly our best hope for the future of nations—the family.


  • International Organization for the Family
  • Center for Family and Human Rights
  • United Families International
  • Latin American Alliance for the Family
  • Family Policy Institute, South Africa
  • Family First, New Zealand
  • Universal Peace Federation
  • American Family Association of New York
  • REAL Women of Canada
  • Ruth Institute
  • CitizenGO, Spain
  • Provive, Venezuela
  •, Spain
  • Institute for Family Policy, Spain
  • FamilyPolicy.RU Advocacy Group, Russia
  • Native American Fatherhood & Families Association

[1] “Secretary-General António Guterres message on United Nations Day, 24 October 2022,”

[2] From the opening remarks of Henri Laugier, Assistant Secretary-General of Social Affairs, to the Nuclear Commission on Human Rights (a preparatory committee to help organize the permanent Human Rights Commission) at its first meeting on 29 April 1946. Doc. E/HR/6, 1 May 1946,

[3] Statement to the General Assembly, 9 December 1948,

[4] Michael Novak, The Myth of Romantic Love and Other Essays (New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, 2013), 18.

[5] “Pope Francis’s opening address to Humanum conference,”

[6] Michael Novak, “The Family Out of Favor,” Harper’s, April 1976, 42-43.

[7] “The Family: The Hope for the Future of Nations,”

[8] “Secretary-General António Guterres message on United Nations Day, 24 October 2022,”