Saturday, December 31, 2016

Personal New Year's Message

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11

Dear friends,

Another year has passed. Usually, during the last days of every year, most people contemplate what happened in the past year and try to envision and plan their next steps. Last year, in my New Year's message, I wrote that "2015 was a year filled with fear and uncertainty." When I composed last year's message, it was a few weeks after Brussels was locked down because of fears of a terrorist attack. Unfortunately, this became a reality when a double bomb attack took place Brussels on the 22nd of March, followed by other terrorist attacks in Nice and more recently in Berlin. Moreover, the humanitarian tragedies that came as a result of conflicts around the world, especially in the Middle East, were also prevalent this year and they are expected to continue to shock and cause us distress in 2017. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Even after different manipulative efforts, the Parliamentary Assembly says a clear NO to surrogacy

On Tuesday the 11th of October, the last debates and votes on a controversial recommendation on surrogacy took place in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). This recommendation was based on a rejected resolution that asked for a legal framework for the so-called “not-for profit surrogacy”. Interestingly, the first report was rejected in its entirety by the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development (SOC) of PACE last March, forcing the rapporteur to draft another report. However, the resolution of the new report was also rejected in a Committee meeting last September. Strangely enough, a recommendation that was based on the rejected resolution was adopted. This was a mistaken decision. This became evident by the fact that before the plenary debate, the SOC voted with a large majority two amendments (24 against 16 for the first amendment and 27 against 16 for the second) to this controversial recommendation that ask for a complete European ban on surrogacy. The rejections of both the first report as well as the resolution of the second report and the clear amendments on the controversial recommendation clearly showed what the majority of the SOC does NOT want: to create a legal framework on surrogacy! The SOC finally asked to have a European ban on surrogacy! This article tells about what has happened in order to show the manipulative tactics that have been used to try to get a very controversial report being passed. Fortunately, they have not succeeded