It is with great sadness that we have heard of the passing of our friend, Richard G. Wilkins and we send our sincere condolences to his wife and family. Richards death is a great loss for the entire pro-life and pro-family movement globally.
Richard who was only 59, was a former law Professor at Brigham Young College in Provo Utah before he took up the challenge of directing the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development, where he organized many family-strengthening events both in that region and internationally.
Following attendance at a United Nations Habitat ii meeting in Istanbul in 1996, Richard became one of the most effective pro-life and pro-family advocates internationally and was a constant presence at UN conferences for many years.
Richard founded the very influential World Family Policy Forum, which was an annual gathering of high-ranking diplomats at Brigham Young University School of Law where Richard was a professor. Diplomats and NGO’s came from around the world for thee days of intense lectures, and networking that translated into a growing and more powerful coalition at the UN.
Following the highly successful Doha Declaration on the Family, Richard took on the challenge of directing the Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development, where he organized many family-strengthening events both in that region and internationally.
Earlier this year Richard returned to the US and joined Family Watch International which, has just announced that their annual award to outstanding champions of family life will be re-named the “Richard G. Wilkins Stand for the Family Award”. This award is to be honor of Richard and all that he has done to educate and inspire millions of people around the world to protect the family.
Among the many tributes to Richard, former negotiator for the Holy See at the UN in New York John Klink said,
“We have lost Richard the lionhearted. I am personally saddened not only at the loss of a valiant defender of life. Richard’s contributions were large—so large that they constitute a beautiful and lasting gift to humanity and a magnificent example of a life brilliantly lived.”
Slovakian MEP Anna Záborská, former President of the Women's Rights Committee in the European Parliament said,
“We commemorate Richard Wilkins as an outstanding international legal expert highlighting the possible negative impact of the late EU Constitution, and the today’s EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, on family and life issues. Thanks to Richards’s international experience, we could finally limit the attempts of EU community against the natural family in the European Union [...]
We mourn the loss of Richard, who will be sorely missed but we take comfort in knowing that the legacy he has left in his writings and speeches will continue to motivate and educate pro-family activists around the world.
Other tributes to Richard can be found here