Republican Party Platform of 1992


Family: The Home of Freedom

The Rights of the Family. Our national renewal starts with the family. It is where each new generation gains its moral anchor. It is the school of citizenship, the engine of economic progress, a permanent haven when everything is changing.

Change can be good, when it liberates the energy and commitment of family members to build better futures. We welcome change that corrects the mistakes of the past, particularly those at war against the family. For more thanthree decades, the liberal philosophy has assaulted the family on every side.

Today, its more vocal advocates believe children should be able to sue their parents over decisions about schooling, cosmetic surgery, employment, and other family matters. They deny parental authority and responsibility, fracturing the family into isolated individuals, each of them dependent upon—and helpless before—government. This is the ultimate agenda of contemporary socialism under all its masks: to liberate youth from traditional family values by replacing family functions with bureaucratic social services. That is why today’s liberal Democrats are hostile toward any institution government cannot control, like private childcare or religious schools.

The Republican Party responds, as it has since 1980, with an unabashed commitment to the family’s economic liberty and moral rights. Republicans trust parents and believe they, not courts and lawyers, know what is best for their children. That is why we will work to ensure that the Congress and the States shall enact no law abridging the rights of the family formed by blood, marriage, adoption, or legal custody-rights which are anterior and superior to those of government. Republicans oppose and resist the efforts of the Democrat Party to redefine the traditional American family.

The Right to a Family. Every child deserves a family in a home filled with love and free from abuse. Today, many children do not enjoy that right. We are determined to change that. While government cannot legislate love and compassion, we can provide the leadership to encourage the development of healthy, nurturing families. We applaud the fine example of family values and family virtue as lived by the President and the First Lady.

We will promote whole, caring families by eliminating biases that have crept into our legal and tax codes. We will advance adoption through significant tax credits, insurance reforms, and legal reforms. We encourage adoption for those unprepared or unwilling to bear the emotional, financial, or physical demands of raising a child and will work to revive maternity homes to ensure care for both mothers and babies.

We applaud the commitment of foster care parents who provide family environments for foster care children. We abhor the disgraceful bureaucratic mismanagement of foster care. Big city mayors have spent billions on social service bureaucrats who have lost track of many children. Many have no health records, no real residence, not even the simplest personal possessions. Shuttled from house to house, they lack discipline and identity and are ripe for lives of crime. We are determined to reform this system to help these children.

Broken homes can have a devastating emotional and economic impactupon children and are the breeding ground for gang members. We urge State legislatures to explore ways to promote marital stability. Because the intergenerational family is a vital element of social cohesion, we urge greater respect for the rights and the roles of grandparents.

Republicans recognize the importance of having fathers and mothers in the home. The two-parent family still provides the best environment of stability, discipline, responsibility, and character. Documentation shows that where the father has deserted his family, children are more likely to commit a crime, to drop out of school, to become violent, to become teen parents, to take illegal drugs, to become enmired in poverty, or to have emotional or behavioral problems. We support the courageous efforts of single-parent families to have a stable home.

Caring for Children. George Bush secured the American family’s most important victory of the last four years: his child care bill. He won landmark legislation—a voucher system for low-income households, allowing parents to choose what’s best for their children, including care given by neighbors or churches. The Democrat Party opposed that legislation and instead sought government control of childcare and fewer choices for parents.

The President also advanced equity for families that forego a second income to care for their children at home through his Young Child Tax Credit. Congressional Democrats are already trying to repeal it.

The demands of employment and commuting often make it hard for parents to spend time with their children. Republicans advocate maximum flexibility in working and child care arrangements so that families can make the most of their schedules. We support pro-family policies: job sharing, telecommuting, compressed work weeks, parental leave negotiated between employer and employees, and flextime. We reject the Democrats’ one-size-fits-all approach that puts mandates on employers and takes choices away from employees.

Most parents prefer in-home care of their children but often encounter government obstacles. Republicans will promote in-home care by allowing payment annually, instead of quarterly, of income taxes by employees and withholding taxes by employers. Our proposals for tort reform, now blocked by the Democrat Congress, will prevent excessive litigation that hampers the growth of child care opportunities. By taking care of our children, we are taking care of our future.

Family Security. Over the last several decades, liberal Democrats have increasingly shifted economic burdens onto the American family. Indeed, the liberalDemocrat tax-and-spend policies have forced millions of women into the workplace just to make ends meet. Because of their policies in Congress, fathers and mothers have a tougher time bringing home what they work so hard for.

Between 1948 and 1990, under the Democrat-controlled Congress for most of those years, federal taxes on the average family of four rose from two percent to 24 percent of income. When State and local levies are included, the tax burden exceeds one-third of family income. The increase in the effective federal tax rate since 1950 has now swallowed up an ever-increasing share of a family’s earnings. Instead of working to improve their family’s standard of living, they must work to feed government’s gluttonous appetite.

This is a scandal. In the 1980s, two Republican Presidents kept Democrats from making matters worse. Presidents Reagan and Bush led the way to increase the personal exemption for dependents. We pledge to go farther to restore the value, as a percentage of average household income, it had 50 years ago. The value of the dependent deduction has eroded to a fraction of its original worth to families. Republicans call for a complete restoration, in real dollars, to its original value. Rather than fatten government bureaucracies with new programs to "help" families, we want to expand the Young Child Tax Credit to $500 per child and make it available to all families with children under the age of ten.

When the Democrats establish tax policy that makes marriage more expensive than living together, they discourage traditional commitment and stable home life. We will remove the marriage penalty in the tax code, so a married couple will receive as large a standard deduction as their unmarried counterparts. Together, these changes will empower parents to care for their families in a way public services never can.

Achieving Educational Excellence. In the earliest American communities, pioneers would establish a church, then a school. Parents wanted their children to have the best possible education, to learn what they needed to know to make a better life. Virtually every newly arrived immigrant family thought of education as the American way from the back to the front of the line. Americans have come to believe that only a country that successfully educates its sons and daughters can count on a strong, competitive economy, a vibrant culture, and a solid civic life.

As a result of this popular demand for education, Americans have created the most extensive and widely accessible educational system in the world. The people have insisted that primary responsibility for education properly remain with families, communities, and States, although, from early times, the national government has played a role in encouraging innovation and access. In the 18th century, the Northwest Ordinance assured that school bells would ring amid frontier forests. In the 19th century, President Lincoln signed the Morrill Actestablishing 50 land-grant colleges. In the 20th century, President Eisenhower signed the National Defense Education Act, providing millions with a chance at higher education; and President Nixon signed legislation that today provides federal grants and loans to half our full-time college students. In the 21st century, the promotion of educational excellence will be more crucial than ever before in our Nation’s history.

Recognizing what every parent knows, that our current educational system is not educating our children, President Bush is leading an education revolution. We applaud the President’s bold vision to change radically our education system. Our parents want it, our communities want it, our States want it, and our children want it—but the Democrat leadership in the House and the Senate continue to thwart the will of the American people for radical change in the way we educate our children.

The Republican strategy is based on sound principle. Parents have the right to choose the best school for their children. Schools should teach right from wrong. Schools should reinforce parental authority, not replace it. We should increase flexibility from federal regulation. We should explore a new generation of break-the-mold New American Schools. Standards and assessments should be raised, not reduced to a lowest common denominator. Communities should be empowered to find what works. The pursuit of excellence in education is a fundamental goal. Good teachers should be rewarded for teaching well. Alternative certification can bring desperately-needed new people into the teaching profession. America needs public, private, and parochial schools.

Education is a joint responsibility of the individual, the family, and the community. Parents are the first and most important teachers of their children. They should have the right not only to participate in their child’s education, but to choose for their children among the broadest array of educational choices, without regard to their income. We also support the right of parents to provide quality education through home-based schools.

The Bush Administration has sent to Congress several legislative proposals embodying these principles. The proposals, in spite of the fact that 1500 communities across the Nation have developed local committees to support them through the AMERICA 2000 strategy, languish in the Democrat Congress. And they are opposed by special interest unions which have a power-grip on the failed policies of the past.

Improving America by Improving our Schools. For America to maintain her preeminence into the next century, our educational system must be revolutionized. Too many schools still teach in an outdated manner. Too many government and union rules have burdened our schools. And too much influence by lobbyistshas blocked true reform. Even the most inspiring teachers are working within a system that stymies their creativity and fails to challenge their students.

Creating the Best Schools in the World. We applaud President Bush’s consistent and determined leadership in setting a new direction for American education. Our overriding purpose is clear: to create the best schools in the world for our children by the turn of the century.

To do so, the President has established a bold strategy, AMERICA 2000, which challenges communities in every State to take charge to achieve our ambitious national education goals. The success of AMERICA 2000 will depend upon the local community, where implementation and ultimate responsibility rest.

We have seen real progress. Perhaps most important, though, is that President Bush has fostered a national debate on education that has challenged every American to get involved. He has called forth American traits of ingenuity and ambition to create better lives for our children. As a result, a new generation of break-the-mold New American Schools is taking shape. New and tougher standards and assessments are being established for what our children should know. The number of strings attached to federal school aid is being reduced.

The President has shown unprecedented leadership for the most important education goal of all: helping middle and low income families enjoy the same choice of schools—public, private, or religious—that families with more resources already have. The President’s proposed "GI Bill for Children" will provide $1,000 scholarships to middle and low income families, enabling their children to attend the school of their choice. This innovative plan will not only drive schools to excel as they compete, but will also give every parent consumer power to obtain an excellent education for his or her child.

Republican leadership has nearly doubled funds for Head Start, making it possible, for the first time, for all eligible four-year-olds to participate, should their parents choose to enroll them. The Bush Administration has put a college education within reach of millions more students, young and old. The President has proposed allowing families to deduct the interest they pay on student loans, and penalty-free withdrawal of IRA funds for educational expenses.

Ensuring High Standards in Knowledge and Skills. For America to compete in a world where 85 percent of all jobs will require high skills, we believe that students not planning to attend college need better opportunities. America’s college graduates set the world pace for knowledge and skills. But we also have a strong commitment to the "forgotten half" of the students in our schools, students who will graduate from high school ill-prepared for work. We mustmust build a well-educated, high-skills workforce to ensure a new century of prosperity for America.

The President has developed a sweeping youth apprenticeship strategy to meet this goal. His plan will ensure that students meet the high standards demanded of all high school students, while training them with a skill as well. We strongly support youth apprenticeships that include a year of college, to encourage a lifetime of learning and opportunity for students.

Our Educational Beliefs. We are confident that the United States can, by the end of this decade, reach the six national education goals that President Bush and the Nation’s Governors have established: that all children should arrive at school ready to learn; that high school graduation rates should be at least 90 per cent; that all children should learn challenging subject matter and become responsible citizens; that American children should be first in the world in math and science; that there must be a literate and skilled workforce; and that schools must be disciplined and free of drugs and violence.

We have an uncompromising commitment to improve public education—which means assuring that our schools produce well-educated, responsible citizens—not the maintenance of a government monopoly over the means of educating. American families must be given choice in education. We value the important role played by our private, independent, and parochial schools, colleges, and universities. We believe that their quality is best encouraged by minimizing government regulation.

We believe distance learning is a valuable tool in the fight to bring equal educational opportunity to every student regardless of wealth or geographic location. Distance learning provides students access to the vast educational resources of our Nation.

We encourage the use of modern technology to meet the goal of educational excellence. We support policies that provide access for all instructional and educational programmers to permit them to provide the greatest choice of programming and material to schools and teachers. We also support policies which will encourage the use of all advanced technologies for the delivery of educational and instructional programming in order to give schools and teachers the greatest flexibility in providing creative and innovative instruction. We encourage local school boards to ensure review of these materials by parents and educators.

We support efforts to open the teaching profession by reforming the certification system now barring many talented men and women from the classroom.

Schools should be—as they have been traditionally—academic institutions. Families and communities err when by neglect or design they transfer to the school responsibilities that belong in the home and in the community. Schools were created to help and strengthen families, not to undermine or substitute for them.

Accordingly, we oppose programs in public schools that provide birth control or abortion services or referrals. Instead, we encourage abstinence education programs with proven track records in protecting youth from disease, pregnancy, and drug use.

The critical public mission in education is to set tough, clear standards of achievement and ensure that those who educate our children are accountable for meeting them. This is not just a matter of plans or dollars. Competency testing and merit pay for teachers are essential elements of such accountability.

We are proud of our many dedicated, professional teachers and educators who have committed their lives to educating America’s children. We also believe that powerful unions and liberal special interest groups should not be the driving force in education reform.

Just as spiritual principles—our moral compass—help guide public policy, learning must have a moral basis. America must remain neutral toward particular religions, but we must not remain neutral toward religion itself or the values religion supports. Mindful of our country’s Judeo-Christian heritage and rich religious pluralism, we support the right of students to engage in voluntary prayer in schools and the right of the community to do so at commencements or other occasions. We will strongly enforce the law guaranteeing equal access to school facilities. We also advocate recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in schools as a reminder of the principles that sustain us as one Nation under God.

Our ambitious vision for America works, however, only in a society of well-educated citizens. The Democrat Party, beholden to the special interests who resist change, can never accomplish the improvements in education which our schools and our children so desperately need. Indeed, they have no plan. The Republican Party has started an education revolution. We have presented a detailed plan which is even now becoming reality. The future of our Nation demands no less. The President is leading the country on an education crusade, a crusade the American people have joined.

For Healthier Families: Promote Health, Prevent Disease, Reform Health Care. Americans receive the finest medical care in the world. We have the best health care providers, the best hospitals, and the best medical technology. People come here from Canada, from Europe, from every part of the globe, to seekprocedures and treatments that are either unavailable or strictly rationed in their home countries.

But we must do better. Costs are soaring. Many Americans, responsible for children and aging parents, worry about the quality and price of care. The 1992 election presents all of us with a clear choice. Democrats want a costly, coercive system, imported from abroad, with a budget set by Congress and policies set by bureaucrats. That is a prescription for misery. It would imperil jobs, require billions in new taxes, lower the quality of health care overall, drive health care providers out of the profession, and result in rationing.

The congressional Democrats’ health care reform proposal would exclude themselves from coverage under their own program. They refuse to live with the scheme they are trying to force on the rest of the country.

Republicans believe government control of health care is irresponsible and ineffective. We believe health care choices should remain in the hands of the people, not government bureaucrats. This issue truly represents a fundamental difference between the two parties.

We endorse President Bush’s comprehensive health care plan, which solves the two major problems of the current system—access and affordability—while preserving the high quality care Americans now enjoy. The President’ s plan will make health care more affordable through tax credits and deductions that will offset insurance costs for 95 million Americans; and make health care more accessible, especially for small businesses, by reducing insurance costs and eliminating workers’ worries of losing insurance if they change jobs. This plan will expand access to health care by:

• Creating new tax credits and deductions to help low-and middle-income Americans. These tax credits would be available in the form of vouchers for low-income people who work.• Providing insurance security for working Americans by requiring insurers to cover preexisting conditions.• Making health insurance premiums fully deductible for the self-employed.• Making it easier for small firms to purchase coverage for their employees. The proposal would allow small businesses to form health insurance purchasing pools that would make insurance more affordable. It also would guarantee the availability and renewability of insurance for small firms, set premium standards, preempt State mandated-benefit laws, establish minimum coverage plans, and require States to establish risk pools to spread risks broadly across health insurers.• Addressing the medical malpractice problem by a cap on noneconomic damage recoveries in malpractice claims and an alternative dispute resolution before going to court.

In short, the President aims to make coverage available to all, guaranteed, renewable, with no preconditions. Under his plan, no one will have to go broke to get well.

The Democrats’ plan stands in stark philosophical contrast. Instead of preserving individual options, it would rely on government bureaucrats. Instead of preserving quality care, it would lead to rationing and waiting lines. And instead of enhancing the health care security of American workers, it would require a massive increase in payroll taxes that would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs.

The Democrats’ so called "play or pay" proposal would require employers either to provide health insurance for their workers or pay a new tax that would fund in part a new government-run health program. According to a study prepared by the Urban Institute, this mandate would require new federal taxes—or new federal borrowing—of $36 billion in the first year alone. Nearly 52 million Americans who now have private health insurance would be dumped by their employers onto the government-run plan. Additional costs to employers—particularly small employers—would total an estimated $30 billion in the first year. The Republican staff of Congress’ Joint Economic Committee estimates that 712,000 people would lose their jobs because of the "play or pay" mandate.

Republicans are also determined to resolve the crisis in medical liability, allowing physicians and certified midwives to deliver babies and practice in underserved areas. Meaningful medical tort reform would assure that doctors would not have to practice medicine under a cloud of potential litigation. We will reduce administrative expenses and paperwork by adopting a uniform claim and data system. We pledge our support for rehabilitation and long-term care coverage. We will curb costs through better prenatal and other preventive care. We encourage the application of the Good Samaritan law to protect health care providers who wish to volunteer their time to provide patient care to the community. We encourage coordinated care in public programs and private insurance. We further support regulatory reforms to speed the development of new drugs and medical technology.

The health care safety net must be secure for those who need preventive, acute, and long-term care. Special consideration should be given to abolishing orreforming programs which prohibit or discourage individuals from seeking to work their way out of poverty and dependency. We will reduce paperwork burdens and redirect those resources to actual services. We will enhance access to medical care through community health centers, which provide primary care in medically underserved areas. We will modify outdated antitrust rules that prohibit hospitals from merging their resources to provide improved, cost-effective health care.

We encourage the use of telecommunications technology to link hospitals in larger communities with heath care facilities in smaller communities. Advanced communications networks will facilitate the sharing of resources, will improve access to affordable health care through the transmission of medical imaging and diagnostics, and will ensure that Americans living in rural areas have the same access to doctors and the latest medical procedures as Americans living in urban areas.

Republicans focus on health, not just health care. We want not only to treat disease and disability, but to reduce and prevent them. Through funding for NIH, we invest in research to cure a range of diseases, from cancer to heart disease, from multiple sclerosis to lupus. We support efforts which foster early cancer detection. Even more important, we rely on individuals to lower the incidence of preventable illness and injury. A large part of our health care costs, public and private, is caused by behavior. Good judgment can save billions of dollars—and perhaps millions of lives.

AIDS. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has exploded over the past decade into a crisis of tragic proportions. In our country, AIDS has already claimed more than 150,000 lives, and as many as one million more Americans may have been infected with the virus.

Epidemics have, throughout history, challenged governments, which have too often been powerless to combat them. Science—and human wisdom—have advanced, however, and we have met this crisis not only with a massive commitment of resources but also with a personal determination on the part of the President. That commitment and leadership will continue.

AIDS should he treated like any other communicable or sexually transmitted disease, while at the same time preserving patient confidentiality. We are committed to ensure that our Nation’s response to AIDS is shaped by compassion, not fear or ignorance, and will oppose, as a matter of decency and honor, any discrimination against Americans who are its victims.

We encourage State legislatures to enact legislation which makes it a criminal act for anyone knowingly to transmit the AIDS virus.

We will seek to ensure that medical personnel, and the people who trust in their care, will be protected against infection.

This disease also challenges America scientifically. We must succeed in slowing the epidemic’s spread. The Administration has thus placed great emphasis on a variety of prevention efforts to do so. We must recognize, also, that prevention is linked ultimately to personal responsibility and moral behavior. We reject the notion that the distribution of clean needles and condoms are the solution to stopping the spread of AIDS. Education designed to curb the spread of this disease should stress marital fidelity, abstinence, and a drug-free lifestyle. There must be a means for successfully treating the virus, and this has led to a threefold increase in research and steps to speed the approval process for new drugs that could make a crucial difference to those infected. Above all, a cure must be found. We have committed enormous resources—$4.2 billion over the past four years for research alone, more than for any disease except cancer. In keeping with the American spirit, our fellow citizens with HIV/AIDS deserve our compassion and our care, and they deserve our united commitment to a cure.

Healthy Families. Responsible families are the key to wellness. They are the best guard against infant mortality and child abuse. We support programs to help mothers and their babies get a good start in life; and we call for strong action, at all levels of government, to enforce parental responsibility with regard to alcohol, drugs, and neglect.

We applaud the President’s initiatives to require the involvement of more women in clinical trials and to create within NIH a center to combat breast and cervical cancer. We also call for expanded research on various diseases, common to both men and women, but whose effects on women have yet to be determined. We call for fetal protection in the workplace and in scientific research.

The Homeless. The Bush Administration has worked vigorously to address this tragedy, believing that involuntary homelessness in America is unacceptable. Accordingly, the Administration has proposed $4 billion in homeless assistance, an amount cut back by the Democrat-controlled Congress. We have also implemented a SHELTER PLUS CARE program designed to assist homeless persons who are mentally ill, chemically dependent, or stricken with AIDS. Republicans remain determined to help the homeless as a matter of ethical commitment as well as sound public policy.

Older Americans. The interests of older Americans are addressed throughout this Platform, for the elderly play an honored role in all walks of American life. From reducing inflation to fighting crime, from quality health care to a cleaner environment, the Republican agenda for all has particular relevance to those who have worked the longest and grown the wisest. [p.17]

We reaffirm our commitment to a strong Social Security system. To stop penalizing grandparents and other seniors who care for children, we pledge to continue the Republican crusade to end the earnings limitation for Social Security recipients. More than ever, our Nation needs older Americans in its schools and workplaces. There should be no barriers to their full participation in our country’ s future. We pledge support for greater availability of long-term care and for research to combat Alzheimer’s disease. Republicans also took the lead in expanding home health care in government programs, and we want to build on that accomplishment.

Promoting Cultural Values. The culture of our Nation has traditionally supported those pillars on which civilized society is built: personal responsibility, morality, and the family. Today, however, these pillars are under assault. Elements within the media, the entertainment industry, academia, and the Democrat Party are waging a guerrilla war against American values. They deny personal responsibility, disparage traditional morality, denigrate religion, and promote hostility toward the family’s way of life. Children, the members of our society most vulnerable to cultural influences, are barraged with violence and promiscuity, encouraging reckless and irresponsible behavior. This undermines the authority of parents, the ones most responsible for passing on to their offspring a sense of right and wrong. The lesson our Party draws is important—that all of us, individuals and corporations alike, have a responsibility to reflect the values we expect our fellow citizens to exhibit. And if children grow to adulthood reflecting not the values of their parents but the amorality with which they are bombarded, those who send such messages cannot duck culpability.

One example is the advocacy of violence against law enforcement officers, promoted by a corporation more interested in profits than the possible consequences of such a message. We believe, in the spirit of Theodore Roosevelt, that corporations, like individuals, have responsibilities to society, and that conscience alone should prevent such outrages.

We also stand united with those private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, who are defending decency in fulfillment of their own moral responsibilities. We reject the irresponsible position of those corporations that have cut off contributions to such organizations because of their courageous stand for family values. Moreover, we oppose efforts by the Democrat Party to include sexual preference as a protected minority receiving preferential status under civil rights statutes at the federal, State, and local level.

We oppose any legislation or law which legally recognizes same-sex marriages and allows such couples to adopt children or provide foster care.

We must recognize that the time has come for a national crusade against [p.18] pornography. Some would have us believe that obscenity and pornography have no social impact. But if hard-core pornography does not cheapen the human spirit, then neither does Shakespeare elevate it. We call on federal agencies to halt the sale, under government auspices, of pornographic materials. We endorse Republican legislation, the Pornography Victims Compensation Act, allowing victims of pornography to seek damages from those who make or sell it, especially since the Commission on Pornography, in 1986, found a direct link between pornography and violent crimes committed against women and children. Further, we propose a computerized federal registry to track persons convicted of molesting children. We also believe that the various State legislatures should create a civil cause of action against makers and distributors of pornography when their material incites a violent crime.

Government has a responsibility, as well, to ensure that it promotes the common moral values that bind us together as a Nation. We therefore condemn the use of public funds to subsidize obscenity and blasphemy masquerading as art. The fine arts, including those with public support, can certainly enrich our society. However, no artist has an inherent right to claim taxpayer support for his or her private vision of art if that vision mocks the moral and spiritual basis on which our society is founded. We believe a free market in art—with neither suppression nor favoritism by government—is the best way to foster the cultural revival our country needs.


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Chicago: "Family: The Home of Freedom," Republican Party Platform of 1992 in Republican National Committee, Republican Party Platform, 1992, Pp.5-18 6–16. Original Sources, accessed June 6, 2023,

MLA: . "Family: The Home of Freedom." Republican Party Platform of 1992, in Republican National Committee, Republican Party Platform, 1992, Pp.5-18, pp. 6–16. Original Sources. 6 Jun. 2023.

Harvard: , 'Family: The Home of Freedom' in Republican Party Platform of 1992. cited in , Republican National Committee, Republican Party Platform, 1992, Pp.5-18, pp.6–16. Original Sources, retrieved 6 June 2023, from