Russia and a coalition of African countries failed to block the work of the Ombudsman for the rights of LGBT persons at the UN
Proponents of gay rights scored a victory in the United Nations on Monday, November 21, when the coalition of African countries and Russia tried to bring about a halt to the work of the independent expert of the UN, which was tasked to investigate violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, reports ABC News. Opponents of the work of the Ombudsman for the rights of sexual minorities has urged the Committee on human rights Genassamblei the UN to postpone the adoption of the resolution, which must determine the legal basis for the mandate Thai expert, Vitit Muntarbhorn, who was appointed to this position on 30 September and has already begun to work.
In early November, Botswana presented to the General Assembly a draft resolution, which suspends the decision on the establishment of a Commissioner to organize consultations to determine the legal basis of the expert’s work. To offer African countries joined Russia.
“The concept of sexual orientation and gender identity is missing from international law, this raises the legitimate question: which laws should guide the special Rapporteur in the fulfilment of his mandate?” – quoted by TASS statement of the head of the office at the human rights and social Affairs permanent mission to the UN Olga Mozolina in the discussion. The diplomat reminded that without addressing this question any activity the Commissioner has a legal basis.
“In this regard, are forced to reaffirm our position that the Russian delegation did not accept this mandate and refused to cooperate with the independent expert on the issue of protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity”, – informed Mozolina. However, she reiterated the commitment of the Russian Federation “the fight against all forms of discrimination and violence.”
Before the consideration of the document on Monday, a number of Western countries, including the UK, Germany and the United States, put to the vote the question of making the draft resolution amendments to eliminate from the document’s main point about the elimination of the position of Commissioner for the rights of LGBT persons. The amendment, writes The Guardian, was adopted by 84 votes for and 77 against, and 17 abstentions. Note to African countries and Russia to protest the vote, joined by Belarus and the Islamic state. Then the revised draft resolution, which in its current form does not make any changes to the work of the Commissioner was adopted by 94 votes, with 80 abstentions, and three against.
Russia and Egypt, speaking on behalf of the 57 member countries of Islamic cooperation, said that they do not recognize the mandate of the Ombudsman for gays and not going to cooperate with Muntarbhorn. At the same time, the UK has urged member countries of the UN to cooperate with the expert.
As reminds the edition, the LGBT community is considered a crime in at least 73 countries of the UN, and the issue of gay rights is regularly causing heated debate in the United Nations. For example, in 2014 the UN chief Mon Ki-moon said that the UN recognizes all same-sex marriages of their employees, allowing couples to qualify for special benefits. Russia with the support of Saudi Arabia, China, Egypt, India, and four dozen States unsuccessfully tried to challenge this decision.
Add about 850 non-governmental organizations from 156 countries on the eve of a vote referred to the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly asking to support the intention of the UN to protect LGBT rights, reports the website of the international Human rights organization Human Rights Watch.
“The results of the vote confirm that the right to protection from violence and discrimination applies equally to representatives of sexual minorities,” commented Boris Dietrich, who is responsible in the organization for the protection of the rights of LGBT people.