African states fail to halt gay rights investigator
in the 193-member General Assembly third committee, which deals with human rights, calling for consultations on the legality of the creation of the mandate. They said the work of the investigator should be suspended.
However, Latin American countries, supported by Western nations, successfully proposed an amendment that gutted the African group draft resolution. The amendment was adopted on Monday with 84 votes in favour, 77 against and 17 abstentions.
The amended draft resolution, which makes no change to the work of the gay rights investigator, was then adopted by the third committee with 94 votes in favour, three against and 80 abstentions.
Russia and Egypt, speaking on behalf of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, said they would not recognise the mandate of the gay rights investigator and would not co-operate with Muntarbhorn.
Britain urged all countries to support the investigator.
Being gay is a crime in at least 73 countries, the UN has said. The issue of gay rights consistently sparks heated debate at the UN.
In 2014, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said it would recognise all samesex marriages of its staff, allowing them to receive benefits. Russia unsuccessfully tried to overturn it last year, with Saudi Arabia, China, Iran, India, Egypt, Pakistan, and Syria among 43 states that supported Moscow.
In February the African Group, the Organisation of Islamic Co-operation and the 25-member “Group of Friends of the Family,” led by Egypt, Belarus and Qatar, protested the launch of six UN stamps promoting LGBT equality.
A group of 51 Muslim states blocked 11 gay and transgender organisations from attending a high-level UN meeting in June on ending Aids, sparking a protest by the US, Canada and EU. – Reuters