Sunday, June 6, 2010

Some UN members want to bar gay rights organisation at ECOSOC

A number of UN member states are trying to bar a leading international organisation on gay and lesbian rights from the UN’s influential Economic and Social Council. Countries such as Egypt, Qatar, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia object to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission receiving special “observer” status under which many NGOs operate within the UN. The very same organization where the IHH (organizer of this week flotilla to Gaza) has consultative status although the USA has labelled it in 2008 as a terrorist organisation

The aim of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is to work for economic and social progress for all citizens living in UN member states, with a special focus on human rights and fundamental freedoms.
A large number of NGOs from around the world enjoy observer status at ECOSOC, which allows them to speak at council meetings, present petitions and file alternative reports, which enables these organisations to be actively represented in UN processes.

The US-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) has applied for observer status, but this has lead to a negative response from a number of countries from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. “We are very disappointed”, says IGLHRC’s Executive Director Cary Alan Johnson. “Participating in the UN is an extremely important part of the work of organisations like ours. The decision by certain UN members to bar us comes as a big blow for us” Diplomats at the UN and representatives from western countries are also accusing these countries of actively keeping the doors to the UN shut for the IGLHRC and other organisations for lesbian and gay issues. Mr Johnson hopes that the countries which support his case will act against his opponents. “The US delegation at ECOSOC is on our side, as are Romania and the UK. We’re conferring with them to move forward in this process. We haven’t been rejected yet, so we’ll continue our work and see what other possibilities there are”.
To Mr Johnson, it would be quite unthinkable for an organisation like his not to be represented at such a high level within the UN. “The gay and lesbian communities around the world need to be fully represented. Our voice is an integral part of the voices of the world. They need to be heard”.
Unthinkable it may be to Mr Johnson, but what happens if countries like Egypt, Qatar or China do indeed succeed in keeping the IGLHRC out? For Mr Johnson, that could have far reaching effects on the UN: “If our voice is not heard at the UN, the various human rights treaties that governments have signed and the principles of the UN to protect the right of citizens would be ignored”, he says. In this case you have to know that the OIC has als an 'own human right chapter'.
Despite the opposition from certain member states, Mr Johnson thinks his organisation will gain observer status, as he is certain a majority of the UN is supportive of his work.
'We believe that they will accept us. We hope that all states will be supporting the commitments they made to the UN charter, which guarantees non-discrimination This includes discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. Ultimately, we believe that the procedural methods that have been used by certain countries to keep our organisation from having a voice at the UN will not prevail”.
It's become obvious that 'Islamitic' countries wants to impose their minority view on the world population.

Source: Rnw.nl

Day Opening - June 6

Palmyra, Syria