Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Homophobia at the UN

I get these email newsletters from ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association). They often have interesting political information. I guess at some point I should become a member and really think of doing something, attending their conferences when they are held in Europe or the like. But I'm, after all, me, and my to-do list is as boundless as my procrastination.

Anyway, I just saw this newsletter saying that ILGA and a German LGBT organization had requested observer status at the UN, and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)’s Committee on Non-governmental organizations rejected both applications on the same ground, proposed and supported by Iran and Sudan respectively: neither organization had "succeeded in proving it had taking sufficient measures to prevent or fight paedophilia". What an absurd and atrocious contention!

Quoting from the ILGA website:
Votes to reject LSVD and ILGA’s Europe’s applications on a proposal of Iran went as follows:
- 9 in favor (Cameroon, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Iran, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan and Zimbabwe)
- 7 against (Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, Romania and the United States)
- 2 abstentions (India and Turkey)
- 1 member not present (Cuba)

I am happy to see that India abstained. Given the homophobic Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, I guess they couldn't have directly supported the two organizations. But I wish they would. Imagine if both India and Turkey had voted against the proposal...

Quoting again,

Germany stressed that the accusation of paedophilia was absurd against an NGO such as ILGA Europe which enjoys consultative status with the Council of Europe, receives project funding from the European Union and has spoken to the OSCE on human rights defenders.

I am happy to see India again being included in the following:

In general statements before the vote and explanations of position, the representatives of Germany, France, Chile, Romania, India and Peru, noting that during the session, applications of two NGOs addressing the same issue had been rejected, expressed concern that there seemed to be a discriminatory trend. “As homosexuality was a delicate issue, a constructive dialogue between the Committee and the NGO would have been welcome” they noted.

The article from the ILGA website can be found here.

1 comment:

Prash said...

I did come across this too. I am glad to see that India abstained. I expected the opposite and the worst!