Πέμπτη, 8 Μαρτίου 2012

United Nations divided in gay rights debate.

UN responds to report showing homophobia and transphobia across the globe.
UN Human Rights Council held historic LGBT panel discussion in Geneva today
The United Nations were divided in today’s first landmark global conversation over gay rights.
Representatives of countries from across the globe including the USA, Brazil, Thailand and Pakistan met to discuss gender identity and sexual orientation for the first time.
A report from the High Commissioner from the council showed the enormity of the situation facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
It states although there are scarce official statistics, in all regions, there is widespread bias in jobs, schools and hospitals. People have suffered sexual assault, been imprisoned, tortured and killed.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called the situation a 'monumental tragedy' for those affected and 'a stain on our collective conscience.’
Opening the panel, he said: 'To those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, let me say, you are not alone.
'Your struggle for an end to violence and discrimination is a shared struggle. Any attack on you is an attack on the universal values, the United Nations and I have sworn to defend and uphold.’
The summit was met with difficulties, as the Islamic states refused to take part.
In a letter from the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to the President of the Human Rights Council, Pakistan's UN Ambassador Zamir Akram stated they were concerned the UN was attempting to create ‘new standards’ to discuss ‘controversial new notions’ such as sexuality.
Pakistan spoke for the OIC on the panel, saying: ‘We request that this will be the last time that the Human Rights Council discusses LGBT rights.’
Countries were divided in their responses to the report, with France and the US both praising the High Commissioner and agreeing more had to be done.
Thailand informed the council their country was progressing in gay rights, while the United Arab Group stated they were against the concept of sexual orientation and gender identity completely.
Panelist Hans Ytterberg from Sweden criticized the ‘separate but equal’ gay rights argument some nations were making, comparing it to apartheid.
Global gay rights group Kaleidoscope’s Africa representative, Adebisi Alimi, yesterday told Gay Star News he hoped the panel discussion will help further gay rights in the continent, where homosexuality is still illegal in 38 countries, with gay men and women facing imprisonment or in some states, the death penalty.
Kasha Jaqueline from the Coalition of African Lesbians delivered a statement, noting that 'We as African LGBTI activists are not asking for any new or special rights, we are simply asking that our African governments live up to their obligations under international and regional instruments and their own national constitutions; all of which recognize equality and non-discrimination for all citizens.'
The panel also included activists from the Philippines and even Mongolia.
Otgonbaatar Tsedendemberel, from the LGBT Centre of Mongolia, said the Asian country's gay community is 'silently suffering' under family and social pressures.
Tsedendemberel also said they face threats from ultra-nationalists and a lack of knowledge on sexual orientation and gender identity among the general public.
'It is member states’ job to represent every single citizen of their countries in the Human Rights Council and they must not let the sexual minorities suffer silently any longer than we have been,' Tsedendemberel.
Ambassador Abdul Minty from the Permanent Mission of South Africa concluded the historic event by picking up on comments from the African NGO statement affirming the African philosophy of 'ubuntu', saying, 'I am because you are.'

Πηγή:www.gaystarnews.com

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