Gay Rights Debated, NGO Admitted as Egypt, Saudi Arabia &
Russia Call It Selective
July 19 -- The culture war at the UN, to block the granting
to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission,
re-ignited on July 19 in the ECOSOC committee. The blocking was
over-ridden, and the non governmental organization granted consultative
status with the UN, on a vote of 23 in favor, 13 against, and 13
As Inner City Press
reported in June, in the NGO Committee the application of
IGLHRC was “deferred” at the request of Egypt, China and Russia
July 19, US
Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo introduced an ECOSOC
resolution to overrule the NGO Committee and grant consultative
status to IGLHRC. In statements before the vote, Saudi Arabia and
Egypt outright opposed the group and U.S. motion.
speakers signed up. Belgium's Permanent Representative Grauls, on
behalf of the European Union, spoke in favor of IGLHRC, saying a “no”
vote would be discrimination. Norway and UK DPR Parham echoed this,
as did Argentina, where gay marriage was just legalized.
questioned if gay and lesbian rights are the priority in this time of
economic crisis, and answered “no.”
Egypt's Maged at UN, gay rights not shown
respond to St. Lucia, but Ambassador Maged of Egypt cut in that the
time for general statements had passed. So, a rare attempt at actual
debate in the UN was immediately cut off, by a diplomat said to be
seeking a UN job.
began, then was halted by a point of order. "What does the Present
button mean?" Then a question, are your votes reflect correctly on the
screen? But the screen was black.
The resolution passed, the NGO was admitted, 23 in favor, 13
against, 13 abstaining and some not voting, including Iraq. Those
voting no included China, Russia, Velezuela, Morocco, Malaysia, Egypt
and Pakistan. Abstainers included Turkey, India, Ghana and Ukraine...
* * *
Rights NGO Blocked from Consultative Status by Egypt, Qatar, Russia
and China, Turkey Abstains
3 -- The UN rebuffed a gay rights group on Thursday, in
a little covered bureaucratic meeting of its NGO Committee. The
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission had applied for
consultative status. Egypt, Qatar and others peppered the group with
questions, including on whether its advocacy for gay rights might
impinge on freedom of religion and of "discussion."
called for a vote. Egypt objected, saying that its questions to the
group had not been "answered in a straight way." Some in
the quarter-filled meeting room laughed. But Egypt persisted,
prevailing in placing its motion, to put the application on ice,
ahead of the US's motion for an up or down vote on giving
the US were Romania and the UK, which to its credit called the
Inner City Press to the impending showdown. Ultimately on the vote,
only three more countries took the US / UK position: Colombia, Peru
the gay rights group's access were Egypt, Qatar, Security Council
Permanent members Russia and China, Angola, Burundi, Sudan and
Pakistan. Turkey, ever the self conscious bridge, abstained.
Egypt's Mubarak and UN's Ban, said nothing about NGO
if its questions, about whether the group sought "special rights
UK said that
allowing this block, based on repetitive questions, set a bad
precedent. Even if the group answered every single questions, the UK
said, the detractors would never be satisfied.
for now, at
least in the NGO committee, the detractors are in the majority.
Press asked the spokesman for General Assembly president
Ali Treki for a statement. Upon taking office, Treki called
homosexuality an abomination. Now his spokesman's draft response
talks about tolerance, but has a paragraph crossed out. But at
today's UN the votes are what they are.