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UN Launches Book on HIV in Country Banning Gays, No Comment on Kuwait Anti-Gay Gulf

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 22 -- At the UN, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said that gay rights is one of his signature issues. But when Inner City Press asked about a Kuwait minister speaking of plans to ban visas to the Gulf countries based on sexual orientation, Ban's UN has had no comment.

On October 22, Inner City Press asked that question, and about the UN planning a book launch on "HIV in the Caribbean" in Trinidad and Tobago, from which gays are banned. Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky said to ask UNAIDS, which Inner City Press will do as it has in the past. But what about Ban?

UNAIDS is co-sponsoring the book launch with PANCAP (Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS) at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Port of Spain, this week. UNAIDS' publication, “The Status of HIV in the Caribbean” says that "Leadership is needed to … Remove punitive laws and diminish stigma and discrimination. Laws that perpetuate stigma and discrimination … and fuel the spread of HIV are not in the national interest."

So why is the book launch there?

Because Kuwait is now mentioned as a replacement for the UN Security Council seat Saudi Arabia has said it will give up, Inner City Press asked Nesirky for Ban's view of their minister speaking of banning gays. None was given then. Watch this site.


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