Another attempt to destroy the work of the UN’s expert on sexual orientation & gender identity is underway with a third vote due to take place in the General Assembly on Monday December 19th. Human rights groups thought they had secured a historic win in June when the UN Human Rights Council appointed an independent expert to help combat the high levels of violence & discrimination faced by LGBT people around the world. However, opposition to the new mandate has been relentless & its fate now rests on what is expected to be a knife-edge vote in the General Assembly in New York on Monday.
Pooja Patel at the International Service for Human Rights stated, ‘Rejecting the work of independent expert could really throw the whole UN human rights system into quite a spin as it will be a direct challenge to the authority of the Human Rights Council.
Nations voting to halt the expert’s work need to realize that their vote will be deeply harmful - it will send a clear message that they are willing to tolerate the unacceptable levels of discrimination currently faced by LGBT people. Further they will be actively voting to erode the authority of the Human Rights Council. We’re in a real danger zone. Things are winding up for the Christmas break, representatives are starting to fly back to their home countries & we have a very important vote which we know is going to be very close. The human rights and LGBT communities really need to rally once again to muster support to ensure their national governments will be voting on the right side of history.”
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