Friday, June 17, 2011

UN Human Rights Council Adopts Historic TBLG Resolution

The United Nations Human Rights Council adopted today in Geneva a historic TBLG rights resolution proposed by South Africa, Brazil and 39 other co-sponsors that for the first time ever affirms the universality of human rights, and notes concern about acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

It requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights prepare a study on violence and discrimination on these grounds.  It calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner in addition to considering appropriate follow-up.

In its presentation to the Council, South Africa pointed out the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights notes that “everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind.”  Brazil called on the Council to “open the long closed doors of dialogue”.

The UN resolution passed with 23 countries voting in favor, 19 countries against and 3 countries abstaining

The nations voting YES were: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay.

The nations voting NO were:  Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Uganda.

Abstentions: Burkina Faso, China, Zambia

Absent: Kyrgyzstan, Libya (suspended)

Why am I not surprised about seeing Malaysia, Russia, Nigeria and Uganda on the list of nations voting no?    The USA voting yes is another unmistakable indication that the Obama Administration is one that supports TBLG issues.  

Will be interested to see how this plays out over the next few years.

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