After approving the first-ever Independent Expert at the United Nations to focus on LGBTQ human rights a few months ago, a group of states at the U.N. General Assembly in New York has introduced a hostile resolution, putting this position in jeopardy.
In a procedural move, the African Group at the U.N. is questioning the basis of the resolution. If this move succeeds, it would delay, possibly indefinitely, Vitit Muntarbhorn, who was appointed to the position in September, from fulfilling his mandate ability to do his job.
“This dangerous resolution could undermine efforts to protect LGBTQ people from violence and discrimination and sends a message that the lives of LGBTQ people are worth less and under deserving of protection,” said Ty Cobb, Director of HRC Global. “It also undermines a core principle of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, acceded to by every country in the world, that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.'”
Earlier this year, HRC hailed the U.N. Human Rights Council’s groundbreaking vote to create the position.
Global LGBTQ equality has been a core component of the Obama Administration and Obama’s UN Ambassadors international human rights’ legacies. If the resolution passes, it could set back the efforts of the U.S. to protect LGBTQ people at home and abroad. A recent joint podcast with HRC Global staff and the U.S. State Department highlighted the leading role of the Obama Administration at the United Nations, including partnering with countries across the globe to support the first-ever resolution on the rights of LGBTQ people in 2011, participating in the first hearing in the U.N. Security Council on violence towards LGBTQ people under ISIL, co-hosting numerous events on bias motivated violence towards LGBTQ people, and supporting the creation of the Independent Expert.
HRC condemns this resolution and urges members of the U.N. to reject it as well.