By John Mack Freeman
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon insisted that he was still devoted to GLBT rights and equality even after stripping out any mention of equality or GLBT rights from the UN’s new development goals. Via PinkNews:
The final text pledges to ensure that “human rights and fundamental freedoms are enjoyed by all, without discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, colour, sex, age, language, religion, culture, migration status, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic situation, birth, disability or other status.”
It also pledges to “end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere” – but LGBT rights fails to be mentioned.
Some countries, such as Brazil, wanted more inclusive language while others, such as Nigeria, vociferously opposed any pro-GLBT text.
Many progressive advocates were also upset by the recent appointment of the ambassador from Saudia Arabia as chair of the UN Human Rights Council (Via PinkNews):
Campaign group UN Watch attacked the “scandalous” appointment, saying: “Saudi Arabia has arguably the worst record in the world when it comes to religious freedom and women’s rights, and continues to imprison the innocent blogger Raif Badawi.”
“It’s bad enough that Saudi Arabia is a member of the council, but for the UN to go and name the regime as chair of a key panel only pours salt in the wounds for dissidents languishing in Saudi prisons.”
There are no legal protections for LGBT people in Saudi Arabia, and Britain and the US have often been criticised for being close to the oil-rich nation where gay people are stoned to death.
Women are not granted the vote, and are unable to drive in Saudi Arabia.