Event| Sexual orientation and gender identity panel discussion at UN

posted on 12.13.2009 by

International Service for Human Rights (ISHR) issues a summary on the recent panel discussion held at the UN on the occasion of International Human Rights Day. The theme of the discussion was “Opposing grave human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity”.

Here’s an excerpt of the summary:

[...] The panel, held at UN Headquarters in New York, was organised with the assistance of a coalition of NGOs defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. It provided an informal means of following up on the historic statement on ‘human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity’ that Argentina delivered at last year’s General Assembly on behalf of 66 States. Some States also used the panel discussion as an opportunity to follow up on the counter-statement Syria delivered on behalf of 57 States. [...]

It was notable that the US made a strong positive statement, given that it was only after the Obama Administration took office that the US belatedly endorsed the 2008 GA statement on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. The US commented that this issue had been neglected by the UN for too long, and there were a range of protections in the UDHR and other legal instruments that required States to protect the human rights of all people. These instruments obligated States to ensure no person was subject to torture, cruel or degrading treatment, arbitrary arrest or other human rights violations. The US acknowledged that some States were uncomfortable talking about these issues, but compared the suggestion that the panel discussion promoted homosexuality, with the distorted view that CEDAW somehow promoted discrimination against women. [...]

More here from ISHR.

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