The Transnational Radical condemns the rejection of the NGO Consultative Status with ECOSOC by the United Nations to the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany

NEW YORK - While on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia (IDAHO) was celebrated all over the world, the United Nations NGO Committee, decided to reject the application of the "Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany" to be granted the UN Consultative Status with Ecosoc. The UN Consultative Status allows NGOs to attend and actively participate in the works of UN bodies that deal with human rights violations and social issues. The discriminations against gay and lesbian people continue to occur in many parts of the world.

NGOs dealing with the issue of homophobia and persecution of gays and lesbians have been regularly prevented by the UN Committee on NGOS from getting the UN Consultative Status; this discrimination was once again supported last Tuesday by countries that do not respect human rights and that have a seat in the NGO Committee, such as Cameroon, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Iran, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Instead, the move not to grant the Consultative Status to the German NGO, was opposed by Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, Romania and the United States. Unfortunately, other members of the NGO Committee ruled by democratic Governments such as Senegal – that joined the countries opposing the granting of the Consultative Status - India and Turkey – that abstained – were decisive in allowing a group of autocratic countries to prevail in the vote by the Committee.

Furthermore, Senegal, India and Turkey are members of the Community of Democracies, a coalition of democratic Countries dedicated to the promotion of human rights and democracy, and their decision to curb freedom of speech at is of major concern for the credibility of this UN Body.
Once again, members of the Community of Democracies have been unable to join their forces on issues related to the protection of basic rights, such as freedom of speech at the UN. It is therefore essential that the UN Democracy Caucus be convened as soon as possible in order to identify the most important issues for the protection of human rights that all democracies will be supporting during the first session of the newly elected UN Human Rights Council in June, including protecting the right of NGOs to denounce human rights violations at the UN.