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Street slams amended UN resolution

Thu 2 Dec 2010 In: New Zealand Daily News View at Wayback

Maryan Street Labour MP Maryan Street has written to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressing her party's "great dismay" at the removal of sexual orientation from a resolution condemning arbitrary execution by Governments. Gay activists have labelled the amended resolution, which New Zealand voted against, "a shameful day in UN history". It is being seen by members of the global GLBT community as the UN essentially sanctioning the murders of gay people. The resolution highlights vulnerable groups and includes people belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, people belonging to indigenous communities and human rights defenders. Sexual orientation was added to the resolution in 1999, over concern at the high number of murders motivated by homophobia, but was removed in an amendment sponsored by Benin, representing the African Group attending the assembly. Lesbian MP Maryan Street has told Ban Ki-moon in a strongly worded letter that the news has been greeted with great dismay by the Labour Party. "We find it a deeply disturbing development that an organ of the United Nations, known for its promulgation and expansion of human rights, could take such a backward step and diminish human rights with this action," she writes. "While we recognise that homosexuality remains a criminal offence in many countries, and we might wish that were not so, refusing to allow sexual orientation to be one of the grounds for protection against extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions is quite another matter. "It will have the effect of delivering people who are even perceived to be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender directly into the hands of those who are barely constrained by legal processes as it is. The deletion of this reference heightens the danger in which many people already live. To compound risks for these people is unconscionable. For that action to come out of the United Nations is a shame. "Please note our profound objection to this vote," she finishes.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Thursday, 2nd December 2010 - 2:15pm

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