Gay Belarus leads group of about 17 nations to block LGBT rights

Canada, backed by the EU, the United States and Mexico, had pushed for the recognition of LGBT people.

  • Published:
U.S. judge blocks Mississippi law allowing denial of services to LGBT people play

U.S. judge blocks Mississippi law allowing denial of services to LGBT people

(Financial Express)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

A group of up to 17 countries led by Belarus has blocked a plan to include the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender communities in a new urban strategy drawn up by the United Nations, according to sources close to negotiations.

Canada, backed by the European Union, the United States and Mexico, had pushed for including the recognition of LGBT people and an acknowledgment of homophobia in a key policy paper to be finalised at a major UN conference in Ecuador next week.

The UN's 'New Urban Agenda' is a non-binding agreement to address the challenges of rapidly growing cities globally and will be adopted at Habitat III in Quito, setting out guidelines for sustainable urban development over the next 20 years.

The recognition of LGBT communities and an acknowledgment of homophobia would be seen as a significant step by the United Nations with same sex relationships illegal in 76 countries around the world and punishable by death in seven.

But sources said a behind-the-scenes campaign by Belarus, supported by various nations including Russia, Egypt, Qatar, Indonesia, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates, had resulted in the document only referring to cities being "friendly for families".

Josh Bueckert, a spokesman for the Canadian government, said Canada "fought hard" to have gay rights and homophobia officially recognized and insisted throughout negotiations that the "most vulnerable and disadvantaged" be kept in mind.

"We are not able to speak to the positions of other countries on the negotiation of the declaration for the New Urban Agenda ... unfortunately the LGBTQ2 community was left out," Bueckert told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

ALSO READLGBT advocate, Bisi Alimi remembers the day he cost Funmi Iyanda her TV show

A "Call for Action" section in the paper recognizes the special vulnerabilities and discrimination of specific groups in cities with the list including women and girls, the disabled, indigenous people, the homeless, slum dwellers, refugees and youth - but makes no mention of LGBT people.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Nigeria?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +2349055172167, Social Media @pulsenigeria247: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: More information here.