Muslim states block 11 LGBT groups from attending UN Aids meeting

May 24, 2016

By Reuters

A group of 51 Muslim states has blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from attending a high-level meeting at the United Nations next month on ending Aids, sparking a protest by the US, Canada and the EU.

Egypt wrote to the president of the 193-member general assembly on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to object to the participation of the 11 groups. It did not give a reason in the letter, which Reuters has seen.

Samantha Power, US ambassador to the UN, wrote to the general assembly president, Mogens Lykketoft, and said the groups appeared to have been blocked for involvement in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy.

“Given that transgender people are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population, their exclusion from the high-level meeting will only impede global progress in combating the HIV/Aids pandemic,” Power wrote.

UN officials said the EU and Canada also wrote to Lykketoft to protest against the objections by the OIC group, whose members include Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Sudan and Uganda.

The issues of LGBT rights and participation in events at the UN have long been contentious. The UN secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has advocated for LGBT equality but faced opposition from African, Arab and Muslim states as well as Russia and China.


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10 comments on “Muslim states block 11 LGBT groups from attending UN Aids meeting

  • @OP – A group of 51 Muslim states has blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from attending a high-level meeting at the United Nations next month on ending Aids, sparking a protest by the US, Canada and the EU.

    A group of 51 Muslim states has blocked 11 gay and transgender organizations from attending a high-level meeting at the United Nations [IN NEW YORK] next month on ending Aids,

    I think the meeting should be abandoned as out of order, unless it complies with the UN universal declaration of human rights!
    The UN does not work to Sharia rules!
    Alternatively, all those who refuse to accept the terms of the UN declaration, should be disqualified as unfit to participate as being in contempt of the UN universal declaration of human rights, and excluded from the meeting!

    http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

    Article 2.

    Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

    Article 7.

    All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination.

    Article 28.

    Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.

    Article 30.

    Nothing in this Declaration may be interpreted as implying for any State, group or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth herein.

    The question is: “Is the UN prepared to enforce its own constitutional objectives within its own meetings, or is it just a talking shop and laughing stock?”



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  • Alan

    Alternatively, all those who refuse to accept the terms of the UN declaration, should be disqualified as unfit to participate as being in contempt of the UN universal declaration of human rights, and excluded from the meeting!

    This is penalising the right group and is the better solution. Individuals and groups from within the excluded states should be allowed anonymous contributions if it can arranged.



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  • The question is: “Is the UN prepared to enforce its own constitutional objectives within its own meetings, or is it just a talking shop and laughing stock?”

    I see there is a similar situation on another issue!!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-36376226

    All references to climate change’s impact on World Heritage sites in Australia have been removed from a United Nations report.

    A draft of the report contained a chapter on the Great Barrier Reef and references to Kakadu and Tasmania.

    But Australia’s Department of the Environment requested that Unesco scrub these sections from the final version.

    A statement from the department said the report could have had an impact on tourism to Australia

    Oh dear!
    Public knowledge of impacts of climate change might affect “business as usual”! Political priorities?????

    A statement from the department said the report could have had an impact on tourism to Australian.

    It also said the report’s title, Destinations at Risk, had “the potential to cause considerable confusion”.

    “In particular, the World Heritage Committee had only six months earlier decided not to include the Great Barrier Reef on the in-danger list and commended Australia for the Reef 2050 Plan,” the statement said.

    “The department was concerned that the framing of the report confused two issues – the world heritage status of the sites and risks arising from climate change and tourism.

    “Recent experience in Australia had shown that negative commentary about the status of world heritage properties impacted on tourism.”

    Prof Will Steffen, an emeritus professor at the Australian National University and head of Australia’s Climate Council, was one of the scientific reviewers on the paper.

    He told the BBC that he was “amazed by the apparent overreaction that’s gone on”.

    “I don’t understand it at all. I think it was a very balanced report. There was nothing in that report that was not already known,” he said.

    Prof Steffen was sceptical about official explanations that the report risked causing confusion over the status of the reef and could impact tourism.

    “There’s no substance to either of those arguments,” he said.

    “There was no mention at all that the Great Barrier Reef might be listed as endangered. There was also a paragraph at the end that discussed steps the Australian government is taking to mitigate risks to the reef.”

    Prof Steffen also noted that distribution of the report, which summarises risks to World Heritage areas in many nations, would likely be limited to specialists who worked in associated fields.



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  • Meanwhile back in Pakistan where Polio and other diseases are still endemic as a result of religious backwardness obstructing the uses of modern medicine!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-36406076

    Pakistani authorities have banned all broadcast advertisements for contraceptives.

    The regulator, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), said there had been public complaints that they prompted curiosity in “innocent children”.

    Pakistan is a socially conservative country and such commercials were already rare.

    Last year a specific advert for Josh condoms was banned as “immoral”.

    Pakistan, the world’s sixth most populous nation, has a lower rate of access to birth control than the average for the region, according to the World Health Organization.



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  • The problems are not new, but the issues in the OP show heads are still firmly planted in the sands of religious denial!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14399963

    For a long time perceptions of Pakistan as a conservative Muslim country encouraged a belief that HIV-Aids incidence would be non-existent or very low. With the number of HIV cases rising the government finally included it in its 2009 national health policy, but as the BBC’s Nosheen Abbas reports, its full extent is still not widely acknowledged.

    A report on HIV by the UN last year said that 2003 was a key date in the battle against the disease in Pakistan.

    At that time there was an outbreak of the epidemic when it was discovered that 10% of people among a random sample tested in the city of Larkana city in the province of Sindh were infected.

    The findings moved Pakistan up from “low prevalence – high risk” category to a “concentrated epidemic”.

    The epidemic is concentrated in pockets of high risk groups – including injecting drug users (IDUs), and male, female and hijra (transvestite) sex workers.

    A large number of HIV and Aids cases are also detected among migrants returning from Gulf states.

    The UN report says that while the prevalence of HIV is low – only 0.1% among the general population – the growing commercial sex industry’s overlap with high risk groups is likely to cause the epidemic to spread to the general population.

    But experts say the epidemic is not being properly tackled.

    Awareness campaigns regarding the epidemic are almost non-existent in Pakistan.

    Jamshed is HIV-positive and a UNAIDS employee. He argues that “people avoid going to HIV and Aids clinics because there is such a strong stigma around the epidemic”.

    “They don’t get themselves registered, least of all get themselves tested for HIV because many argue that we are an Islamic country and we do not have this problem,” he says.

    Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to fight HIV and Aids in the region have received threats and have either changed the location of their offices or only function by telephone.

    Palvasha, a 30-year-old Pashtun woman who is HIV-positive, counsels others with the illness in the country’s tribal areas where militants have a strong presence.

    “Patients are made to sit outside on the lawn far away from the office itself – the reason is the fear of suicide attacks,” Palvasha says.

    She describes the difficulties of providing counselling to HIV-positive people in the region as “akin to walking on eggshells”.

    “You need to imply a lot and not talk about things in a direct manner – using one wrong word could send you out of people’s houses.

    “We are afraid to hold awareness campaigns because we get accused of spreading wrong and sinful things – so we have to be very tactful.”

    The UN says that the country’s anti-Aids programme is short of cash and bedevilled by bureaucracy – especially when it comes to the release of funds that have been committed.



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  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-36417789

    At least 2,234 Indians have contracted the deadly HIV virus while receiving blood transfusions in hospitals in the past 17 months alone.

    The information was revealed by the country’s National Aids Control Organisation (Naco) in response to a petition filed by information activist Chetan Kothari.

    Mr Khothari told the BBC that he was “shocked” by the revelation.

    India has around 2.09 million people living with HIV/Aids.

    The highest number of patients who had been infected with HIV as a result of contaminated blood in hospitals, were from the northern state of Uttar Pradesh with 361 cases, Mr Kothari’s RTI (Right to Information) query revealed.

    The western states of Gujarat with 292 cases and Maharashtra with 276 cases rank second and third respectively.

    The Indian capital Delhi is at number four with 264 cases.

    “This is the official data, provided by the government-run Naco.I believe the real numbers would be double or triple that,” Mr Kothari told the BBC.

    Under law, it is mandatory for hospitals to screen donors and the donated blood for HIV, hepatitis B and C, malaria and other infections.

    But each such test costs 1,200 rupees ($18; £12) and most hospitals in India do not have the testing facilities. Even in a big city like Mumbai, only three private hospitals have HIV testing facilities. Even the largest government hospitals do not have the technology to screen blood for HIV,” Mr Kothari said.

    I wonder how much infected blood is being used in transfusions in countries where they ban condom adverts and pretend AIDS only affects the “deserving sinful” as an expression of god-wrath!?



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  • It seems that in theocratic governments critics are silenced by laws claiming the “offence” of spreading “false news” – This apparently applies to judges and auditors writing reports exposing corruption!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36469408

    Egypt’s former top auditor, who was sacked after highlighting government corruption, has gone on trial accused of spreading “false news”.

    Hisham Geneina was fired in March, soon after estimating corruption cost Egypt $67.6bn (£46.3bn) over four years.

    Mr Geneina said the figure was based on an exhaustive study, but a presidential commission concluded that he had misled the public with “foreign” help.

    The former judge denies the charges and says they are politically motivated.

    Critics say the prosecution raises questions about President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi’s avowed commitment to fighting corruption.

    Reporters were barred from the opening of Mr Geneina’s trial at the Cairo Misdemeanour Court, but the Associated Press reported that it was swiftly adjourned until 21 June after his lawyers asked for more time to study the case.

    Mr Geneina earlier told the New York Times that the prosecution was politically motivated and driven by powerful enemies inside the government.

    “I was expected not to touch certain corruption cases,” he said.

    The case is based on comments Mr Geneina made to two Egyptian newspapers last December, when he was still head of the Accountability State Authority (ASA).

    The daily Al-Youm Al-Sabea quoted Mr Geneina as saying in an interview that endemic corruption had cost Egypt some 600bn Egyptian pounds ($67.6bn) in 2015 alone, mostly in corrupt land deals.

    Mr Geneina later said that he had been misquoted and that the figure covered four years – a claim supported by a separate interview with another newspaper.

    He also noted that it was based on a study commissioned by the Egyptian planning ministry and carried out with the UN Development Programme.

    Egypt was ranked 88th out of 168 countries on Transparency International’s 2015 corruption perceptions index.

    Two months ago, Mr Sisi’s former agriculture minister was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of corruption. Salah Eddin Helal was accused of taking bribes to sell state land to a businessman at a heavily discounted price.

    It could be those “offensive facts” coming to light again!!!



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  • It seems Muslim states are also manipulating the UN on other human rights issues!
    Apparently oil money can buy the “right” to abuse populations and kill children without attracting criticism!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36494598

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says he faced “unacceptable” pressure to remove the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen from a blacklist over child casualties.

    Mr Ban said a number of countries had threatened to cut off vital funding for many UN programmes.

    He said the decision to remove them from the UN list of violators of children’s rights was “one of the most painful” he’d had to make.

    Saudi Arabia denies the threats.

    The UN announced on Monday that it had temporarily removed the Saudi-led coalition from the child’s rights blacklist which was published last week.

    In his first public remarks following the announcement, Mr Ban said he decided to do so after Saudi Arabia along with some other Arab and Muslim countries threatened to cut off funding to UN humanitarian programs.

    He said he “had to consider the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously if, as was suggested to me, countries would de-fund many UN programmes.”

    “It is unacceptable for member-states to exert undue pressure,” Mr Ban told reporters at UN headquarters.

    Human rights groups had sharply criticised the decision to take Saudis off the list, saying the UN chief’s office had “hit a new low”.

    On Monday, Saudi Arabia vigorously protested against the released UN report which said the coalition was responsible for 60% of child deaths and injuries in Yemen last year.



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