UNITED NATIONS: Arab And African Countries Block Resolution Condemning Executions Of Homosexuals
A coalition of Arab and African nations have succeeded in deleting a reference to sexual orientation in a United Nations resolution condemning "extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions." An amendment calling for the deletion was introduced by Morocco and Mali and passed narrowly by a vote of 79-70.
The U.S. delegation voted against the deletion but abstained from the vote on the final resolution. Diplomats said the U.S. delegation also voiced disappointment at the decision to remove the reference to sexual orientation. The resolution, which is expected to be formally adopted by the General Assembly in December, specifies many other types of violence, including killings for racial, national, ethnic, religious or linguistic reasons and killings of refugees, indigenous people and other groups. "It's a step backwards and it's extremely disappointing that some countries felt the need to remove the reference to sexual orientation, when sexual orientation is the very reason why so many people around the world have been subjected to violence," said Philippe Bolopion of Human Rights Watch.The resolution, which is presented every two years in the General Assembly, passed with 165-0, with ten abstentions, including the United States.