Our colleagues at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission are calling for urgent action to ensure that sexual orientation is not removed from a crucial UN resolution on extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings. We’ve included their information below.
This Monday, 20th December, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on whether to include protection for LGBT people in a crucial resolution on extrajudicial executions and other unlawful killings.
For the past 10 years, this resolution has urged States “to investigate promptly and thoroughly all killings, including… all killings committed for any discriminatory reason, including sexual orientation”. It is the only UN resolution to ever include an explicit reference to sexual orientation.
Just last month, a number of States proposed an amendment to remove the reference to sexual orientation from this important resolution. Shockingly, this amendment passed. Seventy-nine States voted to remove the reference to sexual orientation, 70 supported its retention, and 43 States abstained or did not vote.
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However, States will have the opportunity to restore the reference to sexual orientation – and hopefully extend it to also include gender identity – when the resolution comes up before the UN General Assembly on Monday 20 December.
We therefore have just under one week to contact governments and send a clear message that killings of those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender are not acceptable – ever.
What can I do?
Please take action today to urge your government to support language in the resolution calling on States to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons from unlawful killings.
How do I contact my government?
The most important contact is your government’s Foreign Ministry in your capital. It is the Foreign Ministry in your own country which will ultimately instruct your government representatives how to vote. Contact details for the Foreign Ministry of each country can be found at: http://www.ediplomat.com/dc/foreign_ministries.htm
It is also useful to copy any message to your country’s Ambassador in New York. A list of New York Missions is available at: http://www.un.org/en/members/
The spreadsheet (in Excel) also contains fax and e-mail addresses for all New York Missions.
What should I tell them?
A Backgrounder with more information about the resolution is here, which you can share with your government.
You know your own country best. Feel free to tailor this information to the context of your country or region, while maintaining a constructive approach.
It is a good idea ask for a specific response to your request. If there is time, you may also wish to request an urgent meeting to discuss the matter further.
If your government abstained on the inclusion of sexual orientation last time, encourage them to support the reference on Monday. If your government opposed the reference, encourage them to support the reference – or at least to abstain or refrain from voting against human rights. If your government supported the reference, encourage them to vote the same way on Monday and ask them to urge other States to also vote in favor of inclusion.
How did my country vote last time?
We are also attaching voting records (in Excel) from when the amendment was adopted last month, so that you can see whether your government supported the sexual orientation reference, opposed it, abstained or did not vote (“DNV”).
Questions or further information?
Please keep us informed of your country’s response. A coalition of international NGOs is closely monitoring the initiative, and may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please act today! Thank you for your work to oppose unlawful killings based on sexual orientation and gender identity.