United Nations, New York- several African countries are not only crafting legislations that criminalized the rights of Lesbian, Gays, Bi-sexual and Transgenders; they are also opposing any action that would sound or appear like giving credence members of the LGBT community.
Led by the poverty stricken West African nation of Burkina Faso, many African countries, according to reliable sources, are reviving a bid at the United Nations to block the appointment of the first-ever UN expert tasked with investigating violence and discrimination against LGBT minorities.
Last week, the Burkina Faso mission at the United Nations circulated a letter to the UN General Assembly on behalf of African countries urging support for its demand to hold talks on the appointment.
The measure is scheduled to come up for a vote at the General Assembly today, Monday, December 19, 2016.
The UN Human Rights Council in September, 2016 appointed international law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people worldwide.
a number of African countries failed in November to push for the adoption of a draft resolution that would have demanded talks on the legality of the new expert’s mandate during a vote in the assembly’s human rights committee.
Per diplomatic analysts, a total of 73 countries — almost 40 percent of all 193 UN members — still have laws and legal instruments on their books that make homosexuality a crime.
33 countries in Africa alone, including Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan and Mauritania have anti-gay laws.
The African nations, in the letter to UN member states, criticized Muntarbhorn after he set out goals for his mission in an address last month, including decriminalization.
“This shows clearly that the mandate is already being abused by the independent expert to promote legally baseless new rights that are not internationally recognized,” the letter said.
Muntarbhorn, who began work as the UN expert last month, has been appointed for three years.
He will carry out country visits, raise allegations of LGBT rights violations with governments and work to protect rights defenders.