A U.N. panel this
week barred two more gay rights groups from having a
formal voice at the United Nations after blocking two others
earlier this year, diplomats said on Friday. Votes to
deny the groups "consultative status" at the world
body took place in the U.N. Economic and Social
Council's Committee on Non-governmental Organizations,
which wrapped up its latest eight-day session on Friday.
A total of 2,870
nongovernmental organizations have such status, enabling
them to distribute documents and speak at meetings of some
U.N. bodies and conferences. The committee, which
holds sessions twice a year, this week rejected
applications from the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany
and ILGA-Europe, a chapter of the International Gay and
During its first
2006 session, which took place in January, the committee
rejected the Belgium-based International Gay and Lesbian
Association and the Danish National Association for
Gays and Lesbians. The United States--which
voted against U.N. recognition of the two groups considered
in January, prompting criticism from several human rights
groups and 45 members of the U.S.
Congress--voted in favor of the two groups that were
put to a vote this week.
But motions by
Iran to reject both applicants were nonetheless approved
9-7. Voting no both times were Cameroon, China, Iran,
Ivory Coast, Pakistan, Russia, Senegal, Sudan, and
Zimbabwe. Voting against rejection were Chile,
Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, Romania, and the United
States. India and Turkey abstained.
committee members expressed concern that the rejections
revealed a discriminatory pattern, Archbishop Celestino
Migliore, the Vatican's U.N. observer, said U.N.
consultative status is not a question of human rights.
All four committee votes are subject to review later
this year by the full 54-member Economic and Social Council.