India Had Voted In Favour Of Amendments Moved by Pakistan to Dilute the SOGI Resolution in UN

Although India abstained in the final vote on the resolution for creation of an Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) yesterday, it had voted in favour of various amendments that were aimed at diluting or nullifying the resolution. The amendments had been moved by Pakistan on behalf of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. Pakistan is not a member of UNHRC and hence did not get to vote on the resolution finally.

Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Member States of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, said that the Council must respect the local cultures and the member states, except Albania, disagreed with the content and concept of the resolution. It thus moved amendments L.71 to L.81 “which aimed to align the text with universally agreed language, carefully crafted on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amendments also highlighted the need to respect cultural, religious and traditional values, while underscoring the negative effects of imposing values on others”. The amendments were put to vote one by one.

India voted in favour of amendments L.73, L.74, L.75, L.76, L.79 while it abstained on voting for L.71 and L.78 amendments.

Amendment L.73 called upon “to consider human rights issues in an objective and non-confrontational manner”, while Amendment L.74 diluted the focus of the resolution by shifting it from SOGI to more general forms of discrimination. Amendments L.75, L.76 and L.79 on further weakened the resolution by broadly asking to “respect” cultural, religious, and regional values, and also local laws while considering human rights issues. All of these amendments were passed by a majority vote.

Amendment L.71, in which India abstained, had aimed to erase the word SOGI from the title of the Resolution and was defeated. Amendment L.78, which was adopted by a 18-17 majority vote with 9 countries including Indian abstaining.

Gaylaxy does not have information of how India voted for the other 5 amendments.

Sukhdeep Singh