The following account was kindly sent to us by Suki Beavers, from Canada Action for Population and Development.
I just listened to the last hour of debate from Geneva via cell phone. There were many procedural issues raised, points of order all over the place about whether rule 50 as invoked by both Germany and the OIC applied to closure of debate on the amendments or of the item as a whole. The Chair was asked to Rule immediately at several times and did not.
In the end at 6:00 the Chair made a proposal that the CHR decides to postpone consideration of item L92 (the resolution on sexual orientation) and the proposed amendments L106-110 to the 60th session of the CHR under the same agenda item.
Canada then took the floor and made a motion that because this agenda item is so important that the CHR not be closed. Rather that the CHR recommend to ECOSOC that there be a resumed session of not more than 2 days to complete the agenda items of the 59th session (this being the only item left).
The Chair's proposal came first and was voted on first and passed by a vote of 24 in favour, 17 against and 10 abstentions. There was no need for consideration of Canada's motion.
So, there it is. This resolution was not defeated and it and we will be back with a vengeance next year. Although we didn't get a full out victory, neither is this a defeat and it is clear that this will be the issue for the CHR next year.
Thank you to all of you for your support and great advocacy. It may be hard to view it this way right now but this is a huge victory!
Thanks again to all of you.
The following information (from earlier in the day) has been kindly shared with us by Jan Doerfel:
This is an updated list of the voting pattern.
Frankly, Brazil is in a difficult situation due to the fact that they have no co-sponsor in Latin America (in order to co-sponsor, you do not need to be a member on the Commission).
Regarding Paraguay, lobbying is clearly necessary for them to support not just to abstain (apparently they have no problems regarding their domestic laws, so basically have no reason to abstain. But they have received instructions to abstain). It is best to lobby the General Director of Multilateral Issues or the Vice Minister. The e-mail could be sent via Ms Cynthia Gonzales at the Direccion de Derechos Humanos to forward to the above. Her e-mail is email@example.com
The representative of Chile stated that he has received no instructions yet- so lobbying the capital would be recommended! Apart from possibly Mexico, the more lobbying of Latin American countries (the same actually applies to African countries), the better!
The vote will hopefully be commenced tomorrow afternoon and probably preceded by a no-action motion (which should also be lobbied against). It may be that the vote on the issue will take place only tomorrow morning. Any phone calls to capitals would be vital!
All the best,
Algeria - will vote against
Argentina - will abstain or vote against (pressure needed!)
Armenia ˆ will vote for
Australia - awaiting instructions, may abstain - we need lots of pressure
Austria - will support
Bahrain ˆ vote against
Belgium - will support
Brazil - lead - will support
Burkina Faso ˆ probably against
Cameroon - unknown
Canada- will support
Chile - no instructions received from the capital - pressure needed!
China - unknown
Costa Rica- will support
Croatia - support
Cuba - abstain (backed down from support earlier on!)
DRC - will vote against
France - will support
Gabon - unknown
Germany - will support
Guatemala - unknown
India - abstain or vote no
Ireland - will support
Japan ˆ will support
Kenya - unknown
Libya - will vote against
Malaysia- will vote against
Mexico - will support
Pakistan - will vote against
Paraguay - may abstain (pressure needed!!!)
Peru - may abstain - no instructions received yet - pressure needed
Poland - yes (co-sponsor)
Korea - may support
Russian Federation ˆ will support
Saudi Arabia - will vote against
Senegal - unknown
Sierra Leone - unknown
South Africa - may abstain (a lot of lobbying needed)
Sri Lanka - may abstain - anyone from companions on a journey, please call
your capital and lobby for support as they may be moveable
Sudan - will vote against
Sweden - will support
Syria- will vote against
Thailand - will support
Uganda - unknown
Ukraine ˆ will support
UK - will support
USA - may abstain (pressure needed)
Uruguay - may abstain - pressure needed!
Venezuela - unknown
Viet Nam - unknown
Zimbabwe - will vote against
Published on April 29, 2003 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization