Today, in the midst of a surge in anti-gay persecution and violence from Russia to Cameroon to Jamaica, and as LGBT rights issues continue to divide United Nations member states,
the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights launched Free & Equal, a major global outreach campaign for LGBT equality. Bilerico reports that:
“The year-long initiative, which will focus on public education and advocate for legal reforms, was launched at a press conference in Cape Town, South Africa. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay was joined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Justice Edwin Cameron of the South African Constitutional Court.
“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights promises a world in which everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights – no exceptions, no-one left behind,” said High Commissioner Pillay, a native of South Africa. “Yet it’s still a hollow promise for many millions of LGBT people forced to confront hatred, intolerance, violence and discrimination on a daily basis.”
“Indeed, a press release from the human rights office notes that consensual same-sex relationships are still criminalized in more than 76 countries around the globe, discrimination against LGBT people is rampant in education, health care, and the workplace, and hate-motivated beatings, sexual assaults, and murders have been recorded “in all regions of the world.” Continue reading “United Nations: “Free and Equal””
In the consultations about what will replace the millennium development goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015, there is pressure on politicians and political commentators to come up with the next “new” idea. The Guardian today reports that:
“The lack of focus on inequality was a key limitation of the MDGs and, rightly, this has become a major priority for the post-2015 agenda. But the discussion about inequality is evolving in a way that may undermine, and even reverse, the international commitment to gender balance. There are welcome efforts to define new ways of measuring income inequality, but gender and other social inequalities are invisible within these measures (pdf). And, while greater attention is finally being paid to social inequalities, there is a worrying tendency to treat gender as justone of many inequalities that generate poverty and exclusion. There is even a proposal to replace the current gender equality goal with a general and so far undefined “inequalities” goal.
“The fundamental premise behind the demand for a standalone goal is that gender is not just one of many inequalities but the most pervasive.
“First, it places women at a disadvantage at every level of income and within every disadvantaged group, including those disadvantaged by caste, race and disability.
“Second, gender is structured into the organisation of social relations of production and reproduction of every known society, in the same way class inequalities structure capitalist societies, racial inequalities structure South Africa, and caste inequalities structure India. Continue reading “Gender and U.N. Millennium Goals”
Disagreements seem to continue at the current United Nations climate change meeting in Doha. As Al Jazeera reports, “
“Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general of the United Nations, has called on world leaders to confront a global warming “crisis” and show “strong political commitment” and compromise in dealing with it.
“Speaking at the annual UN climate talks in Doha, Ban noted that there were “mixed feelings” among delegates who were negotiating deals, but that the situation posed an “existential challenge for the whole human race”. Continue reading “Climate change stalemate continues”
On this December 1, 2012, the United Nations GETTING TO ZERO campaign to eradicate HIV/AIDS reports significant progress, while also pointing out limited spending by nations that could be doing more . Getting to Zero reports a 50% drop in new diagnoses in 25 as the world approaches its 1000 day target for certain goals, described by the UN below. For more informaton, see “World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, 2012.
Continue reading ““Getting to Zero””
There they go again. Congressional republicans are poised to vote down a U.N. disability rights treaty already endorsed by 278 nations––including the United States itself. As reported in Ms Magazine,
“Yesterday the U.S. Senate began debating whether or not to ratify the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities treaty, which would recognize fundamental human rights for persons living with disabilities on an international level. Continue reading “Republicans oppose global disability rights”
At today’s United Nations Climate Change meeting in Doha, Qatar, American officials asserted the U.S. had made “enormous” advances that much of the world didn’t know about. As reported in The Guardian, American progress in climate change has resulted in part by the carbon reductions from its investments in the controversial practice of “fracking” for shale gas. As reported by Fiona Harvey,
“The claim came as nearly 200 governments gathered in Doha, Qatar, for two weeks of talks aimed at forging an agreement on the climate. Governments have until 2015 to draw up a binding treaty, the first since the 1997 Kyoto protocol, to cut greenhouse gas emissions and avoid dangerous global warming. Continue reading “U.S. claims “enormous” reductions in carbon emissions”