In recent weeks the United Nations passed a sweeping resolution condemning extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, with specific reference to vulnerable groups, those targeted due to sexual orientation or gender identity. As Huffington Post reports today,
“This week the U.N. opened its doors to the international lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community with a panel entitled Leadership in the Fight against Homophobia, headlined by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, human rights defenders Blas Radi (Argentina), Olena Schevchenko (Ukraine), and Gift Trapence (Malawi) and celebrity guests Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Ricky Martin. It was a symbolic day uniting political leaders, courageous activists and outspoken celebrities, paying tribute to the 64th anniversary of the Declaration of Universal Human Rights and the rights of LGBT people around the globe.
“When it comes to LGBT human rights, all is not ‘ symbolic’ at the United Nations these days. On November 20, less than a month ago, a wave of excitement and relief washed across the room at the United Nations as an historic vote took place in the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly to pass a resolution Extrajudicial executions include any killing not carried out by the State in conformity with the law and which a government fails to investigate, prosecute and punish. The killing may be done by government forces or any other groups or individuals.
“Human rights advocates hoped for a passing vote for the extrajudicial executions resolution to contain inclusive language of sexual orientation and gender identity but did not presume its inclusion. The passage of the resolution reversed the 2010 proceedings when the same body voted to strip the resolution of reference to ‘sexual orientation.’ The Third Committee further demonstrated its commitment to the universality of human rights by including for the first time, reference to ‘gender identity.’