In a historic announcement on June 30, 2016, The Human Rights Council of the United Nations has voted to appoint an Independent Expert on protection against discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The resolution (A/HRC/32/L.2/Rev.1) was adopted by a vote of 23 in favour, 18 against and 6 abstentions as amended.
Speaking today to reporters in New York, the UN spokesperson said that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the move.
“I can tell you that the Secretary-General believes that the Human Rights Council marked another important step forward when it decided to appoint a UN Independent Expert to monitor and report on levels of violence and discrimination against LGBT people globally,” said Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric. “It is clear that there’s still so much that needs to be done to protect people from violence, tackle discrimination at work, end bullying in schools and ensure access to healthcare, housing and essential services,” he added.
For the first time, work on this issue will be effectively institutionalized at the Human Rights Council and there will regular reporting on these issues through the Council and the General Assembly. The expert, to be appointed in September for an initial 3-year term, will carry out country visits, take up individual allegations with Governments and work to support and protect human rights defenders.
Mexico is a member and voted to approve this resolution. The result of the vote was as follows:
In favour (23): Albania, Belgium, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Georgia, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Slovenia, Switzerland, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Venezuela, and Viet Nam.
Against (18): Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, China, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Maldives, Morocco, Namibia, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Togo, and United Arab Emirates.
Abstentions (6): Botswana, Ghana, India, Maldives, Philippines, and South Africa.
See the full details here