The UN headquarters in New York
(Pic: Steve Cadman)

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has voted in favour of a US-led resolution to grant the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) consultative status.

IGLHRC is only the tenth organisation working primarily for LGBT human rights to gain such status at the United Nations. The resolution passed with 23 in favour, 13 against, 13 abstentions and five absences.

The decision came after a prolonged three-year application process in the sub-committee that makes initial recommendations on status. Despite full compliance with all procedures IGLHRC faced deferrals, homophobic questioning, and procedural roadblocks in the ECOSOC NGO Committee.

“Today’s decision is an affirmation that the voices of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have a place at the United Nations as part of a vital civil society community,” said Cary Alan Johnson, IGLHRC Executive Director.

“The clear message here is that these voices should not be silenced and that human rights cannot be denied on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The US government has been credited with helping the organisation win the UN status through its strong support of the IGLHRC’s application.

The decision will allows IGLHRC to participate in a more formal manner at the UN through attending meetings, submitting statements and collaborating with the UN and governments in the international human-rights arena.

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