NGO Committee, for Third Time in History, Recommends Special Consultative Status to Gay Organization
For the third time in its history, and the second time in its current session, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended special consultative status to a gay civil society group, as it continued to put under scrutiny the dozens of applications before it — approving special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council for four organizations and deferring action on 48 applications. The Committee approved the Austrian organization, Homosexuelle Initiative Wien for special consultation status following a vote of 9 in favour to 6 against, with 2 abstentions. However, during ensuing discussions, the representative of Venezuela stressed that her country’s position on procedural methods had not changed, particularly with “forcing people” to take positions. As well, Sudan’s representative stated that the Committee had again “totally diverted from standing practices”. A more “give and take” approach was needed in order to achieve consensus. Rushing to action when it came to certain non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was setting a precedent. Still, the representative of the United States said that it was a “monumental achievement” to approve consultative status for an organization that had been deferred since 2007. Bulgaria’s delegate also pointed out that the decision illustrated the Committee moving away from past “discriminatory practices”. Rather, such approval, which had been a rare event, was now demonstrating the establishment of a new pattern with regard to civil society groups in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

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