Russian Delegation at UN Explains Country’s Stance on Statement on Gay and Transgender Rights
Russian Delegation at UN Explains Country’s Stance on Yesterday’s Statement on Gay and Transgender Rights
Diplomat speaks to GayRussia.Ru
Sent by Nicolas Alexeyev
The Russian Federation declined to support either “side” at yesterday’s United Nations statement in support of the decriminalisation of homosexual relations and respect for the right of people irrespective of this sexual orientation and gender identity, GayRussia.ru learned this afternoon.
While Russia was not among the 66 countries supporting the French statement, it did not support the counter-statement tabled by Syria and supported by 60 states.
“Russian Federation acts against discrimination, intolerance, repressions and acts of violence towards people of non-traditional sexual orientation,” the Russian delegation said at the United Nations yesterday.
“Nevertheless, this narrow specific topic should, in our view, be considered in the context of existing basic universal documents in the sphere of human rights protection.
“Artificial segregation of people with non-traditional sexual orientation into special item in General Assembly agenda can cause its overloading and lead to the shifts of priorities of the UN human rights programme and of the organisational workload, in terms of overcoming discrimination and xenophobia,” the statement concluded.
This was revealed to GayRussia by the Permanent Mission of Russian Federation at the UN in New York. It is understood that the statement was not distributed to the media.
The Russian diplomats at the UN stressed that the position of the Russian Federation was as an individual nation – and not in a grouping with other states.
GayRussia.ru was told that the position of Russia “on such a delicate issue is still at the stage of formation”.
The diplomatic source in Russian Mission did not dismiss the possibility that “Russian position can evolve” in case the UN initiative of France reaches the stage of political resolution which has recommendation value.
On December 10, Russian gay activists called on Sergei Lavrov, Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, to put Russia’s signature to the French statement “in order to stop prosecutions of people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity”.
Russia itself decriminalised homosexuality in 1993.
Head of GayRussia.ru Nikolai Alekseev said this evening that “for sure we were waiting more from Russia, in particular the endorsement of French statement.
“But the fact that Russia directly – and clearly – talked in the UN against discrimination, intolerance, repressions and violence towards homosexual people, and did not support the position of Arabic states, shows a considerable progressive shift in the country’s position in terms of respect for the rights of the LGBT community.
“Of course we have to welcome this. At the same time we intend to continue lobbying for a more liberal position of Russian diplomacy on this issue in the future,” he concluded.