New York City, N.Y., Feb 15, 2009 / 07:08 pm (CNA).- Despite an opposing vote from the United States, the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Committee responsible for approving U.N. NGOs has rejected the application of a Brazilian homosexual group because of questions concerning the group’s position on pedophilia.
The Brazilian Association of Gays, Lesbians and Transgendereds (ABGLT) faced scrutiny because of allegations that one of the group’s founders was being investigated for posting pro-pedophilia essays on his blog, the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute (C-FAM) reports.
“The UK pushed hard for the group to be accepted,” C-FAM President Austin Ruse said in a statement. “The Obama administration also voted in favor of granting official status to the group.”
The 19-member NGO Committee is a subcommittee of the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which uses various criteria to decide whether to recommend official status for NGOs. Accredited organizations are invited to participate in U.N. meetings. They may deliver oral and written reports and may organize events on U.N. premises.
According to C-FAM, the committee voted against deferring a decision on AGBLT and rejected the application in a vote of eight to six. The Russian Federation, China and Pakistan were among those who voted to reject the application, while the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel were among those voting against its rejection.
The NGO committee member from Egypt urged that the committee not make a rushed decision on any group where there was even the “slightest shadow of doubt” about its involvement in pedophilia. The committee member charged that the answers provided by AGBLT were not yet sufficient to clear the case and assure committee members that the NGO did not have any members or associates involved in such a “deplorable act.”
After the vote, the representative from the U.K. said she deeply regretted the committee’s decision and claimed the vote reinforced the view that the committee could not properly undertake its assigned work.
The observer from the Czech Republic, speaking on behalf of the EU, agreed with the U.K. statement, arguing that the committee acted in a “discriminatory manner” against the AGBLT, claiming the group “has every right to participate in the work of the U.N.”
The observer for Brazil, who had vouched for the organization, charged that the committee failed to evaluate the merits of the organization and had acted as a “censorship chamber.”
C-FAM says that debates in NGO Committee meetings over applications from homosexual rights groups have become “increasingly heated” in recent years. While ECOSOC almost always accepts subcommittee regulations, it has made exceptions in order to accredit radical homosexual groups. Two homosexual rights groups have received a negative recommendation from the NGO committee, only to have that decision overturned by ECOSOC.
According to C-FAM, the ECOSOC council is expected to review the NGO Committee recommendations at its July session in Geneva.