Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
Suporters of rights for gays and lesbians worldwide secured a major victory at the United Nations this week. The 192-nation U.N. General Assembly voted to restore a reference to killings due to sexual orientation that had been deleted from a resolution condemning unjustified slayings. The shift came after the United States submitted an amendment to restore the reference, which the General Assembly’s human rights committee removed last month from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions that is adopted every two years.
The U.S. amendment that restored the reference to sexual orientation was adopted with 93 votes in favor, 55 against and 27 abstentions. The amended resolution was then approved with 122 yes votes, one against and 62 abstentions. (Saudi Arabia cast the sole vote against the resolution, and the United States was among those who abstained.)
The committee’s deletion of the reference last month — at the proposal of African and Arab nations — had outraged Western countries and human rights activists. Similar resolutions adopted in previous years have explicitly mentioned killings due to sexual preference, along with slayings for racial, national, ethnic, religious or linguistic reasons and killings of refugees, indigenous people and other groups.
Cary Alan Johnson, executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), was pleased with the outcome. “The outpouring of support from the international community sent the strong message to our representatives at the U.N. that it is unacceptable to make invisible the deadly violence LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people face because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation.”
It happens every year. When the U.S. president arrives at the United Nations for the General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, the east side of midtown Manhattan goes into lockdown mode. You can’t cross the streets before he arrives and until well after the most powerful man in the world has safely arrived inside the headquarters of world diplomacy.
President Barack Obama was a little late this year and unable to keep his prestigious spot as the second speaker in the annual marathon of speeches. When Obama failed to show, the Swiss president of the General Assembly Joseph Deiss announced that the president of his homeland, Doris Leuthard, would take Obama’s place and give Switzerland’s address.
from Tales from the Trail:
When it comes to ratifying President Obama's nuclear arms reduction treaty with the Russians, Senate Republicans say: don't rush us.
Obama has said he would like to see the Senate ratify the new START treaty with Moscow this year. But he will need some Republican support to get the 67 votes required for ratification. And Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says Republicans don't yet have the answers to their questions about the agreement and related concerns about how much money will be spent modernizing U.S. nuclear forces.