UN Security Council omits LGBT work in tribute to Ban Ki-moon

Following objections from Russia, the United Nations Security Council has dropped references to Ban Ki-moon’s work on LGBT+ rights.

Anonymous diplomats told the New York Times that Russia had insisted on eliminating the LGBT+ references from the Security Council’s statement paying tribute to outgoing UN Chief Ban Ki-moon.

Russia, China and other countries in the Middle East and Africa have consistently opposed moves forward for LGBT+ rights at the UN.

The statement in its original form, as obtained by the Associated Press, read that Ban Ki-moon was responsible for the fact that “women, young people, and the LGBT community have been heard and assisted, and today their voices sound louder and stronger in (U.N.) headquarters and around the world.”

But a statement read to Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday did not include the line about LGBT+ people.

Instead the statement included the line “that the most vulnerable or marginalized have been increasingly heard and assisted by the United Nations.”

A resolution adopted by the Security Council on Wednesday pays tribute to Ban Ki-moon’s “exceptional efforts to solve international problems in economic, social, environmental and cultural fields, as well as his endeavors to meet humanitarian needs and to promote and encourage respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all.”

The statement was ready by Spanish UN Ambassador Roman Oyarzun Marchesi, who is the president of the council.

He referred to Ban’s “two remarkable successes”, discussing the UN’s 2030 goals and a commitment to combat climate change.

Human rights, and a commitment to humanitarian aid for those in need were also mentioned in the statement.

Ban Ki-moon will hand over his position to Antonio Guterres on 1 January, ending a decade-long stint as secretary-general.

He said “My deepest regret on leaving office is the continuing nightmare in Syria.”