A coalition of African states has narrowly lost its bid to halt the work of the first U.N. independent investigator appointed to help protect LGBT+ people worldwide from violence and discrimination. The position was created in June by the 47 member U.N. Human Rights Council, and in September it appointed Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand to the post.
Muntarbhorn has a three-year mandate to investigate abuses against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said that the bid by the African states was “rooted in a real disagreement over whether people of a certain sexual orientation and gender identity are in fact entitled to equal rights.”
Russia, Egypt and several African countries representing the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have stated that they do not recognize the mandate of the gay rights investigator, and will not cooperate with Muntarbhorn.