A group of 11 LGBTI-focused NGOs will be unable to participate in a high-level United Nations conference on ending AIDS next month, after being objected to by the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Egyptian representatives sent a letter on behalf of the OIC officially objecting to the groups. The OIC’s membership is made up of 51 predominantly-Muslim states, a large enough number to block the LGBTI NGOs from participating in the meeting.
The move was criticized by the United States, Canada, and the European Union. In a letter to General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power wrote, “given that transgender people are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV than the general population, their exclusion from the high-level meeting will only impede global progress in combating the HIV/AIDS pandemic… The movement to block the participation of NGOs on spurious or hidden grounds is becoming epidemic and severely damages the credibility of the U.N.”