UNESCO conference

Landmark UN decision on gay rights

Sweden’s national organisation for gay rights, the RFSL, has been granted observer status by the United Nations.

The UN Economic and Social Council approved the RFSL’s application to be a consultative group at the assembly - a status shared by organisations such as Amnesty International.

The decision was made despite a UN committee’s recommendation that the Swedes’ application be rejected. Some countries, including Egypt, lobbied against the RFSL’s inclusion.

Sören Juvas, the president of the organisation, says that there is a need for a clear voice in favour of lesbian and gay people’s rights in the United Nations. He believes the decision gives the RFSL an opportunity to affect and improve the situation for gay rights across the world.

Amnesty International estimates that there are currently 90 countries in the world where homosexuality is illegal.

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