United Nations Security Council members condemn Orlando tragedy

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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 07: United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon speaks during a news conference after the UN Security Council held consultations regarding the UN Supervision Mission in Syria on June 7, 2012 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Members of the UN Security Council agreed a statement on the Orlando massacre that referenced sexuality without resistance from anti-LGBT states. The 15 United Nations Security Council members met yesterday to discuss the tragedy – and passed a resolution referencing the homophobic nature of the attack. The move is welcome given that even the most basic mentions of LGBT issues at the UN often encounter resistance from anti-LGBT states, with a Political Statement on HIV altered earlier this month to exclude mentions of LGBT people.

Reference to LGBT rights were stripped from the UN’s Global Goals last year, and have been omitted from many resolutions on human rights. But members of the Security Council – which currently includes Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Senegal and Angola – did not object to the US-drafted statement on Orlando.

The statement reads: “The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, on 12 June 2016, targeting persons as a result of their sexual orientation, during which 49 people were killed and 53 injured. They expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of the United States. They wished a full recovery to those injured. The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.”

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