Thanks for reading and wishing you all an excellent 2011.
Tomorrow I will try and blog about how the current incarnation of the blog came about and how a very proud Canadian came to be living and working in Trinidad. It will be cathartic all round.
My pal @hellomilo suggested it and I guess it makes sense. I don’t like to be too personal lately but being home in Toronto has spurred me on to express why my freedom to be myself here has forced me to blog the matter of human rights to the rest of the world. Let’s see if I find time in between my writing for Fodor’s to actually get a blog on the subject out.
I will say that though I was born in Ireland I consider Canada my home and I am prouder of it than I can possibly express – Stephen Harper notwithstanding. I guess I channel Trudeau all the time.
directed by Yevgeniy Timokhin
Like the road to hell, the road to blogging is paved with good intentions.I neglected to read the guidebook about not promising to blog on Xmas when I have to cook for the family and deal with a 9-year-old nephew who can make any day look like an outtake from the Exorcist.
So, dear readers, with frazzled nerves I must admit blogging defeat this evening. I raise a double Tanqueray Ten martini to you all and wish you all the best of the season. Normal blogging will resume shortly..
Rwanda explains its vote on adding sexual orientation to the UN resolution on extrajudicial, summary and arbitrary executions
Rwanda impressed many around the world in its principled vote for the return of the clause adding protection to LGBT people from extra-judicial killing. Other nations , and most especially her African neighbors, should take note.
United Nations General Assembly, 21 December 2010.
Thank you, sir, for giving me the floor. Rwanda would like to explain its vote on this amendment submitted by the United States.
Sexual orientation, sir, is a concept which sparks very animated debate in the international level, at the national level, even within our families. It relates to our respective cultures, our way of living, or our religions. This debate generally relates to the definition of this concept of sexual orientation, also the criminalization of such practices, and family rights that have to be granted to people who have a different sexual orientation. This is a complex issue, and no definitive decisions have been taken internationally, and within states or even continents there are very conflicting, seemingly irreconcilable positions. Rwanda feels that sexual orientations of our compatriots is a totally private matter where states cannot intervene, either to award new rights or to discriminate or criminalize those who have such an orientation.
But the matter before us now is very different, sir. Here the General Assembly of the United Nations is called upon, not to grant family rights to people with a different sexual orientation, not to give an opinion on the criminalization of such practices, but to decide whether such men and women have the right to life. Sir, in listing specific groups such as national or racial or ethnic or religious or linguistic or even political or ideological or professional groups, the authors of this resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution have clearly wished to draw attention to high-risk groups that are frequently the target of murder, assassination or execution. We wish to alert states to the vulnerability of such groups and the reality of the crimes committed against them, and to call for prosecution of authors of such acts. Whether or not the concept is defined or not, whether or not we support the claims of people with a different sexual orientation, whether or not we approve of their sexual practices – but we must deal with the urgency of these matters and recognize that these people continue to be the target of murder in many of our societies, and they are more at risk than many of the other groups listed. This is unfortunately true, and recognizing this is not a call to give them special rights; it’s just recognition of a crime, that their fundamental rights, their right to life should not be refused. But to refuse to recognize this reality for legal or ideological or cultural reasons will have the consequence of continuing to hide our heads in the sand and to fail to alert states to these situations that break families. Believe me, sir, that a human group doesn’t need to be legally defined to be the victim of execution or massacre, since those who target their members have previously defined them. Rwanda has experienced this sixteen years ago indeed, and for this reason our delegation will vote for the amendment, and calls on other delegations to do likewise.
In the Caribbean St. Lucia shamelessly voted no to reinserting ‘sexual orientation’ into a resolution condemning extrajudicial killings. Trinidad & Tobago ( shockingly) abstained again while Jamaica, unsuprisingly, also abstained.