56 me de Moillebeau
1211 Geneva 19
Tel: (4122) 7491930
Fax: (4122) 734 8085
14 February 2012
H.E. Ms. Laura Dupuy Lasserre
President of the Human Rights Council
My dear President,
I am writing to you in my capacity as Coordinator of the OIC Group on Human Rights and Humanitarian Issues in Geneva.
2. I wish to explain the position taken by the Member States of the OIC onResolution 17/19 and the subsequent Panel on “Discrimination and Violence based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” scheduled to be held on 7 March 2012 during the 19’th Session of the Human rights Council.
3. The OIC States are deeply concerned by the introduction in the Human Rights Council of controversial notions like “sexual orientation and gender identity.” The OIC countries have been consistent in their opposition to the consideration of these controversial notions in the context of human right at international fora.
4. We are seriously concerned at the attempt to introduce in the United Nations concepts that have no legal foundation in any international human rights instrument. The international community only recognizes those rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which were codified in subsequent international legal instruments.
5. We note with concern the attempts to create controversial “new notions” or “new standards” by misinterpreting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and intemational treaties to include such notions that were never articulated or agreed to by the UN membership. These attempts undermine not only the intent of the drafters and signatories to these human rights instruments, but also seriously jeopardize the entire international human rights framework.
6. We are even more disturbed at the attempt to focus on certain persons on the grounds of their abnormal sexual behaviour, while not focusing on the glaring instances of intolerance and discrimination in various parts of the world, be it on the basis of colour, race, gender or religion, to mention only a few.
7. It must also be recognized that the international community agreed during the World Conference on Human Rights, held in Vienna in 1993, that while considering the issue of human rights, national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind. From this perspective, the issue of sexual orientation is unacceptable to the OIC.
8. The OIC Member States are concerned that the Panel will discuss issues that relate to personal behavior and preferences, and have nothing to do with fundamental human rights. This debate will shift the focus from the real issues that deserve the attention of the Council.
9. For the reasons explained above the Member States of the OIC would like to place on record their opposition to the holding of this panel and will not accept its considerations and recommendations.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
Coordinator of the OIC Group on Human Rights
and Humanitarian Issues
Copy to H.E. Ms. Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights