US, EU protest UN decision to bar non-govt groups from AIDS meet

The United States and the European Union are protesting a UN decision to bar at least 20 non-governmental groups from taking part in a major AIDS conference in June.

AFP May 18, 2016 07:30:10 IST
US, EU protest UN decision to bar non-govt groups from AIDS meet

United Nations: The United States and the European Union are protesting a UN decision to bar at least 20 non-governmental groups from taking part in a major AIDS conference in June.

US Ambassador Samantha Power said the NGOs taken off the list of participants "appear to have been chosen for their involvement in LGBTI, transgender or youth advocacy."

US EU protest UN decision to bar nongovt groups from AIDS meet

Representational image. Reuters

In a letter to UN General Assembly president Mogens Lykketoft, Power requested that these groups, including the US-based Global Action for Trans Equality, be allowed to take part in the 8-10 June high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS.

European Union Ambassador Joao Vale de Almeida said the NGOs had been struck from the list following objections from member states and requested information on which countries opposed their presence.

One of the European NGOs that has been barred from taking part is the Eurasian Coalition on Male Health, based in Estonia, which has been vocal on gay rights in Russia and other former Soviet republics.

The EU ambassador wrote in his letter sent last week that changes to an initial list of delegations were made without consulting member states.

"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 combatting the HIV/AIDS pandemic and achieving the goal of an AIDS-free generation," Power wrote in her letter.

The high-level meeting is aimed at fast-tracking measures to end the HIV epidemic by 2030.

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