The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission’s (IGLHRC) three-year campaign to be granted consultative status at the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council has ended in defeat.

The Committee on Non-Governmental Organisations, which decides which organisations gain accreditation to the council, ruled against the IGLHRC. The committee’s 19 member nations include some African and Islamic states.

The Economic and Social Council is the UN’s central forum for discussing economic and social issues. It is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and is responsible for coordinating work focusing on economic and social related issues by 14 different UN agencies, its functional commissions and five regional commissions.

Non-government organisations granted consultative status are allowed to make themselves heard when the body is deciding which recommendations to make to UN member states.

Diplomats from Egypt, Sudan, Qatar, Pakistan, China, Russia, Angola, Burundi and Sudan were among those who voted against IGLHRC’s inclusion despite American and British diplomats defending the group.

It is believed the United States and EU nations will now seek to bypass the committee by asking the Economic and Social Council to grant accreditation to the group directly.

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