Yesterday, the European Parliament adopted a report in which it calls for inclusion of non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in a future agreement with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states.
The Parliament also expresses its deep concern over anti-LGBTI laws, as found in the Gambia and Nigeriaand as nullified by the Constitutional Court in Uganda.
Currently, diplomatic, trade and aid relationships between the EU and ACP states are governed by the Cotonou Agreement. The Agreement includes a dialogue on “political issues of mutual concern or of general significance” in joint talks, including “discrimination of any kind” (Art. 8.4), yet fails to mention sexual orientation and gender identity specifically.
The report was adopted with a large majority of 575 in favour, while 64 voted against.
Ian Duncan MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and Member of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA), reacted: “In this report the European Parliament has made its position very clear: We do not accept the state-sponsored homophobia as we find it in an increasing number of ACP countries.”
“Over half of the ACP states criminalise homosexuality. It is time to effectively use our relationship with the ACP states to stop this wave of homophobia.”
Isabella Adinolfi MEP, Vice-President of the Intergroup on LGBTI Rights and part of the ACP-EU JPA, continued: “When we are faced with the horrific violence people suffer for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or intersex, it is time to reinforce the principle that human rights clauses are universal and non-negotiable.”
“The right to non-discrimination, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, can not be compromised in the ACP-EU partnership. It is time to fully acknowledge that.”
Read more from the intergroup site:
Read the report on the work of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (particularly paragraphs 1, 15 and 16)