UN Globe at the United Nations
Advocating for the equality and non-discrimination of LGBTI staff in the UN system and its peacekeeping operations

Updates on the Work of UN Globe

Updates on the work of UN Globe

Russian proposal defeated today in the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly

Dear all,

The proposal from the Russia Federation to deny benefits to legal same-sex couples at the UN was not adopted today during a vote in the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, with 80 countries voting against the proposal, 43 voting for it, and 37 countries abstaining.
UN-GLOBE, the staff group representing LGBTI staff in the UN system, has been fighting the proposal from Russia since it first surfaced back in December, and considers this vote a huge victory for equality and non-discrimination at the UN. 
With this vote, a majority of countries present also sent a strong message of support to the Secretary-General, and his prerogative to issue administrative instructions as Chief Administrative Officer of the UN.
The Secretary-General’s policy, whose withdrawal was sought by Russia, grants equal benefits to all staff members in legal unions, including those in same-sex unions. 
The previous policy, while automatically granting partnership benefits to staff members in opposite-sex unions, only granted partnership benefits to staff members in same-sex unions if their embassies gave consent, creating discriminatory practices. 
Staff members legally married to same-sex partners who could not obtain consent from their embassies were considered to be single by their UN organizations.
Following this vote, UN-GLOBE will continue its fight to ensure that there is full equality and inclusiveness for LGBTI staff in the UN system, which does not currently exist. 
UN-GLOBE will also continue to ensure that no staff member is discriminated against, or targeted because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.
UN-GLOBE is thankful to allies who worked to make the outcome of this vote possible, including countries friendly to LGBTI rights; LGBT human rights organizations such as IGLHRC and COC; staff federations of the UN; and the Secretary-General’s office.

Hyung Hak Nam (Alfonso)
President, UN-GLOBE