Status on the support by the South African Government on a Declaration by the United Nations General Assembly on Human Rights Day, calling for the Decriminalisation of Homosexuality
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO: 18
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 1 of 06 FEBRUARY 2009
MR TONY LEON (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
(1) Whether the Government supported a declaration by the United Nations General Assembly on Human Rights Day, calling for the decriminalisation of homosexuality; if not, why not;
(2) Whether her department has considered the ramifications to the Government’s reputation in not supporting this declaration; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(3) whether capacity constraints in South Africa’s Embassy to the United Nations had any bearing on the Government’s decision not to support the declaration; if so, (a) what is the nature of the capacity problem, (b) to what extent has it constrained South Africa’s participation in the passing of other declarations and (c) what plans are in place to address the problem?
South Africa is not opposed to the spirit of this Declaration, but did not append our signature to it because we believe its contents still needs to be further debated/elaborated on, in order to align concepts such as “Sexual Orientation” and “gender identity” in International Human Rights Law. This would ensure that its contents are embraced / accepted by the majority of the UN member states
The ramifications to the government’s reputation are always a priority when we conduct our Foreign Policy.