Nordics Launder LGBT Advocacy through UN Human Rights Office

By Wendy Wright | May 9, 2013

The UN human rights office is desperate for funding. Navi Pillay, the head of the office, is in New York this week to report on her agency’s work to UN diplomats. Overwhelming her presentation is an unabashed plea for money. The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights has more work assigned to it from the Human Rights Council than it can afford.

Which made me wonder: Why then is the UN Human Rights Office expending so much money and effort on promoting sexual orientation and gender identity, something that isn’t a recognized human right?

At a meeting today, I asked Navi Pillay where the funding comes for its work on sexual orientation and gender identity. She said some countries have also asked about that. It comes from Nordic countries.

About one-third of the Human Rights Office’s overall expenditures is paid from its regular budget, she explained, while two-thirds comes from extra-budgetary sources.

Nordic countries – especially Norway – are unabashedly aggressive in pushing abortion. Now they are outsourcing – or laundering – their promotion of homosexuality through a UN agency.

This, of course, lowers the credibility of the High Commissioner on Human Rights. At the least, when it comes to sexual orientation, its work will be viewed merely as a hired gun.

All countries work through transnational institutions like the UN to pressure other countries. But this wholesale laundering is intended to hide the fingerprints of those pulling the strings. Taking advantage of the UN agency on human rights to give a veneer of legitimacy to a favored issue is a ploy that will discredit the field of human rights.