Dominica has no change of position regarding decriminalisation of homosexuality

ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – Dominica says it has not changed its position regarding the decriminalisation of homosexuality despite efforts by the European Union to push for the measure at the United Nations.

The island’s ambassador to the United Nations, Vince Henderson, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio Monday, said that Europe has been pushing for human rights aid and development.

“It has been a while since they have been developing this concept which is called human rights based aid and development. Their argument is that they have to recognise the rights of persons with different dispositions, “he said, noting that sexual orientation is the main contentious issue for Caribbean governments.

He said the issue involves gay rights and the decriminalising homosexuality.

“That is what they (Europe) have been pushing, not only at the level at Europe but throughout the United Nations. They placed it on the agenda at the last (United Nations General Assembly) session and I am sure they will be reintroducing it in this session.

“It is an issue that has been there, but clearly the government of Dominica has expressed its position on this matter, the government of Dominica continues to express its position which has not change and that is to say there has been no indication there has been change and therefore, I am the representative of the government at the United Nations and therefore my position is consistent with the government’s position.”

Henderson said that “clearly this is an issue that is very topical at the United Nations, not only for the Caribbean countries, the African countries have also raised their concerns and of course the Islamic countries and the Arab League have also raised their concerns about that.”

He said the issue would affect the region because ‘we are the recipient of aid from the European Union and therefore it is going to become an issue for us.”

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron last month announced that London would cut aid to countries that ban homosexuality unless they reform.

He conceded that “deep prejudices” in some countries meant the problem would persist for years.

Cameron said he had raised the issue with leaders of some of the states involved during the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Australia.

Britain was “putting the pressure on”, he said, adding “we are not just talking about it. We are also saying that British aid should have more strings attached.”

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