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Ireland Votes No to Narrow Definition of the Family at UN Human Rights Council

One Family is disappointed about the narrow definition of family contained in Resolution A/HRC/26/L.20/Rev.1 that was passed at the UN recently, especially in this year of the 20th anniversary of International Year of the Family, but welcomes that Ireland voted NO.  Previous UN resolutions on the family include language, agreed by all States, that recognised that “various forms of the family exist”.

At the 38th Meeting, 26th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council, Ambassador Patricia O’Brien – Ireland’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and other International Organisations at Geneva – said: “Families can form an important framework for the promotion of human rights, particularly of family members themselves. … for policies to be successful they should also be inclusive. If family is a living dynamic entity and can take many forms, we believe that we must all recognise this diversity, and indeed we have done so consistently over many years in many UN resolutions which recognise that in different cultural, political and social systems various forms of the family exist. We regret that the Resolution before us today fails to take account of the various forms of families which are a vital part of all of our society. For these reasons we will vote no.”

A video clip of the Ambassador’s presentation can be viewed here (scroll to no. 18 on the right). The results of the vote were: ADOPTED (26 YES / 14 NO / 06 ABSTENTIONS).

Organisations including Eurochild, of which One Family is a member, issued this statement:

Discussion of “protection of the family” at Human Rights Council must reflect diversity and focus on human rights

Our organizations, representing a wide range of civil society from all regions of the world, urge the UN Human Rights Council to ensure the Panel discussion entitled “protection of the family” scheduled to take place in September reflects the diversity of family forms and includes a focus on the promotion and protection of human rights of individuals within the family unit.

The decision to hold the Panel came in a resolution passed on 26 June 2014, as a result of the deeply flawed “protection of the family” initiative led by Egypt and other States at the UN Human Rights Council … Click to continue reading the Statement in full.