WASHINGTON: The US has voiced its disappointment with India for voting against the benefits of same-sex partners at the UN.
Addressing the gathering at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, US ambassador to India Richard Verma talked about Strategic Plus Partnership between India and the US but maintained that it was not always that the two countries need to agree with each other.
“We were disappointed, for example, by India’s support this week for the attempt to strip benefits from UN staff in same-sex relationships. We will continue to support the rights of LGBT individuals in India, in international institutions, and around the world,” he said.
India was among the 43 countries along with China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia that voted in support of a Russia-drafted resolution that proposed removing benefits for same-sex partners of UN staff. But the resolution failed to pass in the General Assembly committee after 80 nations opposed it.
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New Delhi, however, justified its move to vote in favour of the resolution saying it was against the unilateral decision of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to change the system of entitlements without consulting member countries.
Verma, in his maiden public appearance in the city after becoming the top American diplomat in New Delhi, however, welcomed India’s constructive leadership in global challenges and supported its aspiration to become a leading power.
“As India’s strategic plus partner, we support India’s aspiration to become a leading power…We also welcome India’s constructive leadership on global challenges. We support greater Indian participation in multilateral institutions, including its candidacy for permanent membership on a reformed UN Security Council and its eventual membership in all four multilateral export control regimes,” he said.