LGBT health issues were removed from the agenda of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) board meeting, after Egypt and other member states of the Eastern Mediterranean and Africa objected.
Egypt’s Health Minister Mohamed Mostafa Hamed boasted yesterday (30 May) that his country ‘succeeded’ in deleting an item on improving the health of LGBT people from the agenda of the WHO’s 133rd Executive Board meeting that was held in Geneva.
In his speech to WHO’s board meeting, the minister said that Egypt’s opposition to the inclusion of the topic was becasue being gay is ‘contrary’ to religious, cultural, moral, and social values.
‘Egypt believes that it is not right to involve the organization in any issues that are contentious and incompatible with recognized religions, values, and principles,’ he said.
‘Such issues are out of scope of the work and policy area of the WHO, and rather fall under the authority of the Human Rights Council,’ he was quoted as saying by the daily Al-Marsy Al-Youm.
Speaking with Gay Star News, Ali, a 24-year-old law student from Cairo criticized the minister: ‘Once again our new leaders fail to live up to the ideals that led them into power by the revolution.
‘Egypt’s health minister thinks that anti-gay slogans will succeed to divert public attention from the appalling state of the health care and poverty in our country and win praise from other countries that disrespect human rights.
‘Even worse, by instigating such a move he’s not only aiming to hurt LGBT people across the world, particularly in the developing countries, but contributing to ignorance about how repression leads to higher HIV infection which is a growing problem in Egypt, the Arab world and Africa.’
Joseph Aoun, manager of Beirut’s Bardo gay bar, slammed Hamed, stating: ‘when governments are of such magnitude failure, they consider doing such things as success.
‘The new Egypt is struggling under the rule of ignorant, they perceive not taking care of the health of LGBT people as a triumph, under the name of religion and morality, while morally even a dog is the interest of human health…
‘Hamed’s comments demonstrate how humanity can reach its lowest level unfortunately.’