An argument in the UN about LGBT people could lead to a budget of US$885 million not getting approved. African and Arab countries are putting their feet down.

A dispute over the terminology for LGBT people could cause the $885 million budget of the United Nations Labor Organization (ILO) to be rejected, according to sources.

A number of African and Arab countries refuse to approve a budget for 2024-2025, since it contains some controversial wording on gender and sexual policy.

According to the plan in the budget, the UN body must be obliged to introduce measures to prevent discrimination and exclusion based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Not all countries think this is a good idea.

NTB-Reuters reported on Wednesday morning.

A total of 50 African and Arab countries aim to reject the wording on sexuality and gender in the budget presented at the ILO conference in Geneva. They believe a “non-universally agreed language” is used, according to a draft seen by Reuters.

The conflict represents a difficult dilemma for ILO chief Gilbert Hougbo of Togo, the UN body’s first African chief, who took office in October 2022 and seeks to promote social justice.

Should he support the African countries? Or should he support his employer in the UN body?

However, Western countries have opposed the changes in the wording, insisting that it should be as proposed. This is because they believe that changes here will send a worrying signal to LGBT people at a time when their rights are threatened in several countries, including Uganda.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni last week approved one of the world’s strictest laws against LGBT people, which will, among other things, make homosexual acts (albeit in very special cases) punishable by death.

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