As part of a revised development agreement with the European Union African, Caribbean and Pacific country representatives refused to agree to include a declaration to include gay rights as part of their respective territories. In discussing trade and other economic matters calls were made for improved development aid to member states and reduce trade barriers to African, Caribbean & Pacific countries. Ahead of the talks however the European Union called for illegal immigrants in each state to be returned to their homelands and an end to discrimination against gays.
A compromise was however reached on elements on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which forbids discrimination on race, opinions, sex and all other considerations.
The European Commissioner for development in a radio interview with the BBC Caribbean report said essentially that gay rights issues were particularly sensitive for some on the African, Caribbean and Pacific states as he understood it. Hence the failure to agree on the gay rights declaration presently. The treatise however will treat with whatever comes as political matters and will be dealt with through dialogue. African, Caribbean and Pacific countries however should know it is an issue important to the EU and gay discrimination is of concern.
No action or sanctions will be taken at this time on any of the member ACP states who may breach the understanding of sexual discrimination but dialogue will be employed to resolve said issues. If dialogue does not work however then they may move to the next step, he didn’t explain those steps in the interview.
The problem with this is that many states especially Jamaica may walk away from this thinking that the European Union is dictating what it wants and using economic might and aid to impose the homosexual agenda as had been repeatedly said by some local economists, politicians and commentators. Many have actually said that if aid or economic assistance should come from the European Union or by any other foreign body that included any hint to or demand for gay rights that Jamaica in particular should reject such assistance. The ordinary man is made to believe that the European Union and others are trying to homosexualize predominantly black nations and the rhetoric associated with this believe is often pushed by those who ought to know better, many in a bid to popularise themselves on radio, television or other mediums including parliament are used to push the anti gay agenda.
The Rastafarian community too has often used this belief in their rhetoric as well often combining the Catholic Church hinting at the recent set of paedophile cases with priests worldwide. They often juxtapose it to the biblical prophecy that the anti Christ will come from Europe and will be gay and want to enforce homosexuality on the rest of the world. I am sure that as this news makes its way to the mainstream media the discourse will commence on the very beliefs as hinted to above reinforced.
These European Union and African, Caribbean and Pacific countries development agreement discussions have been happening since 2002 under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, today’s discussions were to update the agreement as the gay rights issues was never actually really agreed upon at the previous sessions.
Most African, Caribbean and Pacific countries use this issue of gay rights to hold on to political power as we have seen here in Jamaica and other states. No sooner had the Jamaica Labour Party come to power in 2008 the Prime Minsters utterances on the BBC’s show Hardtalk where he went on the offensive outlining “Not in my Cabinet” hinting to no gays in his government when he was questioned by the then host whether he would have a gay person in his team. This act helped to sure up some lost ground post the election, but it was short lived as his own member Ernie Smith on his side lambasted gays as violent and rude at first it looked like a wonderful public relations gimmick to further portray the new administration as carrying the popular view but it did not go down well and soon backfired as the public, commentators, newspapers through their editorials and members from academia found it repulsive by virtue of his behaviour, choice of words and using the protection of parliament to discriminate against a group of citizens.
A little history folks
Peace and tolerance