Russia blocks youth policy document after European delegates suggest sexual minorites clause
26.09.12 14:53 By News Dept.
The issue of sexual minorities is not a priority issue in Russia Photo: iStockPhoto
Russia has blocked the adoption of the final declaration on youth rights at the 9th conference of Ministers of Youth Policy, comprised of members of the Council of Europe.
The document was not ratified by the Russian delegation because the European delegates unexpectedly suggested including an article about the rights of sexual minorities and then go on to make it the key article of the declaration. Because of this change, the Russian delegation refused to sign the document and, for the first time in the history of the conference, the final declaration remained unsigned by one of the parties.
"The fact that we [all] did not adopt the final declaration may not be understood in the Council of Europe," said Sweden's minister on gender equality Nyamko Sabouni after the meeting.
The Russian delegation has not yet commented on its refusal to sign the declaration, but one of the Russian delegates, Alexander Stradze, wrote a comment in his Twitter feed.
"The Russian delegation thinks that this topic is not pressing for youth policy development. There are other priorities," Stradze wrote.
"However, we respect the principles of the European Convention on Human Rights, prohibiting any discrimination on this issue," he added.
The 9th Conference of Ministers of Youth Policy, comprised of member states of the Council of Europe, began on Monday in St. Petersburg. The Russian delegation was headed by the Minister of Education and Science, Dmitry Livanov.
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