The African group was by contrast more divided with eight countries voting against and four abstaining. In 2016, even without South African leadership there were four abstentions on the resolution from the African region. No African state which was not a member of the OIC choose to explain their no vote. The relative silence of the non OIC African states could possibly indicate a greater space for changes in viewpoint that was not effectively leveraged. The one state which could have effectively leveraged its leadership role to engage other non OIC African states to try and ensure at the least an abstention was South Africa. However, South Africa was obviously not comfortable with the 2016 resolution and did not do anything to ensure the success of the resolution. Thus in 2014 when there was South African leadership, Congo and Sierra Leone abstained. In 2016, even without South African leadership Ghana, Namibia and Botswana abstained. This only alerts us to the possibilities that were not tapped in 2016.
This lack of leadership by South Africa had the unfortunate impact of further amplifying the most homophobic voices on the African continent during the vote. Nigeria played this role to perfection. As Nigeria observed:
Nigeria has legislated against LGBT. Nigeria opposed it in this Council in 2011. Nigeria has no ill-feelings against those States that practice same-sex attitudes and so on. All Nigeria is saying is that its laws don’t accept it, and I think it goes for a number of countries that have made statements in rebuttal of this particular resolution.
The vast majority of nations have not accepted LGBT rights. In a world with population of over 7.4 billion, how can we say that the concept of human rights for LGBT people is right given a small fraction identify themselves as LGBT. My government and other governments seriously object to any attempt to consider LGBT rights as human rights. And we have legislated against LGBT because it offends the culture, religion and natural laws.
We object to this claim that a vote against this resolution is to instigate violence. We say “No no no”. The opposition to this resolution is to ensure the sanctity of other rights, such as rights to religious beliefs, culture and supremacy of natural laws. Certain unnatural behaviors that pose threat to natural laws must be abolished; otherwise the concepts of marriage and family will fall apart.