The International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA) has finally won United Nations accreditation.

The group, which is one of the oldest international organisations fighting for gay rights, has been trying to gain recognition at the UN for years.

Yesterday, countries voted 30-16 to grant the group consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

ILGA gained consultative status in 1993 but lost it a year later.

Co-secretary general Renato Sabbadini said: “This is a historic day for our organisation, which heals a 17-year-old wound and we want to thank all, really all UN Members who voted in our favour.”

Countries which voted in favour: India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary.

Countries which voted against: Iraq, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ghana.

Abstentions: Guatemala, Mauritius, Philipines, Rwanda, Bahamas, Ivory Coast