An effort to suspend the work of a new United Nations office to investigate and report on violence and discrimination against sexual minorities failed on Monday.

Members of the United Nations Human Rights Council narrowly (23-18) approved creation of the office in June.

African states led by Botswana had called on the General Assembly's human rights committee to delay creation of the office. On September 30, Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand was appointed as the office's first expert. The African states also sought to suspend Muntarbhorn's activities.

After removing language introduced by the African states, the amendment cleared the committee with a 94-3 vote with 80 abstentions, the AP reported.

A final vote in the General Assembly is expected to take place next month.

Charles Ntwaagae, Botswana's ambassador to the UN, reiterated Africa's opposition, saying that the Human Rights Council was ignoring race- and religion-based discrimination while focusing on people's “sexual interests and behaviors.”