Thank you for convening this historic meeting.
Like other delegations, our sincere thanks to all three briefers, for your thoughtful and touching insights and your forward-looking and valuable suggestions! We heard you well and we will follow up on it!
Let me begin by assuring all LGBTI persons who have become victims of violence, stigmatization or discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity of my country’s heartfelt sympathy and solidarity. Today, in the year of the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, you, the LGBTI community worldwide, are among those at the forefront of the struggle towards the true universality of human rights. We are with you in this struggle: for your rights, for respect and justice.
This struggle, however, is not solely a UN affair; it must start at home, in our respective countries.
Last year, Germany appointed its first ever Queer Commissioner. He oversees the implementation of my country’s first LGBTI National Action Plan, which seeks to improve the situation of LBGTI persons in Germany. At international level, also last year, together with Mexico, we assumed the role of co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition. And here in New York, we are a proud founding member of the LGBTI Core Group.
Despite our joint efforts, however, we are still witnessing, unabated, the same repression, stigmatization and violence against LGBTI persons in many parts of the world. In a number of countries, a worrisome roll-back of hard-won rights for the LGBTI community is underway. We heard the harrowing account from Mr Akbari on the situation in Afghanistan. Thank you Mr Akbari for reminding us of the realities of life for the Afghan LGBTI community.
So, can the UN, especially the Security Council, do something to improve the situation of LGBTI persons? We believe, yes, absolutely, and a lot. We heard some excellent proposals today, we would like to highlight three short additional thoughts.
First, the Security Council has recognized throughout the years how human rights violations against marginalized communities – such as women and girls, persons with disabilities, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous people, youth and children – can fuel conflicts, thereby aggravating threats to international peace and security. The Security Council should continue to pursue this path and extend that exactly same approach to human rights violations against LGBTI persons, wherever applicable.
Second, with regard to post-conflict and transitional situations, we agree with the latest report of the Independent Expert – for whose tireless work throughout the years we are very grateful – that LGBTI persons should be active partners in transitional processes, including through specific and concrete mechanisms to make sure that their voices are being heard.
Finally, and more broadly speaking, we have to continue our efforts to improve the respect for the human rights of LGBTI persons in all relevant UN fora, including by advancing LGBTI sensitive language, wherever possible.