United Nations Panel Issues Declaration of LGBT Rights
NCTE recognizes yesterday’s United Nations (U.N.) statement, written in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The declaration, which was announced at the first-ever meeting of the United Nations’ LGBT Core Group, comes almost two years after the U.N.’s first official report on the human rights violations faced lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Foreign ministers from 10 Member States called for the end of violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. They wrote:
“We, ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, France, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and United States, and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy – members of the LGBT Core Group at the United Nations – hereby declare our strong and determined commitment to eliminating violence and discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.”
The declaration recognized the continued discrimination faced by LGBT people in all regions of the world and called for U.N. Member States to repeal discriminatory laws and provide protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The statement also recognized the impact both domestic and foreign policies have on human rights violations, calling on governments, human rights and educational institutions and the public at large to fight homophobic and transphobic attitudes. Perhaps most powerfully, the declaration clearly stated that LGBT people “must” enjoy the same human rights as any other individual. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the meeting, saying:
“Advancing equality for LGBT persons isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s also fundamental to advancing democracy and human rights, which are at the foundation of American foreign policy, and I think the foreign policy of most of our colleagues, if not all of our colleagues here. We all know that as societies become more inclusive, they become better partners within the global community, and they become partners, all of whom are joined together by common values and common interests.”
NCTE applauds this statement of recognition and the Group’s commitment to addressing the violence and discrimination faced by the LGBT community. Read the full text of the declaration.