Delivered on June 18th, 2018.
Speaker: Kim Vance, ARC International
Thank you, Mr. President.
ARC International welcomes the first report of Victor Madrigal-Borloz. In particular, we commend the section on “acknowledgement of responsibility”, and we are pleased that the Independent Expert has highlighted both the legacy of colonial laws and the “deep regret” expressed by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the harm caused by criminalizing laws exported by the UK to all parts of the Commonwealth. We encourage other former colonial powers to follow this example and we call upon all States which continue to criminalize gender identity and expression and sexual orientation to remove these colonial era laws throughout the Commonwealth, La Francophonie and elsewhere. They have no place in independent sovereign nations and, as you point out in your report, constitute a violation of international law.
We are also pleased that in this section the Independent Expert notes the apology given by my country, Canada, and hope that his work around acknowledgement continues and expands to more broadly explore methods of reparation for the damage caused to LGBTI communities worldwide.
Mr. President, the conclusions of many prior Special Rapporteurs discussing issues of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression have broadened thinking about human rights and led human rights discourse in new directions. These directions have sedimented into international human rights law through the adoption of the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 in November of 2017. We hope the newly appointed Independent Expert takes the opportunity to build upon the excellent work of the Special Procedures and use tools like the Yogyakarta Principles plus 10 to advance a global understanding of violations affecting persons on grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics and state obligations to address these.