Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, urged the Council to continue its work to end discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.
Uruguay, speaking on behalf of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia, noted that they were focused on combatting discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons. In particular, Uruguay supported the efforts of the Office of the High Commissoner for Human Rights to combat homophobia and transphobia through its public education campaign “Free & Equal”. It is fundamental to work on the change of stereotypes that damaged and threatened the dignity of LGBTI individuals. Uruguay also welcomed the organization of the meeting of experts to debate the specific human rights of intersex persons.
Pakistan, speaking on behalf of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, stressed the need to recognize that cultural and religious diversities were not an intention to deny the universality of rights. It meant that one should not attempt to pursue as universal values things that were not universally acceptable.
Nigeria urged the Council to focus on its mandate and not get distracted by matters that offend the sensibilities of majority of its members States, particularly those attitudes that contradict their religious and cultural beliefs and were repugnant to natural laws. Nigeria rejected the method of the UN system to use campaign video to showcase LGBT and stamps. Nigeria believed this is not the mandate of the UN; nor is this technique in the interest of its larger membership and the majority who abhors this attitude.
Ecuador recognised the work done by the High Commissioner on fighting discrimination based on race, as well as sexual orientation, disabilities, and other differences.
Chile noted that the fight against discrimination broadly means ensuring that no one is violated or discriminated because they are women or men, national or not nationals, migrants or refugees, persons with disabilities, LGBTI individuals, African descendants (…).
Brazil noted that, it particularly appreciated the efforts to eliminate violence and discrimination against women, LGBTI people, migrants, refugees and children.
Australia noted that it believes that it is critical we all do what we can to protect vulnerable groups, including women and girls, LGBTI individuals, people with disabilities, and people experiencing violence and conflict.
Argentina noted that it appreciated the work of the Office regarding inclusion; under a framework of dialogue and understanding. Argentina believes we can move towards agreement that the race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity of the persons is not an argument for discrimination. In particular, Argentina would like to emphasize the “Free & Equal” campaign that promotes tolerance and respect for others, and Argentina encourages the Office of the High Commissioner to continue its efforts in favor of inclusion.
Slovenia welcomed the engagement of the Office of the High Commissioner in addressing human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
For further information on HRC31:
Arvind Narrain | Geneva Director
Kim Vance | Executive Director
All documents referenced in this Report can be found here.