Ban Ki-moon urges more UN work on gay rights

United Nations Secretary General praises first controversial Human Rights Council debate on LGBT issues and wants more

Ban Ki-moon urges more UN work on gay rights
10 September 2012

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for more work to be done on ‘discrimination and violence’ towards gay, bi and trans people.

Speaking in Geneva today to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council (HRC), he highlighted the first debate the HRC held on the issue earlier in March.

The discussion in March was eagerly welcomed by countries like the USA and France but criticized by Pakistan who demanded it should be the last time LGBT issues were raised.

Countries including Thailand boasted they were making progress on gay and trans rights but the United Arab Group said they were against the whole idea of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Ban was keen to praise the commission for holding the debate and wants more done.

In a wide-ranging speech, he listed work in this area as one of ‘five clear challenges that warrant your attention’.

He told the delegates: ‘In particular, I welcome the groundbreaking, first-ever intergovernmental discussion, in March this year, on discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

‘This should not be a one-time event. I urge you to deepen your engagement on this issue so that protection and dignity truly reach all members of the human family.’

He went on to add that more should also be done on women’s rights.

‘Unleashing the power of women will usher in a new era of respect for human rights,’ he explained to the diplomats.

His comments come at a time of increasing diplomatic debate and action around gay and trans rights by the UN, EU, US State Department and others.

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