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EU urges new human rights envoy to focus on gay issues

Resolution calls for new special respresentative to focus on global LGBT rights
EU's new human rights ambassador will report to Catherine Ashton, the union's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy

The EU's future human rights ambassador is being urged to do more to promote LGBT rights across the world.

The new Special Representative for Human Rights is expected to be appointed by the Foreign Affairs Council at its meeting on 25 June.

In a resolution passed today (13 June), the European Parliament calls on the new representative to be granted 'a strong, independent and flexible mandate', which includes 'gender issues and the fight against discrimination in all its forms, whether based on disability, racial or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity.'

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, co-president of the LGBT Intergroup, welcomed the resolution.

She said: 'The human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are still violated across the world and the EU has never spoken out more strongly on these issues.'

She added: 'The Foreign Affairs Council should appoint someone who will take a strong and principled stance for indivisible human rights.'

The EU's special representatives support the work of Catherine Ashton, the union's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, tackling specific issues, troubled regions or countries.

Currently there are 10 of them, covering anything from Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process, the Southern Mediterranean region, as well as Sudan and South Sudan. The one for human rights would be the first special representative dedicated to a theme.

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