LGBTI Core Group statement to the Third Committee of the General Assembly during the General Human Rights Discussion

Argentina, on behalf of the LGBTI Core Group, delivered the first LGBTI Core Group statement to the Third Committee of the General Assembly during the General Human Rights Discussion. Below is the statement:

72th Session of the General Assembly
Third Committee
Item 72 (b,c). Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
Statement by the LGBTI Core Group
27 October 2017

Mr. Chairman,

     I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the Member States of the LGBTI Core Group.

     The LGBTI Core Group is an informal cross regional group established in 2008. The group is co-chaired by Argentina and The Netherlands, and includes Albania, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uruguay, the European Union, as well as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the non-governmental organizations Human Rights Watch and Outright Action International.

     Our overarching goal is to work within the United Nations framework on ensuring universal respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all individuals without distinction, including lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. Our particular focus is on protecting LGBTI persons from violence and discrimination.

     Protecting LGBTI individuals from violence and discrimination does not require the creation of new rights. The legal obligations of States to uphold the human rights of all individuals, including LGBTI persons, without distinction of any kind are well established in international human rights law on the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequently agreed international human rights treaties.

     The establishment of the mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution 32/2, has been a key achievement in this regard. In this regard, we express our support for the mandate of the Independent Expert and look forward for the presentation of his first report to the General Assembly.

     Mr. Chairman,

     Our countries share the strong and determined commitment to eliminating violence and discrimination against individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We are fully committed to tackling violations and abuses – both at the domestic level and at the global level, including through concerted engagement at the United Nations.

     Nevertheless, in all parts of the world – including in our own countries – LGBTI individuals continue to be victims of serious human rights violations and abuses. Discriminatory treatment is also widely reported, including in access to health care, education, employment and housing, which inhibit the full enjoyment of human rights.

     We commend the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in their work in raising global awareness of human rights challenges facing LGBTI individuals, and to mobilize support for measures to counter violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

     Cognizant of the challenges ahead, we also welcome positive developments in the UN. At the United Nations Human Rights Council, more than one hundred countries from all regions have voluntarily committed to take measures to end violence and discrimination linked to sexual orientation and gender identity, based on recommendations generated during the Universal Periodic Review.

     We also take this opportunity to express our support for and pay tribute to LGBTI human rights defenders and others engaged in combatting violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Their work, often carried out at considerable personal risk, plays a critical role in reporting on human rights violations, providing support to victims, and sensitizing Governments and public opinion. Through their work, LGBTI human rights defenders contribute to States adopting concrete measures to recognize and support their role and ensure their protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

     Mr. Chairman,

     We recognize the importance of continued dialogue between and within countries concerning how best to protect the human rights of LGBTI persons, taking into account regional initiatives. Here at the United Nations, we will keep working in order to seek common ground and engage in a spirit of open, respectful and constructive dialogue and cooperation with UN Member States and other stakeholders.

     I thank you.