FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 September 2018
OutRight Action International Reacts to President Trump’s Address at the UN General Assembly
Today, President Donald Trump addressed world leaders at the opening of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City. President Trump’s speech prioritized national sovereignty over global cooperation, reiterated the dissatisfaction of the United States with the Human Rights Council, and stressed that the US rejects the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Additionally, President Trump emphasized the right of every nation to pursue “its own customs, beliefs and traditions.” Apart from stating his discontentment with the Human Rights Council, there was no mention of human rights.
Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, reacted to President Trump’s address:
Like last year, President Trump’s message at the UN General Assembly prioritized national sovereignty over global community and accountability. He went so far as to say that every nation should prioritize their own customs, beliefs, and traditions, a notion that directly contradicts 70 years of evidence about what makes all people in all countries thrive.
As an international LGBTIQ human rights organization, we know that sovereignty and claims to tradition, belief, and custom, have been used repeatedly to trample on the human rights of LGBTIQ people, women, people of color, religious minorities, and anyone driven to the margins of society. These are excuses States use to advance a patriarchal, nationalistic agenda.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN 70 years ago, affords rights to every individual. These fundamental rights should never be compromised regardless of where someone lives, or the so-called customs and traditions in those countries.
President Trump is short sighted when he asks nations to “choose a future of patriotism.” That ignores the fact that we are all different in some way. Plurality and diversity make all our nations stronger. The future lies in embracing our collective differences.
Every day around the world, LGBTIQ people’s human rights and dignity are abused in ways that shock the conscience. The stories of their struggles and their resilience are astounding, yet remain unknown—or willfully ignored—by those with the power to make change. OutRight Action International, founded in 1990 as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, works alongside LGBTIQ people in the Global South, with offices in six countries, to help identify community-focused solutions to promote policy for lasting change. We vigilantly monitor and document human rights abuses to spur action when they occur. We train partners to expose abuses and advocate for themselves. Headquartered in New York City, OutRight is the only global LGBTIQ-specific organization with a permanent presence at the United Nations in New York that advocates for human rights progress for LGBTIQ people.
Published on September 25, 2018 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization