United Nations bodies and agencies have been marking the day regularly and always passionately
This year again their leaders provide inspirational statements of support to sexual and gender diversities
The UN Human Rights Office today launches a new video as part of its Free & Equal campaign against homophobia and transphobia just three days ahead of IDAHOT.
The new 2-minute video, “Faces”, celebrates the contributions that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people make to families and local communities around the world. There are no actors, just real people filmed in their workplaces and homes – among them, a fire-fighter, a police officer, a teacher, an electrician, a doctor and a volunteer, as well as prominent straight ally UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Singer Sara Bareilles is lending her support and has contributed the song “Brave” as the soundtrack.
The video can be viewed here: www.unfe.org/faces–10. It will be played throughout the day today on the giant Reuters and NASDAQ screens in Times Square in New York City.
In addition, Ban Ki-moon just published a LinkedIn blogpost entitled “Wanted: Allies in the Fight against Homophobia and Transphobia” that emphasizes the need for action to eradicate homophobic and transphobic discrimination in the workplace. The post can be accessed here:
The new video and the SG’s blogpost follow yesterday’s publication of a joint statement for IDAHOT by UN special procedures mandate holders and regional human rights bodies, available here:
Adding her voice to this call for justice and equality, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), pointed to evidence that shows that LGBTI young people are overwhelmingly exposed to stigma, discrimination and violence, with tragic consequences, including lifelong trauma and self-harm.
As for UNAIDS, which has been marking the Day since the beginning, Director Michel Sidibé has once again issued a supportive statement, saying “We cannot tolerate picking and choosing rights in a modern society—a society where diversity is celebrated”
For Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) “LGBTI people, like all human beings, have the right to live their lives free from fear, violence, discrimination, persecution, and inequality. Sustainable development requires full participation by everyone”. Read her full statement here
In her IDAHOT Statement, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka affirmed “The assault on LGBTI rights is an assault on freedoms everywhere. As a global community, we stand by the commitment of the United Nations to work towards a world free of discrimination and violence for all people”
Locally, UN agencies have been very involved in organising activities. In Thailand, the IDAHOT events were supported by all UN agencies present in the country, which released a special statement in addition.
Other international institutions have also made specific addresses for IDAHOT, such as World Bank Director Jim Kim