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United Nations

Joint Statement by the UN LGBTI Core Group

United Nations General Debate - Joint Statement

30 September 2021


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, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, 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. In addition to the Members of the UN LGBTI Core Group this statement is joined by Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Greece, Honduras, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Panama, Peru, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine.


Our overarching goal is to work within the United Nations to ensure universal respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction, regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or sex characteristics, and with a particular focus on protection from violence and discrimination. The LGBTI Core Group understands that the full and effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda, which is intimately linked with the recognition of human rights, as well as the realization of its principle of leaving no one behind, is only possible with the full decriminalization of all sexual orientations and gender identities globally.

Since the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, nine countries have decriminalized consensual same sex relations and one country has decriminalized the existence of trans persons. However, today, while we are already in the decade of action, 68 countries still criminalize consensual same sex relations de jure and de facto, 13 explicitly criminalize trans persons and further 37 countries criminalize trans persons through vagrancy, prostitution, morality, public nuisance or other laws.

We express our full support to the mandate of the United Nations Independent Expert on Protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and look forward to the upcoming presentation of his report and his continued engagement with the Committee. As the Independent Expert mentions in the report, decriminalization of same-sex consensual activity is part of the duty of States, when complying with their international obligations, to address acts of discriminatory violence.

We also agree with the Expert’s view that social inclusion requires dismantling all legislation that criminalizes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, and that negates a person’s identity. Everyone should live free and equal independently of who they are and who they love.

The LGBTI Core Group strongly supports the call of the Secretary General that “so long as people face criminalization, bias and violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics, we must redouble our efforts to end these violations.” In this decade of action and delivery for sustainable development we must put an end to the multiple and intersecting forms of violence and discrimination faced by LGBTI persons. In order to really leave no one behind, we call for full decriminalization of sexual orientation and gender identity by 2030.

I thank you.

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