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Saturday 10 October 2015

Ban Ki-moon commits to fighting LGBT discrimination

Posted in: International News
By Daily News staff - 1st October 2015

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon spoke at the a high level LGBT core group event, reaffirming his dedication to fighting LGBT discrimination.

In a bold statement deliver at the 'Leaving No-One Behind: Equality & Inclusion in the Post-2015 Development Agenda' event, he pledged his support for the LGBT community saying; “I stand with the gay teen who is bullied… the transgender woman denied work … the lesbian subjected to vicious sexual assault.”

“This is not just a personal commitment – it is an institutional one,” he declared.

Thanking the LGBT core group for standing with him in defending human rights for all people, he spoke of their work as invaluable in working towards the mission of the UN.

Mentioning the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by world leaders, he spoke of one guiding principle; to leave no one behind. “We will only realize this vision if we reach all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” he said.

“In too many countries, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people are among the poorest, most marginalized members of society.”

He went on to speak about the hurdles facing LGBT people; “We need more data to get a clear picture – but we already know that gay affluence is largely a myth. Studies show that gay and lesbian people suffer disproportionate discrimination and abuse. They are rejected by their families… kicked out of their homes … and pushed out of school. Too many of our LGBT brothers and sisters are jobless, homeless and struggling to survive.

“The situation of transgender people is even worse overall. They have higher rates of homelessness, poverty and hunger.”

He also spoke of “liberating” the LGBT community and said; “The investments we make in eliminating intolerance and hate will bring huge benefits across the global agenda.”

Many have criticised the Sustainable Development Goals lack of LGBT representation. The goals, which aim to end poverty, combat climate change and reduce inequality by 2030, make no specific mention of LGBT rights despite calls from many nations to do so. The goals do however include an expansive anti-discrimination provision, under which LGBT rights will be covered.

The text states that all nations must ensure “human rights and fundamental freedoms are enjoyed by all, without discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, colour, sex, age, language, religion, culture, migration status, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic situation, birth, disability or other status.”

Ki-moon ended his speech at the Core Group Event by reaching out the the LGBT community;  “I say to members of the LGBT community: the United Nations will always stand with you in your fight for recognition, respect and rights.”

Earlier this year Ki-moon received the Harvey Milk Award for the UN’s Free&Equal campaign against homophobia and transphobia.

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