SC: Integrating Human Rights of LGBTI persons

Statement by the UN LGBTI Core Group in the Arria-formula meeting on how to better integrate consideration of the human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) persons into the Security Council's mandate, 20 March 2023.

The statement was delivered by the representative of Timor Leste.


I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of the following Member States of the LGBTI Core Group: Albania, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malta, Montenegro, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Timor Leste, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the United States of America, Uruguay, and 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 International. The group is co-chaired by Argentina and The Netherlands.

The LGBTI Core Group is proud to co-sponsor this second ever Arria formula meeting focused on the need to integrate the human rights of LGBTI persons into the Security Council mandate. We would like to express full solidarity with LGBTI persons and acknowledge the particular challenges they face in conflict situations and other emergency and crisis situations.

A person’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression or sex characteristic often increases the risk of becoming a target during conflict and crises situations. LGBTI persons consequently have been victims of sexual and gender based violence during conflict, including rape, sexual slavery, forced prostitution, forced pregnancy, forced abortion, enforced sterilization, and forced marriage. In situations across the Security Council’s agenda, LGBTI persons are uniquely vulnerable to targeting by armed groups and other perpetrators, or are marginalised in peace and reconstruction efforts.

Despite the risks, we have seen LGBTI human rights defenders stay in conflict zones to help their communities survive by opening shelters for the displaced, creating programs to distribute food, medicines, and other aid, and offering psychological and legal help.

Member States and other stakeholders are learning how to harness this expertise, and how to incorporate LGBTI persons in conflict resolution and reconstruction, as well as peacebuilding efforts. In Colombia, the inclusion of LGBTI persons in the peace process was critical to informing the centrality of human rights and gender lenses in the 2016 Final Agreement.

The members of the UN LGBTI Core Group recognize the interdependence between peace and security, human rights and the 2030 Agenda’s principle of leaving no one behind, in particular SDG 16 on peace, justice and strong institutions.

Member States should recognize that all individuals, including LGBTI persons, are unique with different experiences and needs, and that any support to assisting and empowering must be contextualized, paying particular attention to multiple and intersecting vulnerabilities.

The Core Group urges Member States to facilitate the inclusive and meaningful participation of LGBTI persons in decision-making processes that affect them, in the context of conflict and crisis situations, including in transitional justice processes. The UN also has a role to play in ensuring that field missions are sensitive to the specific needs of LGBTI persons on the ground.

As cosponsor of this event, the LGBTI Core Group urges all Member States and relevant stakeholders to meaningfully incorporate the human rights of LGBTI persons living in conflict and crisis situations in all of their considerations, and to advocate for their participation in the peace and security agenda and across the work of the Security Council.