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Item 8

Norway's statement during the General Debate

Mr. President,

Norway is pleased to be a sponsor of the Joint Statement on violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity read by Brazil.

The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action declares that ‘human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings’. Yet, we see that LGBTI-persons continue to be denied their birthright in all parts of the world.

As stated by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: “It is an outrage that so many countries continue to criminalize people simply for loving another human being of the same sex. These laws must go.”

The first resolution by this Council, expressing serious concern about discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity, has provided a solid foundation for addressing discrimination and violence.

In 2013, South Africa and Norway co-hosted an international conference in Oslo on human rights, sexual orientation and gender identity. It gathered more than 200 participants from 84 countries in all regions of the world. This Conference identified key human rights challenges and responses, providing input to the UN Human Rights Council.

The High Commissioners second report shows that there have been several positive developments at international, regional and national levels since 2011.

•          3 countries have decriminalized consensual same-sex relationships

•          14 countries have adopted or strengthened anti-discrimination or hate crime laws

•          12 countries have introduced marriage or civil unions for same-sex couples.

 

The report concludes, however, that the overall picture remains one of continuing, pervasive abuse, harassment and discrimination affecting LGBTI people in all regions.

The protection of human rights defenders i crucial. In some countries, those who stand up for the rights of LGBTI people risk being threatened, imprisoned or even killed. That is why Norway supports organizations that offer concrete security measures to human rights defenders and enable them to continue their important work.

Norway is pleased to see that non-discrimination of LGBTI-people are firmly included as a recurring topic on the international agenda, and increasingly so. The Human Rights Council must continue to play its part through regular debate on how the international community best can combat violence and discrimination linked to sexual orientation and gender identity.