High-level discussion at the high-level segment of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly
“Building Back Better: how to create a virtuous circle for the inclusion of all LGBTI persons”
EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Eamon Gilmore
23 September 2020
Just one week ago, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, made her first State of the European Union address. She said: We “will not rest when it comes to building a Union of equality. A Union where you can be who you are and love who you want – without fear of recrimination or discrimination. Because being yourself is not your ideology. It’s your identity. And no one can ever take it away”.
There could not be a clearer or simpler statement of the European Union’s commitment to the principle of equality and non-discrimination for LGBTI persons.
The intersectional perspective has consistently informed the Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025, the Action Plan on Integration and Inclusion, and the EU strategic frameworks on disability, LGBTI+, Roma inclusion and children’s rights.
The EU is now renewing its domestic policy framework on equality. The first ever LGBTI+ Equality Strategy will be adopted by the end of this year, providing a new framework to advance towards an LGBTI+ equal and inclusive society. One of its main objectives will be to enhance LGBTI+ equality mainstreaming in other policy areas. Particular attention will be paid to the most vulnerable, including trans- and intersex persons. The strategy will be implemented using intersectionality as a cross-cutting principle.
For our external action, the EU adopted the Guidelines on non-discrimination in 2019, which set political and conceptual guidance. They reinforce the blueprint for action provided by our LGBTI Guidelines adopted back in 2013.
LGBTI rights are still among the biggest human rights issues of this generation. And it is a human rights issue for the whole world.