On Tuesday, R20 mentioned a proposed United Nations Human Rights Council initiative to urge the international community to combat anti-LGBT discrimination and violence. The declaration was later adopted by some 85 countries in a Joint Statement entitled “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based On Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.“
The full list of signatories AFTER THE JUMP ...
The international declaration called on states to "take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
Colombia, Slovenia and the United States co-chaired the core group of countries that worked to submit the statement.
— This statement adds new references not seen in previous LGBT statements at the UN, including: welcoming attention to LGBT issues as a part of the Universal Periodic Review process, noting the increased attention to LGBT issues in regional human rights fora, encouraging the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue addressing LGBT issues, and calls for states to end criminal sanctions based on LGBT status.
— 20 countries joined this statement that were neither signatory to the 2006 or 2008 statements.
— The statement garnered support from every region of the world, including 21 signatories from the Western Hemisphere, 43 from Europe, 5 from Africa, and 16 from the Asia/Pacific region.
"We are proud to recognize [the] historic statement, signed by a record 85 nations, reaffirming the rights of all people—regardless of who they are and whom they love," United Nations Ambassador Susan E. Rice said in a statement emailed to R20."Nations than ever believe that freedom from violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity must end."
"Countries around the world participated, including many that had never supported such efforts. And we hope that even more countries will step up," added Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. "Gay rights are human rights and human rights are gay rights."
The White House also released a statement supporting the declaration. "The President is proud of the work we have done to build international consensus on this critical issue and is committed to continuing our determined efforts to advance the human rights of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity."
This was the second foreign policy initiative in as many days regarding global LGBT issues from the Administration. On Monday, the U.S. and Brazil announced they will promote LGBT rights among member nations of the Organization of American States.
Five African nations signed the declaration: Central African Republic, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Seychelles and South Africa. Several Caribbean nations signed as well, including Cuba, Dominica and the Dominican Republic. Their participation is very encouraging.
Perennial human rights abusers such as China, Russia, Belarus, Jamaica and Nigeria did not sign.
The full list of signatories and text of the statement AFTER THE JUMP ...