Intervention by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Argentine Republic, Minister Alejandro Verdier
Good afternoon dear colleagues, first of all I would like to express our satisfaction on having this space to exchange ideas and strategies on progressing human rights in relation to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics with LGBTI activists.
Argentina, together with the Netherlands, as co-chairs of the UN LGBTI Core Group is proud to have the possibility to discuss about LGBTI rights during this whole week through different events organized by Core Group members and OUTRIGHT. These meetings are extremely interesting to get a first-hand perspective of the challenges LGBTI people face around the world.
In that sense, I would like to thank OUTRIGHT for organizing the Advocacy Week Meeting that allows us to get to know new allies and friends. It is really inspiring to get to know the stories of people who are making an incredible impact worldwide, by promoting accountability and respect for international human rights standards.
In our work at the UN we are fully aware of the current challenges you face when performing your task. International human rights bodies have raised concerns about restrictions on defenders’ freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of movement, assembly and association as well as on their ability to access funding for their work. Restrictions can involve bans on dissemination of information, limitations on advocacy activities and obstacles to register organizations in countries where such registration is required.
In that regard, we believe that it is necessary to strengthen our efforts to protect your job so you can do your daily activities in a safer environment. That is why public recognition of the legitimacy of the work of Human Rights defenders is a first step to preventing or reducing threats and attacks against them.
Last month the Plenary of the Third Committee of the General Assembly adopted by consensus an important resolution on Human Rights Defenders- leadered by Norway – that includes important elements such us the recognition of their diverse situations and the contexts in which they operate, and the intersectional dimensions of violations and abuses they face. We celebrate this step forward and we are looking forward to advancing in more issues, such as the assistance to LGBTI NGOs that seek accreditation at the UN, among other issues.
Today we will have the chance to listen to three activists from Belize, South Africa and Fiji and we will also listen to three Third Committee experts that will share with us their experience in working with civil society at the UN. This panel will be moderated by our dearest and unique Jessica from Outright.
I look forward to listening to the presentations of our distinguished panelists and I’m sure that we will have an insightful discussion.
It is a fact that we would not be able to succeed in our work in the UN LGBTI Core Group without the crucial help of our partners from civil society. This is a great opportunity to thank you all for the amazing work you are doing.