ILGA awards UN High Commissioner Navy Pillay
ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, has awarded today UN High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay “LGBTI Friend of the Year 2014” in a ceremony at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, on the occasion of the launch of the 2014 issue of the Annual State Sponsored Homophobia Report and map, at the presence of the UN Ambassadors of Argentina and Brazil.
“We are here to recognize – said Gloria Careaga, ILGA’s co-Secretary General, to the High Commissioner – the outstanding leadership you’ve shown in not only raising awareness on SOGI and Intersex issues, but also in standing firm on the principle that all human beings are born free and equal.”
“Thank you for honouring me with this award, – replied the High Commissioner Pillay – I am indeed an LGBTI friend. Like the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am convinced that the struggle to protect and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons is one of the great neglected human rights challenges of our time.”
It was recognized by both that there have been important achievements for the protection of LGBTI rights, many governments and social organizations have made a wonderful work, but there are still important challenges to face: we have to be strategic and careful not to lose what we have won, and press deeply with the next steps forward.
During the presentation of the 2014 State-Sponsored Homophobia Report, co-author Lucas Paoli Itaborahy, highlighted how 78 countries in the world still have legislation criminalizing people on the basis of sexual orientation, including the 5 countries which apply the death penalty for this “crime”.
“This report truly has great information – commented High Commissioner Pillay – tracking the developments in various States. This is going to be truly useful for our office as well. It is a great source of information.”
“In the recent intergovernmental discussions – said Gloria Careaga – it has become clear to all that there is a new geopolitical map in which politics and economics are playing a complex game among governments and alliances, where, for instance, Latin America, with the leadership of Argentina and Uruguay, seems to be the progressive region and stands in contrast to a very conservative neighbour in the Caribbean (with the exception of Cuba), known to be allied with conservative forces from other regions, while the African Coalition (with the exception of South Africa) opposes any SOGI (sexual orientation/gender identity) mention, as do the Arabic countries (led by Egypt), with Russia and the Vatican not far behind. Accusations of “agenda intervention” and “western vision imposition” usually follow, as if to indicate that certain states would rather publicize their diplomatic distaste for atypical bodies, genders, and sexualities instead of endorsing the protection of human rights and wellbeing of everyone.”
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