Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,
Mr. Victor Madrigal-Borloz, 26 October 2021
Statement on behalf of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden
Delivered by Mr. Ágúst Flygenring, Permanent Mission of Iceland to the UN in New York
Thank you, Mr. Chair,
I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the eight Nordic-Baltic countries.
First, let me express our strong support for the Independent Expert’s mandate and our appreciation of his report on Gender: Practices of Exclusion.
We believe that the advancement of equal rights of LGBTI individuals is a prerequisite to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, a key feature of which is the underlying principle and commitment of “leaving no one behind”.
Everyone should be able to live free and equal independently of who they are and who they love. Penalizing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity is no less hateful than discriminating against a person on the basis of their race, religion, or culture.
The fact that consensual same-sex relationships are still criminalized in almost 70 states is tragic beyond words. We agree with the Independent Expert that decriminalization of same-sex consensual activity is part of the duty of States, when complying with their international obligations, to address acts of discriminatory violence.
We also agree with the Expert’s view that violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are enabled through systems of repression - based on the idea that diversity is somehow harmful to society - and that these systems must be dismantled to foster social inclusion of LGBTI persons and see a much-needed change in negative attitudes and stereotypes.
None of our societies are perfect but our diversity should be celebrated, not sanctioned.
Mr. Independent Expert,
What steps would you advise governments to take to dismantle these systems of repression and to foster social inclusion of LGBTI persons? And what is the best way to support efforts to dismantle all legislation that criminalizes sexual orientation and gender identity or expression?
I thank you.