15 May 2017
Following is a message by Michael Møller, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (17 May 2016):
“Today we celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, which was proclaimed in 2004 to draw attention to the discrimination and violence experienced by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people internationally.
This year the theme of the family has been chosen to mark this important day. Families are also at the heart of the work of the United Nations and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Indeed, families are at the center of social life, educating children and youth, ensuring the well-being of young and old and preparing tomorrow’s leaders to address important challenges our world is facing. Equality, tolerance, helping the poor, sharing, motivation for change and a better world, are values taught by the family.
On this day, from around the world, organizations, companies, governments, cities and individuals come together in over 130 countries in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.
However, we must remember that in many parts of the world, all those who do not conform to majority sexual and gender norms are stigmatized, discriminated against and are sometimes victims of acts of violence. Legal discrimination, social homophobia and transphobia continue to deny millions of people across the world of their basic human dignity. In addition, those who raise their voices in order to defend the rights of LGBTI individuals may experience challenges while exercising their work, including threats, attacks, criminalization of their activities, and defamation campaigns.
UN-GLOBE, the staff group representing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex colleagues of the UN system, asks each staff member of the UN to make a contribution by pledging to embrace diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
I strongly support UN-GLOBE’s plea. We must strive to create a workplace that is safe, enabling every staff member to feel included and valued. Only through such an Office can we hope to unlock the richly diverse potential of every single one of us and work together in order to forge a more peaceful and inclusive future.”
For use of the information media; not an official record