We, the undersigned Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Brussels, join together once again to express our support for the International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
This year, in line with IDAHOBIT’s theme of “Our Bodies, Our Lives, Our Rights,” we reaffirm that LGBTI+ rights are fundamental human rights, and that we are committed to championing these rights internationally and supporting those who defend them.
Everyone, everywhere, should be free to express who they are and love who they love without fear of violence or discrimination. The strongest, safest and most prosperous societies are those in which everyone can live freely, without fear of violence or discrimination, and where all citizens are treated fairly and can play a full and active part in society.
We are at a crossroads in the history of LGBTI+ rights and more needs to be done, in every part of the world, to help ensure LGBTI+ people feel safe and are treated equally throughout society. It is now more important than ever that we stand up for the human rights of all people.
We are deeply concerned that 71 jurisdictions still criminalise consensual same-sex acts and that 11 of them punish this with the death penalty. Furthermore, transgender people are particularly vulnerable to arrest, prosecution and harassment under a range of laws. At least 15 jurisdictions criminalise gender expression and/or identity through ‘cross-dressing’ and disguise laws. In at least 26 countries, authorities use public order, vagrancy and misdemeanour offences to harass, arrest and prosecute transgender people. COVID-19 has highlighted gaps in equality and exacerbated existing vulnerabilities, including bias and social stigma, discrimination, economic impact and the risk of violence and domestic parental violence, as well as reducing access to health services.
We will continue to shed light on these and other injustices, and will continue advocating for everyone, regardless of who they are or whom they love, to be protected and included.
Across our borders, we remain committed to urging the international community to eradicate discrimination, including based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and to promote diversity and inclusion.
We urge countries to decriminalise consensual same-sex relations and to introduce or amend legislation so that it protects LGBTI+ people from all forms of discrimination: tackling hate speech, violence and harassment, both online and offline; promoting inclusive access to public services; strengthening the economic case for inclusion; and increasing the participation of LGBTI+ persons in all aspects of our societies.
We pay tribute to and support the courageous advocacy efforts carried out by grassroots human rights defenders, activists, journalists, media workers and civil society organisations to raise awareness about the issues affecting LGBTI+ persons and human rights violations they may face worldwide.
We hope that you will join our efforts, throughout the year, to make Europe’s diplomatic community a more inclusive community for all. We must stand united in celebrating diversity and the resilience of the LGBTI+ community and in defending and promoting human rights, inclusiveness and justice for all.
- Albania: H.E. Suela Janina (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg and EU)
- Argentina: H.E Juan Carlos Valle Raleigh (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Pablo Grinspun (Amb. to EU)
- Australia: H.E. Caroline Millar (Amb. to Belgium, EU & NATO)
- Austria: H.E. Elisabeth Kornfeind (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Nikolaus Marschik (Amb. to EU)
Belgium: H.E. Willem van de Voorde (Amb. to EU)
- Canada: H.E. Alain Gendron (Amb. to Belgium & Luxembourg); H.E. David Angell (Amb. to NATO); H.E. Ailish Campbell (Amb. to EU)
- Chile: H.E. Álvaro Jara, (Chargé d’Affaires a.i. to Belgium, Luxembourg and EU)
- Costa Rica: H.E. Sergio Alfaro Salas (Amb. to Belgium)
- Cyprus: H.E. Christina Rafti (Amb. to EU)
Czech Republic: H.E Edita Hrdá (Amb. to EU); H.E Pavel Klucký (Amb. to Belgium)
- Denmark: H.E Jonas Bering Liisberg (Amb. to EU); H.E Odd Sinding (Amb. to Belgium)
- Estonia: H.E. Aivo Orav (Amb. to EU); H.E Artur Kink (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Jüri Luik (Amb. to NATO)
- Finland: H.E. Riitta Resch (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Markku Keinänen (Amb. to EU)
- France: H.E François Sénémaud (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Muriel Domenach (Amb. to NATO)
Germany: H.E. Michael Clauß (Amb. to EU); H.E Martin Kotthaus (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Rüdiger König (Amb. to NATO)
- Greece: H.E. Dionyssios Kalamvrezos (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Ioannis Vrailas, (Amb. to EU)
- Iceland: H.E. Kristján Andri Stefánsson (Amb. to Belgium)
- Ireland: H.E. Kevin Conmy (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Tom Hanney, (Amb. to EU)
- Israel: H.E. Haim Regev (Amb. to EU and NATO)
Italy: H.E. Francesco Genuardi, (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Francesco M. Talò (Amb. to NATO)
- Lithuania: H.E. Rita Kazragienė, (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Deividas Matulionis (Amb. to NATO)
- Luxembourg: H.E. Stephan Müller (Amb.to Belgium and NATO); H.E. Georges Friden (Amb. to EU)
- Malta: H.E. Omar Agius (Chargé d’Affaires a.i.to Belgium, Luxembourg and NATO); H.E. Marlene Bonnici (Amb. to EU)
- Mexico: H.E Rogelio Granguillhome (Amb. to Belgium , Luxembourgand EU)
Montenegro: H.E. Petar Markovic (Amb. to EU)
- The Netherlands: H.E. Pieter Jan Kleiweg de Zwaan, (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Marisa Gerards (Amb. to NATO); H.E. Robert de Groot (Amb. to EU)
- New Zealand: H.E. Diana Reaich (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Carl Reaich (Amb. to EU & NATO)
- North Macedonia: H.E. Dane Taleski (Amb. to NATO)
- Norway: H.E. Rolf Einar Fife (Amb. to EU); H.E Per Strand Sjaastad (Amb. to Belgium)
Portugal: H.E. Pedro Lourtie (Amb. to EU); H.E. Pedro Costa Pereira (Amb. to NATO)
- Spain: H.E. Marcos Alonso Alonso (Amb. to EU); H.E. Beatriz Larrotcha Palma (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Miguel Fernandez-palacios (Amb. to NATO)
- Sweden: H.E. Ambassador Lars Danielsson (Amb. to EU)
- Switzerland: H.E Philippe Brandt (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Rita Adam (Amb. to EU)
- United Kingdom: H.E. Lindsay Croisdale-Appleby (Amb. to EU); H.E Martin Shearman (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. David Quarrey (Amb. to NATO)
- United States: H.E. Mark Gitenstein (Amb. to EU); H.E Michael M. Adler (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Julianne Smith (Amb. to NATO)