UK Statement during the General Debate on Item 8.
Thank you Mr. Vice President.
We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the Netherlands on behalf of the European Union.
The United Kingdom strongly condemn acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity taking place in all regions of the world, including our own. The recent event in Orlando, Florida, has highlighted this threat.
The Universal Declaration guarantees all human beings their basic rights without exception, and when individuals are attacked, abused or imprisoned because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, the international community has an obligation to respond. In this regard we welcome the attention paid to these issues by international human rights mechanisms including relevant Special Procedures and treaty bodies and welcome the continued attention given within the context of the Universal Periodic Review.
We note the Human Rights Council’s mandate to “promote universal respect for the protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without discrimination of any kind, and in a fair and equal manner”. We encourage the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to continue to address human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity and to explore opportunities for outreach and constructive dialogue to enhance understanding and awareness of these issues within a human rights framework;
We affirm the importance of respectful dialogue and trust that there is common ground in our shared recognition that no-one should face discrimination, violence or abuse on any ground.
We call on States to take steps to end acts of violence, criminal sanctions and related human rights violations committed against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. We encourage Special Procedures, treaty bodies and other stakeholders to continue to integrate these issues within their relevant mandates, and we urge the Council to address these important human rights issues.
I thank you.