Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Minister Timmermans opens first ministerial meeting on LGBT rights at the UN

Today, in the margins of the UN General Assembly, foreign minister Frans Timmermans opened a ministerial meeting on equal rights for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT). This is the first time that discussions on the position of LGBTs are being held at this level within the UN. Participants included the foreign ministers of Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Norway and the US, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and senior officials from France, Japan and New Zealand.

One of the key items on the agenda was the role of the UN in stopping violence and discrimination against LGBTs. All the ministers stressed the importance of assembling a broad coalition for this purpose. By adopting a joint ministerial statement against violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, the ministers demonstrated their continued commitment to this issue.

‘As our statement makes clear, protecting LGBT people from violence and discrimination is not only an issue for the West,’ said Mr Timmermans. ‘There remains much work to be done on the international stage. We must therefore continue to stress that LGBT rights are human rights. Nothing more, but also nothing less.’