ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, today awarded UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem (Navi) Pillay “LGBTI Friend of the Year 2014” in a ceremony at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. Pillay’s term as UN High Commissioner comes to an end this year. Pillay will no doubt be remembered for the UN’s ongoing high profile Free and Equal Campaign.
On presentation of the award, Gloria Careaga, ILGA’s co-Secretary General, said:
“We are here to recognize the outstanding leadership you’ve shown in not only raising awareness on SOGI and Intersex issues, but also in standing firm on the principle that all human beings are born free and equal.”
High Commissioner Pillay replied:
“I am indeed an LGBTI friend. Like the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am convinced that the struggle to protect and promote the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons is one of the great neglected human rights challenges of our time.”
On the presentation of the 2014 report and updated map, Careaga added:
“In the recent intergovernmental discussions, it has become clear to all that there is a new geopolitical map in which politics and economics are playing a complex game among governments and alliances, where, for instance, Latin America, with the leadership of Argentina and Uruguay, seems to be the progressive region and stands in contrast to a very conservative neighbour in the Caribbean (with the exception of Cuba), known to be allied with conservative forces from other regions, while the African Coalition (with the exception of South Africa) opposes any SOGI (sexual orientation/gender identity) mention, as do the Arabic countries (led by Egypt), with Russia and the Vatican not far behind.
Accusations of “agenda intervention” and “western vision imposition” usually follow, as if to indicate that certain states would rather publicize their diplomatic distaste for atypical bodies, genders, and sexualities instead of endorsing the protection of human rights and wellbeing of everyone.”
ILGA is the world’s leading LGBTI activist group; the only worldwide LGBTI federation of organisations campaigning for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex rights. Founded in 1978, it aims “to work for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people and their liberation from all forms of discrimination.” and seeks “to achieve this aim through the world-wide cooperation and mutual support of our members.”
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