Statement17 May 2021
Brussels - May 17, 2021
26 Head of Diplomatic Missions in Brussels support the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia on May 17, and reaffirm their commitment to defend and advance the human rights of LGBTI+ persons around the world.
We, the undersigned Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Brussels, join once more to express our support for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia (IDAHOBIT).
The theme for IDAHOBIT 2021 is “Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing” – particularly important as we respond to the global effects of COVID-19 which has exacerbated the challenges already faced by LGBTI+ persons worldwide. We have made some progress towards tackling these challenges, but more can be done. Education, training, awareness-raising and open dialogue are key tools to combating discrimination and prejudice. As we continue to work together to build back better, we are committed to strengthening these tools, alongside other national initiatives to promote, protect and progress the rights of all LGBTI+ persons; because inclusive and tolerant societies are more peaceful and prosperous.
The criminalisation of, and intolerance towards, LGBTI+ persons denies them their political and civil rights just as much as their economic, social and cultural rights. It weakens society by letting violence and bullying go unchecked, with severe consequences for the health, well-being and prosperity of victims and their families.
We reaffirm our opposition to all forms of discrimination, including on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or sex characteristics. We remain committed to improving institutional protection against discrimination; removing or amending discriminatory laws, policies and practices; fighting hate speech, violence and harassment based on discrimination; and increasing the participation of LGBTI+ persons in our societies.
Our collective vision is to create societies where everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or sex characteristics, is able to live safe, happy and healthy lives. Where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination, bullying or harassment and with equal access to education, jobs and health systems.
Not being able to join the Brussels Pride Parade once again will not prevent us from continuing to advocate for the rights of LGBTI+ persons. We will be using our social networks and media platforms to stay connected, and demonstrate the unity and solidarity among the Brussels diplomatic community for the rights of LGBTI+ persons everywhere. We look forward to a time when we can once again proudly parade together under the ‘Diplomats for Equality’ banner in future Brussels Pride Parades.
For more information, and to stay in touch, follow us on our social media accounts to check out the rainbow flags flying from our missions and much more!
Albania: H.E. Mrs. Suela JANINA (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg & EU)
Argentina: H.E Pablo GRINSPUN (Amb. to the EU); H.E. Jésica AMBROSINI (Charge d'affaires a.i. to Belgium & Luxembourg)
Austria: H.E Elisabeth KORNFEIND (Amb. to Belgium)
Canada: H.E.Ailish CAMPBELL (Amb. to the EU); H.E. Alain GENDRON (Amb. to Belgium)
Chile: H.E. Patricio TORRES ESPINOSA (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg & EU)
Costa Rica: H.E. Mr. Sergio Iván ALFARO SALAS (Amb. to Belgium & EU)
Ecuador: H.E. Isabel ALBORNOZ (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg & EU)
Estonia: H.E.Toomas TIRS (Amb. to the EU)
Ireland: H.E. Helena NOLAN (Amb. to Belgium)
Malta: H.E. Ray AZZOPARDI (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg and NATO); H.E. Marlene BONNICI (Amb. to the EU)
Mexico: H.E Mauricio ESCANERO (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg & EU)
Netherlands: H.E.Robert DE GROOT (Amb. to EU); H.E. Pieter Jan KLEIWEG DE ZWAAN (Amb.to Belgium)
New Zealand: H.E.Carl REAICH (Amb.to EU and NATO); H.E.Diana REAICH (Amb.to Belgium)
Spain: H.E.Beatriz LARROTCHA PALMA (Amb. to Belgium)
Switzerland: H.E. Urs BUCHER (Amb. to the EU); H.E. Philippe BRANDT (Amb. to Belgium)
UK: H.E. Martin SHEARMAN (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Sarah MACINTOSH (Amb. to NATO); Lindsay CROISDALE-APPLEBY (Head of UK Mission to the EU)
United States: H.E. Mark W. LIBBY (Chargé d’affaires to the EU)
Uruguay: Carlos PÉREZ DEL CASTILLO (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg & EU)