Norway welcomes the historic report of the High Commissioner that documents serious human rights violations against human beings all over the world. It clearly shows how discriminatory laws and practices lead to killings, rape, torture, criminal sanctions and other serious forms of violence, harassment and discrimination of human beings only because they are sexual minorites. This is about respect of basic human rights of the individual. These issues go to the core of the work of this Council.
Norway would like to thank and commend South Africa for their leadership on this issue within the Council. We would also like to highlight South Africa’s extensive efforts to consult and include all regional groups in the preparation for today’s panel. We hope that all delegations one day will be in a position to appreciate these efforts, and that the divide in the Council will diminish with time.
Norway also appreciates the dedication of the Secretary General and the High Commissioner in this field, and the inspiring speeches from them today. Norway would like to reiterate the call for an end to violence against LGBT people and world-wide decriminalisation of same-sex conduct between consenting adults.
Norway supports many brave people who work to fight violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity all over the world, from Nepal to Sri Lanka, to Nicaragua, Chile, Uganda and South Africa. Our partners work in extremely difficult conditions. They all emphasize that they are not asking for any special treatment, they just want to enjoy the same rights that many of us take for granted.
Mr President, this is not a question of introducing new rights, but affirming existing human rights standards for all, including LGBTs.
The High Commissioner´s report makes important recommendations to member states and to the Human Rights Council, such as decriminalisation, holding perpetrators of killings and other serious abuses accountable and systematic registration of such crimes, awareness-raising campaigns targeted at the police, the judiciary and the education sector. We would like to encourage all member states to implement the recommendations from the report.
- We would like to ask the Panel what you think is the best way to ensure the follow up of the recommendations in the report.
- How can we bridge the unfortunate gap between the proponents of this issue and those who are against? Where can we find common ground?