This year the newly appointed UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres met with over 1000 representatives of the civil society organizations present in New York to listen to the issues on their agenda and also answer some questions during the ongoing UN Commission on the Status of Women. RFSL was there.
The annual UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is taking place in New York, March 13-24, which is the primary intergovernmental body dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the human rights of women.
This year the newly appointed UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres met with over 1000 representatives of the civil society organizations present in New York to listen to the issues on their agenda and also answer some questions.
RFSL was present in the meeting as a part of LBTI caucus, which is a group of non-governmental organizations and advocates working on national, regional and international levels who come together each year to advocate for the inclusion of the rights of lesbians, bisexual women, trans and intersex persons at the CSW.
Micah Grzywnowicz, RFSL’s international advocacy advisor had the honor and privilege to deliver a statement and a question to the Secretary General on behalf of the LBTI Caucus working at the CSW. Please, see the video to see the statement and also Antonio Guterres’ response. The full statement can be read below.
As you see, the Secretary General is committed to working towards protection of the rights of LGBTI and we hope for a constructive dialogue and engagement with the UNSG to further ensure inclusion of LGBTI issues within the UN system.
The full statement:
Thank you Madame Under-Secretary General Mlambo-Ngcuka and Secretary General Gutierrez.
Human Rights are crucial to achieving gender equality at all levels of UN policy, programming and staffing. It requires strong leadership and courage to defend even basic human rights at the UN. We often hear culture and traditional values offered as a defense for human rights violations, and an excuse for violence against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people.
Mr. Secretary General Gutierrez, You have previously called on governments and societies to build a world where no one has to be afraid because of their sexual orientation and gender identity”
How will your office support human rights of people who are targeted for violence and discrimination because of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or because they are intersex; and what commitment will you make to ensure women and all people are not denied critical services and information related to sexual and reproductive health and rights?