Netherlands and Uruguay to Co-Host Global Conference on LGBTI Issues
Uruguay and the Netherlands, have co-hosted a conference on LGBT issues in the wake of the Orlando shootingsJuly 21st, 2016
From 13 to 15 July in Montevideo, the Netherlands and Uruguay have co-organized an important international conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex issues, marking the first time the conference will be held in Latin America.
Foreign minister Bert Koenders and his Uruguayan counterpart, Rodolfo Novoa, jointly opened the conference. “The horrific attack in Orlando has shown more than ever the vulnerability that we urgently need to deal with,” said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders. “In many places in the world, LGBT rights are under pressure and we have to act to improve the standing of the LGBT community in the world.”
During the opening ceremony, Uruguayan Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa urged world governments to work with the summit in implementing the proposals that will emerge from the plenary sessions.
We are gathered in order to ratify cultural changes to our countries, recalling the universality of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which are inherent to all people without exception," Novoa said.
In order to ensure relevant discussions and concrete outcomes, the event has addressed four LGBTI issues that will be discussed in plenary meetings and working groups, chaired by different countries in coordination with civil society organizations. Conference resolutions will be shared with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which proposes a series of initiatives for social and economic advancement around the world.
While more than 50 countries worldwide now prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, there remains almost 70 countries which still condemn same-sex conduct.
The Netherlands, which was the first country in the world to legalize gay marriage, is hoping to set up a coalition of countries to boost the international recognition of LGBT rights worldwide.