Vienna, Austria – Diplomatic representatives from various countries and international organizations joined together to mark May 17th as the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT). The Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, along with numerous diplomatic missions and organizations including the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights and UN-GLOBE, expressed their support for the celebration of diversity and inclusion worldwide.
Under the theme “Together Always: United in Diversity,” the participants reaffirmed their commitment to promoting the rights of individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+). They emphasized the importance of inclusive societies that respect the dignity and human rights of all individuals, fostering open dialogue where every voice is heard.
The collective stance of the diplomatic community denounced intolerance and the dissemination of extreme viewpoints that divide society and exacerbate the vulnerable situation of LGBTIQ+ individuals. They recognized that intolerance widens existing equality gaps, perpetuates harmful biases and social stigmas, and increases the risk of violence. Particularly concerned about the impact of armed conflicts on vulnerable groups, including LGBTIQ+ individuals, the diplomats called for an end to violence and discrimination based on one’s identity or whom they love.
Today #DiplomatsforEquality walk with the #Belgian & #European #Pride through #Brussels! Celebrating #equality & #diversity! What a colorful parade! 🤩🌈#brusselspride #belgianpride #pride2023 #LoveIsLove— Botschafter Martin Kotthaus (@DBoBruessel) May 20, 2023
Efforts to decriminalize same-sex relations and discrimination against individuals based on their sex characteristics, sexual orientation, or gender identity were strongly supported by the participating countries and organizations. They acknowledged that in many parts of the world, LGBTIQ+ individuals still face violence, discrimination, and bullying, often with fatal consequences. Shockingly, consensual same-sex relations are still criminalized in 64 jurisdictions. As the world celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2023, the diplomats reiterated their commitment to the principle that human rights apply equally to every person, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Furthermore, the diplomatic community pledged to continue promoting and protecting the rights of LGBTIQ+ individuals, advocating for their equal dignity, respect, and human rights. Through their embassies, international organizations, and partnerships worldwide, they promised to work towards fostering tolerance, inclusivity, and non-discrimination against LGBTIQ+ individuals.
The collective statement recognized the remarkable efforts of human rights defenders, activists, journalists, media workers, indigenous advocates, and civil society organizations who tirelessly raise awareness about the challenges faced by LGBTIQ+ individuals and the human rights violations they endure.
In a time when progress achieved by LGBTIQ+ communities faces increasing challenges, the power of strong alliances, genuine solidarity, and unwavering unity becomes more critical than ever. The diplomats called upon others to join their ongoing efforts, both on the occasion of IDAHOBIT 2023 and throughout the year, in making Vienna’s diplomatic and international community, as well as the world at large, more inclusive for everyone.