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EU at the UN

The EU's commitment to effective multilateralism, with the UN at its core, is a central element of its external action. As a UN observer with enhanced status, the EU delegation coordinates with its 28 Member States to speak with one voice. The EU also works closely with the UN secretariat and its agencies, funds & programmes, partnering on a range of global issues and challenges.

24 August 2015, New York – Statement delivered by H.E. Mr. Ioannis Vrailas, Chargé d’affaires a.i., Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations, at the Arria Formula Open Meeting of the UN Security Council on Vulnerable groups in conflict: ISIL’s targeting of LGBT individuals

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I have the honour to speak on behalf of the EU.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Serbia* and Albania*, the country of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidate Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Georgia, align themselves with this statement.

We very much welcome the initiative taken by the United States and Chile to organise this briefing which brings a specific human rights situation into the focus of the UN Security Council by means of an open meeting in the Arria formula. We have assembled today to hear witness accounts by persons belonging to one of the most forgotten groups of victims of the barbaric acts committed by ISIL/Da’esh, LGBTI individuals.

We are shaken by the compelling testimonies of Subhi Nahas and Adnan and want to praise their courage in speaking out before us today.

The European Union condemns unreservedly all indiscriminate attacks, atrocities, killings and abuses of human rights – such as acts of sexual and gender based violence – which are perpetrated by ISIL/Da’esh and other terrorist groups. These actions in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere are horrific [as we have seen in the videos screened] and cannot go unpunished. The human rights abuses committed are increasing both in the number of victims and in atrocity. They include the vicious and barbaric murder of protected persons, such as civilians and prisoners, sexual violence and abuses against children, women and men, including sexual slavery and child recruitment, as well as extrajudicial executions, violence and persecution of persons on the basis of their religion, beliefs, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity. The latest example the beheading of the 81-year Syria’s director of antiquities Maamoun Abdul Karim in Palmyra. The EU and wider international community must act to help stop these atrocities, support the victims and hold those responsible accountable for their actions.

The EU firmly opposes all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Our action plan on Human Rights and Democracy (2015-19) as well as the EU guidelines to promote and protect the enjoyment of all human rights by LGBTI persons continue to underline the importance of our bilateral and multilateral work to make the fact that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights a reality. We would also like to take the opportunity to pay a special tribute to human rights defenders and civil society –and thank today’s briefer, the International Lesbian and Gay Human Rights Commission- for their tremendous commitment and tireless efforts in documenting human rights violations and abuses.

Let me end by reiterating the steadfast commitment of the EU – as member of the UN LGBT core group- to continue fighting violence and discrimination against LGBTI persons no matter where they are.

Thank you.


* The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Albania continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

Ref: EUUN15-122EN
EU source: European Union
UN forum: Security Council
Date: 24/8/2015

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