On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, I wish to reaffirm the EU's commitment to equality and non–discrimination. In many countries, gender identity and sexual orientation continue to be used as the pretext for serious human rights violations. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people are still subject to persecution, discrimination and ill-treatment, and often extreme violence.
The EU campaigns tirelessly for the respect of human rights, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity. We raise the issue of LGBTI rights during our Human Rights dialogues, we speak out through public statements, and we work behind the scenes with our Delegations to argue the case for justice and human rights. Through the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, the EU supports LGBTI human rights defenders across the world.
We welcome United Nations support for the principle of non-discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, in particular the ground-breaking June 2011 resolution 17/19 of the UN Human Rights Council. We encourage continued and strengthened efforts in this area.
The Acceding Country Croatia, the Candidate Countries the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, Montenegro*, Iceland and Serbia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the EFTA countries Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Georgia, align themselves with this declaration.
Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.
Iceland continues to be a member of the EFTA and of the European Economic Area.