Ambassadors in Brussels support International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia and reaffirm their commitment to defend and advance the human rights of LGBTI people around the world on May 17, 2020 (Statement below:)
“We, Heads of Diplomatic Missions in Brussels, join together to express our support for the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia.
We reaffirm our opposition to all forms of discrimination, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. We remain committed to improving institutional protection against discrimination; removing or amending discriminatory laws, policies and practices; reducing hate speech, violence and harassment based on discrimination; and increasing the participation of LGBTI communities in our societies.
Despite the progress that has been made, there is still much more to be done and we cannot become complacent. Education, training, awareness-raising and open dialogue are tools to combating discrimination and prejudice against LGBTI persons, and we will continue to work to strengthen these tools alongside other national initiatives that respect, protect and progress the human rights of all LGBTI persons because inclusive and tolerant societies are more peaceful and prosperous.
Criminalisation of, and intolerance towards, LGBTI persons denies them their political and civil rights, just as much as their economic, social and cultural rights. It weakens society by letting violence and bullying go unchecked, with severe consequences for the health, well-being and prosperity of victims and their families.
Our collective vision is for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or sex characteristics to be able to live safe, happy and healthy lives where they can be themselves without fear of discrimination, bullying or harassment.
While the coronavirus pandemic presents many challenges for us all, and affects our ability to participate in the Belgian Pride Parade this year, we will not take a step back from ensuring we continue to advance the rights of LGBTI persons. We will be using our social networks and media platforms to stay connected, and demonstrate the unity and solidarity among the Brussels diplomatic community for the rights of LGBTI persons everywhere as many of us look forward to once again proudly parading together under the ‘Diplomats for Equality’ banner in future Belgian Pride Parades.
For more information, and to stay in touch, follow us on our social media accounts to check out the rainbow flags flying from our missions and much more!
- Albania: H.E. Suela Janina (Amb. to Belgium, Luxembourg & EU)
- Argentina: H.E Pablo Grinspun (Amb. to Belgium & Luxembourg); H.E. Marcelo Cima (Amb. to EU)
- Australia: H.E. Justin Brown (Amb. to Belgium, EU & NATO)
- Austria: H.E. Elisabeth Kornfeind (Amb. to Belgium & NATO)
- Canada: H.E. Olivier Nicoloff (Amb. to Belgium & Luxembourg); H.E. David Angell (Amb. to NATO); H.E. Chris Cooter (Head of Mission to EU)
- Costa Rica: H.E. Sergio Alfaro Salas (Amb. to Belgium & EU)
- Czech Republic: H.E. Jakub Dürr (Amb. to EU)
- Germany: H.E. Martin Kotthaus (Amb. to Belgium)
- Ireland: H.E. Helena Nolan (Amb. to Belgium)
- Israel: H.E. Emmanuel Nahshon (Amb. to Belgium & Luxembourg)
- Luxembourg: H.E. Arlette Conzemius (Amb.to Belgium and NATO); H.E. Georges Friden (Amb.to EU); H.E. Patrick Engelberg (Amb. to PSC)
- Malta: H.E. Ray Azzopardi (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Daniel Azzopardi (Amb. to EU)
- Kingdom of the Netherlands: H.E.Caspar Veldkamp, (Chargé d’Affaires a.i. to the Kingdom of Belgium); H.E. Marisa Gerards (Permanent Representative to NATO); H.E. Robert de Groot (Permanent Representative to the EU)
- New Zealand: H.E. Gregory Andrews (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Carl Reaich (Amb. to EU & NATO)
- Norway: H.E. Per Strand Sjaastad (Amb. to Norway)
- Portugal: H.E. Rui Martinot Correia (Chargé d’Affaires a.i.to the Kingdom of Belgium)
- Sweden: H.E. Annika Hahn-Englund (Amb. to Belgium & Luxembourg); H.E. Mikael Lindvall (Amb. to EU – PSC); H.E. Axel Wernhoff (Amb. to NATO)
- Switzerland: H.E Philippe Brandt (Amb. to Belgium); H.E. Urs Bucher (Amb. to EU)
- United Kingdom: H.E. Tim Barrow (Amb. to EU) H.E Martin Shearman (Amb. to Belgium), H.E. Sarah MacIntosh (Amb. to NATO)”