This June, we the undersigned diplomatic missions in India’s capital, reaffirm our countries' strong commitment to promoting universal human rights and to ensuring that everyone, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation, enjoys these rights without discrimination. This is of utmost importance in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year around May or June, our governments and our civil society work together to support, organize, or participate in a wide range of events to celebrate the diversity of our citizens, to reduce discrimination and misinformation about the LGBTI community, to build on individual and collective achievements, and to highlight what needs to be done to ensure human dignity and equality for all human beings. Events are as diverse as the countries and communities that host them, but usually concentrate around IDAHOT day on May 17, LGBTI+ Pride marches and events in June, and sometimes at other moments of the year such as on Human Rights Day on December 10.
This year, States, international organizations and civil society organizations have marked this important moment of the year in a different manner in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic mainly by running online campaigns and connecting virtually.
These diverse activities raise awareness about this important issue and foster a sense of community and belonging to advance human rights for all throughout the world. When all persons are protected on the basis of equality and with dignity, global stability is enhanced. We note with pride the increasing progress being made around the world to protect the fundamental human rights of LGBTI+ individuals.
We take this occasion to express our solidarity with the human rights defenders and civil society organizations working in India and around the world to uphold the fundamental freedoms of LGBTI+ persons to live freely and with dignity.
The coronavirus pandemic impacts every country and region of the world and every aspect of our lives. It has reminded us how interconnected we are. Respect for all human rights must remain at the heart of fighting the pandemic and supporting the global recovery.
On 6 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India announced its decision to read down Section 377A of the Indian Penal Code, a critical step towards the full enjoyment of human rights by LGBTI+ persons without discriminations in India. Two years after this historic landmark, diplomatic missions in India remain fully committed to the goal of global equality for all.