Human Rights Council, 54th session, item 8, General Debate

Follow-up and implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. Statement by Sweden.

Mr President,

2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. This pivotal document, adopted by consensus by 171 states, declares that human rights and fundamental freedoms are the birthright of all human beings. Regardless of gender, religion, ethnic background, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity – this underlying principle expresses that we are all born free and equal in dignity and rights.

Yet, all around the world LGBTIQ persons continue to suffer human rights violations and abuses, including violence, discrimination and stigmatization. In almost 70 states, consensual same-sex relationships remain criminalized, a dozen of which still impose the death penalty. A global trend of anti-LGBTIQ rhetoric and laws are deepening the marginalization of LGBTIQ persons, and blatant criticism of Special Procedures established by this Council are adding to these flames.

Living openly, expressing who you are, and loving the person of your choosing should not come with unfathomable risks. States and governments everywhere need to step up and deliver on the promise of the VDPA: To respect, protect and fulfil all human rights – without discrimination on any ground.

I thank you.

Last updated 05 Oct 2023, 11.50 AM