We must protect the rights of LGBT+ people

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland urges world leaders to safeguard the rights and interests of LGBT+ groups around the globe.

Minister Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the General Assembly in NYC.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland, Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, addressed the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session last week. When discussing education, human rights and the UN’s global goals, she underlined the importance of protecting the rights and interests of minority groups. 

“We have agreed, that no one can be left behind,” said  Minister Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir in her address to the United Nations General Assembly. “This includes every individual, no matter the color of her skin, his disability, her religion or whom they love.” Noting that if people want resilient and healthy societies then they must make it their business to safeguard the rights and interests of minority groups. “Including LGBT groups.”

The Minister’s address was in accordance with a speech that the head of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, gave at the assembly. Mr. Ban, who has been a strong advocate of LGBT+ rights throughout his time as UN Secretary General, said that at the United Nations Human Rights Council, more than one hundred countries have accepted recommendations aimed at protecting LGBT+ people from discrimination. None the less, many governments still refuse to acknowledge human rights abuses against LGBT+ people – or accept responsibility for ending them.

“If we want resilient and healthy societies we must make it our business to safeguard the rights and interests of minority groups, including LGBT groups.”

Speaking to GayIceland on that note, Minister Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir says it’s deeply regretful that the basic rights of individuals belonging to various minority groups are systemically violated. “However, we have witnessed the courageous fight of LGBT+ individuals in many corners of the world and their determination in being heard and fully respected is not only inspirational. It serves as a model for all of us who raise children and wish to nurture a bright future,” she says.

You seem to be very passionate about upholding human rights? “Protecting individual and group rights is among the most important tasks a politician should carry out. Violation of human rights must never be overlooked and Iceland should be proud to fight for those who are violated against.”

The minister says that she also looks up to those who have been at the forefront of the LGBT+ rights battle. “I greatly admire those who have fought hard for LGBT+ rights in Iceland with great success and in many other countries with such great success. I will certainly contribute so Iceland can become even greater guardian of those rights.”

Minister Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, here pictured with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and part of the group that addressed the matter of LGBT rights at the assembly in New York.

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