UN Media advisory
South Africa to co-sponsor first-ever inter-governmental debate on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people at UN Human Rights Council
Pretoria, 5 March 2012– The United Nations Human Rights Council will hold the first-ever formal inter-governmental debate on violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people on 7 March in Geneva between 12:00 and 15:00 (Geneva time). It will be webcast live atwww.un.org/webcast.
The debate, sponsored by South Africa and Brazil, will feature panelists from Brazil, Pakistan, Sweden and the United States and will be moderated by Ambassador Abdul Minty, Permanent Representative of the Republic of South Africa to the United Nations in Geneva.
A video message by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who has welcomed the debate and who has consistently deplored prejudice-based violence and discrimination, will be presented at the opening of the discussion.
The message will be uploaded to YouTube (www.youtube.com/unitednations)as soon as it is delivered. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Navi Pillay, herself a South African, will deliver the opening statement.
The first official United Nations report on LGBT issues was published by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in December 2011. It documents discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. This report is available at:http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G11/170/75/PDF/G1117075.pdf?OpenElement.
For more information, contact: Martina Donlon, UN Department of Public Information, New York, at firstname.lastname@example.org Helene Hoedl, UNIC Pretoria, at email@example.com Tel: +27 (012) 354 8504 / 082 313 0051.