On Human Rights Day, the UN highlighted the importance of including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, noting the importance for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the economic and social benefits.
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced an index to assist governments, development partners and civil society in measuring the inclusion of LGBTI people.
10 December 2015: On Human Rights Day, the UN highlighted the importance of including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, noting the importance for achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well as the economic and social benefits. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) announced an index to assist governments, development partners and civil society in measuring the inclusion of LGBTI people.
“Discrimination against LGBTI people leads to exclusion, a waste of human potential, a loss of creative talent, and a loss of productive capacity,” and will undermine the SDGs, observed UN General Assembly (UNGA) President Mogens Lykketoft in his opening remarks at the interactive discussion, ‘Economic Cost of LGBTI Exclusion.’ The European Union (EU) Delegation to the UN and the LGBT Core Group hosted the interactive discussion on Human Rights Day. Participants discussed, inter alia, how the promotion of greater LGBTI inclusion results in economic and social benefits.
The LGBT Core Group includes: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Croatia, El Salvador, France, Israel, Japan, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, UK, US and Uruguay, as well as the EU. Albania is an “observer.” The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights participates, as do two NGOs: OutRight Action International and Human Rights Watch.
“If LGBTI people continue to face exclusion, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will remain out of our reach,” writes Clifton Cortez, UN Development Programme (UNDP), in an ‘Our Perspectives’ Piece, titled ‘When people are counted, no one is left behind.’ Cortez describes ways in which LGBTI people face discrimination, stigma and violence every day, stressing that “LGBTI economic, political and social exclusion remains pervasive.”
Observing that data and analysis specific to LGBTI people is “drastically lacking,” making their challenges statistically invisible, Cortez argues for ensuring LGBTI inclusion in data and efforts on the SDGs. He writes that UNDP is well positioned to advance efforts to measure inclusion because of its experiences measuring human development through the Human Development Index (HDI) and the Gender Inequality Index (GII). UNDP’s Index aims to identify data gaps and trends, and provide evidence to advance and support policy, with the broader aim of ensuring LGBTI inclusion in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Cortez calls on governments and other stakeholders to gather the necessary evidence “to strengthen policy, change lives and secure achievements of the SDGs in a way that truly leaves no one behind.”
In October 2015, a group of UN entities issued a ‘Joint Statement on Ending Violence and Discrimination against LGBTI People.’ The Statement recognizes the equal rights of all people to live free from violence, persecution, discrimination and stigma and expressed concern about “widespread human rights violations” for LGBTI people. [Our Perspectives] [UNDP Blog Post, 29 September] [Joint Statement on Ending Violence and Discrimination Against LGBTI People] [UNGA President Statement] [EU at UN Press Release] [Event Webcast] [PassBlue Article on LGBT Core Group]