Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to share with you a couple of messages today in this first ever meeting of that kind at the United Nations.
The first message is that when we talk about respect of LGBT Human Rights, we are not talking about new rights, we are not asking for specific rights for specific persons, for a specific category of our society. We are just asking, talking for the respect of the basic Human Rights of all individuals, independently of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That is why we are deeply convinced that no one can hide, as you said Mrs. High Commissioner, behind the curtain of traditions, culture, religions, to deny the respect and the enforcement of basic Human Rights.
The second message I would like to share is that, you know certainly that we have just passed in France a bill a few months ago, on same-sex marriage. I can tell you that it was not that easy to have that bill passed. Not for political reasons, but because there were a lot of debates in our society. But when we look back, when I look back, when President Hollande looks back, after one year of power, what is maybe the reform we are the most proud of, is that one. It is the introduction of the bill on same-sex marriage.
The third message I would like to convey, and it was already conveyed by all the Ministers before me, is of course the commitment of France to make some progress here in the UN, on this cause. We have made a lot of work in common, in 2008, 2010, and 2011 : declarations, conferences, etc. I am not going to repeat all that. Now we have a new challenge, it is to try to get a majority to have one day a resolution on this topic. And it is still a challenge ahead of us.
The fourth and last message is about beyond being vocal. We need to help on the ground the defenders of LGBT Rights. That is why I can’t only call upon you to join all the funds we have set, we have to help them to fight on the ground too. And it is with these two legs, being vocal at the international level and being in support on the ground, that the rights will be enforced and that we will make tremendous progress.
The last message will be of course to thank the Netherlands for having organized this meeting, to thank your country for its commitment, to thank you personally for your personal commitment Mr. Minister, and also for having read Marguerite Yourcenar.
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