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Joint Statement on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

By the Ambassadors to Ukraine of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States of America

Today, on 17 May, the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, we are proud to reaffirm our commitment to the protection of human rights and promotion of equality for all, including the right of citizens to peaceful assembly and the right to freedom from discrimination. We also recognise that the values of tolerance and respect for diversity are fundamental to open democratic societies. After some violent incidents in the past, the international community remains concerned about the safety of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Ukrainians, their friends, families, and all advocates for tolerance and equality in Ukraine.

The theme for this year’s March for Equality, planned for 18 June 2017 in Kyiv, is Ukraine: A Country for All. Following the peaceful conduct of Kyiv Pride events last year, as well as the recent Eurovision Song Contest, whose motto was ‘Celebrate Diversity’, we encourage everyone to build on these successes and continue to support equality in Ukraine. We collectively urge the police and city officials to support and protect the right of LGBTI persons and their supporters to conduct a March for Equality. We also ask that all Ukrainians respect the right of their fellow citizens to peaceful assembly. The same appeal applies to other locations in Ukraine where similar events may be planned. The diplomatic community plans to monitor and engage in the march as a reflection of our commitment to promoting and protecting human rights and equality. We invite members of civil society and businesses to express their support too.

Ukraine has made notable progress in recognising and protecting human rights, as demonstrated in the National Human Rights Strategy and the Action Plan. We continue to pledge our support to implementation of the Action Plan, including additional steps in the area of anti-discrimination for LGBTI citizens.

We look forward to a peaceful and safe March for Equality in Kyiv and similar events in other locations in Ukraine, as well as continued progress towards equality for all Ukrainians. In solidarity with the LGBTI community and the values of diversity, several diplomatic representations in Kyiv will be displaying the Pride Flag on 17 May to mark the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia.

H.E. Hermine Poppeller, Ambassador of Austria

H.E. Luc Jacobs, Ambassador of Belgium

H.E. Roman Waschuk, Ambassador of Canada

H.E. Ruben Madsen, Ambassador of Denmark

H.E. Hugues Mingarelli, Ambassador, Head of the EU

H.E. Juha Virtanen, Ambassador of Finland

H.E. Isabelle Dumont, Ambassador of France

H.E. Dr. Ernst Reichel, Ambassador of Germany

H.E. Davide La Cecilia, Ambassador of Italy

H.E. Kees Klompenhouwer, Ambassador of the Netherlands

H.E. Ole T. Horpestad, Ambassador of Norway

H.E. Martin Hagström, Ambassador of Sweden

H.E. Guillaume Scheurer, Ambassador of Switzerland

H.E. Judith Gough, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland

H.E. Marie L. Yovanovitch, Ambassador of the United
States of America