Ban-Ki Moon | News | United Nations

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon: Governments Have a Duty to Uphold the Rights of LGBT People — VIDEO


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon spoke out for LGBT rights at the Oslo Conference on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity on Monday, blasting government and religious anti-LGBT oppression.


Said the Secretary General in his statement:

We should all be outraged when people suffer discrimination, assault and even murder – simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. We should all speak out when someone is arrested and imprisoned because of who they love or how they look. This is one of the great, neglected human rights challenges of our time. We must right these wrongs.

Governments have a legal duty to protect everyone. But far too many still refuse to acknowledge the injustice of homophobic violence and discrimination. We need to document this problem and share information with States on a regular basis for discussion and action.

We must institutionalize our efforts to address discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We need public education to change popular attitudes.

Some will oppose change. They may invoke culture, tradition or religion to defend the status quo. Such arguments have been used to try to justify slavery, child marriage, rape in marriage and female genital mutilation.

I respect culture, tradition and religion – but they can never justify the denial of basic rights.

My promise to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender members of the human family is this: I am with you. I promise that as Secretary-General of the United Nations, I will denounce attacks against you …. and I will keep pressing leaders for progress.

I am committed to leading a global campaign in partnership with the United Nations human rights office. I count on others to join us. Together, we can make the world safer, freer and more equal for everyone.

Thank you.


It is not the first time he has spoken in support of LGBT people. At a UN Human Rights Council hearing on LGBT equality in March 2012, he denounced violence and discrimination, inspiring a walk-out by leaders of Islamic and African nations. He also appeared at a UN panel against homophobia with Ricky Martin last December.

Feed This post's comment feed


  1. Wow. As someone who has worked for the UN, I can tell you that language is pretty remarkable.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 16, 2013 6:29:46 PM

  2. 'This is one of the great, neglected human rights challenges of our time.'


    Posted by: JONES | Apr 16, 2013 6:34:54 PM

  3. Ban Ki-Moon has the admiration ,respect, and pride of many South Koreans. Hopefully this will change the views and altitudes of the South Koreans toward their fellow LGBT citizens.

    Posted by: Ant | Apr 16, 2013 6:45:32 PM

  4. What an awesome and heroic person.

    Posted by: Ayumi | Apr 16, 2013 6:48:58 PM

  5. amazing!!!!

    Posted by: Joe | Apr 16, 2013 6:50:57 PM

  6. I don't believe in a god, but if there were one, he/she would bless this man. This is why we need to support a United Nations. Leadership and conscience.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Apr 16, 2013 7:17:07 PM

  7. Ki-Moon is a good man.

    Posted by: Mel Smith | Apr 16, 2013 7:30:37 PM

  8. Why doesn't Ban Ki Moon go and say this at the actual UN instead of some audience-specific gathering? Audience-specific gatherings simply serve to isolate our concerns from the mainstream. Ban Ki's words will not resonate beyond this audience-specific meeting.

    Ban Ki Moon should directly address the UN representatIves of Asian and Middle Eastern and African countries that discriminate and even kill us. Pigs might fly.

    Posted by: Adam | Apr 16, 2013 7:40:27 PM

  9. This is great! However, as another poster said, it would have been better if he had said this at an actual United Nations meeting. Baby steps, perhaps...

    Posted by: | Apr 16, 2013 7:50:12 PM

  10. Ki-Moon has made speeches before the UN General Assembly on the role of leadership in the fight against homophobia as well as ending violence and criminal sanctions against gender identity and sexual orientation.

    Posted by: JONES | Apr 16, 2013 8:00:12 PM

  11. There is a link above on his speech to the Human Rights Council. At lot of Asian and African countries members just walked out. Actually US and UK carry more weights than the UN and they can cut off foreign assistance to these countries. UK has already threatened to do so.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 16, 2013 8:03:41 PM

  12. This is a big, big deal, Ban Ki-Moon is an awesome advocate for equality. The message has been made clear---if you're a member or supporter of the UN, you need to support equality for our community. No questions asked. It's a major step in the right direction and sets the tone that countries worldwide will be judged according to.

    Posted by: Francis #1 | Apr 16, 2013 9:30:35 PM

  13. Excellent, thank you. More please.

    Posted by: Christophe | Apr 16, 2013 9:44:22 PM

  14. Adam, remember that n American and European countries also continue to discriminate against us

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Apr 17, 2013 1:33:37 AM

Post a comment


« «Towleroad Talking Points: Investigation Begins in Boston« «