Ambassador Knott signs open letter on Equality Parade

53 Ambassadors of countries from all corners of the world and representatives of international organisations express their support for ‘efforts to raise public awareness of the issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and other communities in Poland facing similar challenges.’

In an open letter on the occasion of Warsaw’s Equality Parade, signatories recognise ‘the need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance’. They pay tribute to the hard work of LGBTI and other communities, in Poland and around the world, seeking to end discrimination ‘in particular on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.’

The letter was presented to the organisers of the Equality Parade and the Director of the Department of Civil Society at the Prime Minister’s Chancellery on 31 May by HMA Jonathan Knott, together with Anne-Sophie Massa from the Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium, and the Ambassador of Ireland, Emer O’Connell.

Ambassador Knott will participate in the Equality Parade on Saturday, 8 June.

The full text of the letter is as follows:

Open letter of the Ambassadors of Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay and Venezuela, as well as the Representative of the Government of Flanders and the General Representative of the Wallonia-Brussels Governments, the Representatives in Poland of the European Commission and of the UNHCR, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the Head of Office of the International Organization for Migration and the Secretary General of the Community of Democracies, on the occasion of the Equality Parade in Warsaw on 8 June, 2019.

This letter has been coordinated by the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Poland.

On the occasion of this year’s Warsaw Equality Parade, we express our support for efforts to raise public awareness of issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and other communities in Poland facing similar challenges.

We also acknowledge similar efforts in Koszalin, Gniezno, Łódź, Bydgoszcz, Kraków, Gdańsk, Zielona Góra, Olsztyn, Rzeszów, Opole, Poznań, Kielce, Katowice, Szczecin, Wrocław, Białystok, Częstochowa, Konin, Lublin and Toruń.

We affirm the inherent dignity of each individual as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Respect for these fundamental rights, which are also enshrined in OSCE commitments and the obligations and standards of the Council of Europe and the European Union as communities of rights and values, obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities.

To this end, and in particular to shield communities in need of protection from verbal and physical abuse and hate speech, we need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance. This includes in particular sectors such as education, health, social affairs, citizenship, public service and public documents.

We pay tribute to the hard work of LGBTI and other communities in Poland and around the world, as well as the work of all those who seek to ensure human rights for LGBTI and other persons belonging to communities facing similar challenges, and to end discrimination in particular on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Human rights are universal and everyone, including LGBTI persons, are entitled to their full enjoyment. This is something that everyone should support.

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