The secretary general of the Commonwealth said the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual and Intersex (LGBTI) community have been among those marginalized around the world and should continue to receive support from the organization.

“Marginalised and vulnerable groups, such as the LGBTI community, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and religious minorities, are disproportionately impacted by discrimination,” Patricia Scotland Q.C. said.  “In this regard, we recently held a stakeholder consultation with civil society partners, accredited organisations, as well as two UN Special Procedure mandate holders, the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.”

Scotland said the theme for the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia this year, is justice and protection for all. “The theme echoes the call to leave no one behind which is central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” she said.

According to Scotland, there has been definitive progress over the last number of years among our member states in Asia, the Caribbean and Africa.

Scotland said their approach has been to work with national level institutions such as parliaments, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, civil society organizations, and faith leaders by harnessing their capabilities to advocate for and champion LGBTI equality and inclusion and progress the national dialogue.

Scotland said they will be working to support both these mandates as we promote LGBTI equality and inclusion as part of our advocacy for full and inclusive implementation of the commitments made under the SDGs.

She said the aspiration for this International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia 2019 must be to continue to promote the values of the Commonwealth Charter; to advocate for adherence to international human rights standards and obligations; and to work to ensure justice and protection for all persons, so that the SDGs become a reality and nobody is left behind.