On 26 September 2014, the United Nations Human Rights Council approved a resolution 25-14 condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, asking the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to gather and publish information on how best to overcome discrimination and violence [D1.17], [R1.16].
On 15 December 2011, a report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights called on countries to abolish laws that criminalize homosexuality and to include sexual orientation and gender identity in comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation, among other recommendations [D1.15], [R1.14].
On 22 March 2011, eighty-four countries signed a statement entitled “Ending Acts of Violence and Related Human Rights Violations Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity” calling for an end to violence, criminal sanctions and other human rights violations against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity [R1.13].
In November 2010, the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women adopted two General Recommendations, one on older women and the protection of their human rights and one on the core obligations of States parties under Article 2 (on discrimination) — affirming that discrimination of women based on gender and sex is inextricably linked with other factors, including sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.12].
In September 2010, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon called on countries to stop enforcing laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians [R1.11].
In September 2009, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s permanent observer to the United Nations, suggested that instances of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests would be more accurately described as ephebophilia – attraction to mid to late adolescents – rather than pedophilia [R1.10].
In September 2009, when asked by journalists about the 2008 ‘Declaration for the Universal Decriminalisation of Homosexuality’, the UN Assembly’s new President Ali Abdussalam Treki said: “It is a very thorny argument. As a Muslim, I do not agree with it. I believe it is not acceptable for most of the world, and it is totally unacceptable for our tradition and religion.” [R1.9].
In December 2008, the Roman Catholic Church’s representative at the United Nations explained it opposed a statement on the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people read out at the General Assembly because the use of the phrases “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” in the statement have no definition in international law and are cultural concepts [R1.8].
On 18 December 2008, 66 countries signed the joint UN statement at the United Nations General Assembly in New York reiterating the universal human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people [R1.7].
As at May 2008, 60 countries had publicly supported sexual orientation as an issue at the United Nations Commission on Human Rights/Human Rights Council since 2003 [R1.6].
In 2006, Norway delivered a short oral statement at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2006 in support of a resolution condemning human rights abuses involving LGBT victims such as violence, torture and death, directed against people because of their sexual orientation and gender identity [R1.5].
In May 2001, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, six Independent Experts – high-level individuals appointed by the UN to investigate patterns of human rights abuse based on sexual orientation and gender identity – reached out to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities [R1.4].
In August 1999, the group “Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual Employees at the UN” (GLOBE-UN) argued that, despite the UN’s efforts to ensure “equal rights for all,” the world body still must “eliminate discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation” within its own system [R1.3].
In October 1998, the United Nations human rights chief, former Irish President Mary Robinson, met leaders of the International Lesbian and Gay Association [ILGA] for the first time [R1.2].
In 1996, ILGA issued a demand that the UN recognise sexual orientation as a human right [R1.1].