Manila, 29 June–Staff members of the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines, led by the UN Resident Coordinator in the country, Ola Almgren, joined the Metro Manila Pride March and Festival today in support of the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) Filipinos.
The UN contingent participated under the banner of two UN campaigns for LGBTQI equality: UN Free & Equal and UN Globe. UN Free & Equal is a public information campaign while UN Globe is a UN staff initiative to advocate for the equality and non-discrimination of LGBTQI staff in the UN system and its peacekeeping operations. Both campaigns reinforce the UN Philippines system’s commitment to stand in solidarity with LGBTQI Filipinos, their families, friends and allies, in their pursuit of diversity, inclusion and pride.
“The UN is committed to action,” Almgren said. “We work with decision makers, human rights institutions and community leaders to change discriminatory laws and to put legal protections in place.”
The UN Philippines commends the cities and provinces in the Philippines that have adopted and are implementing ordinances that prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE). However, these local government units (LGUs) are still in the minority. Only 21 of the 1,634 cities and municipalities and six out of the 81 provinces in the Philippines have anti-discrimination ordinances (ADOs). This leaves 79.2% of Filipinos, or close to 80 million people, without protection against SOGIE-based discrimination.
The UN Philippines therefore affirms its support for the LGBTQI community’s call for the passage of the SOGIE Equality Bill and urges renewed efforts to push for its enactment by the 18th session of Congress.
“We have momentum on our side. But we need to come together to address the remaining challenges,” Almgren said.
See photos of the event: https://bit.ly/2IYfdzf
Read the UN Resident Coordinator’s op-ed, “The UN stands with Pride”: https://bit.ly/2KPf2s8