On Wednesday, 25 July 2018 (10-12 hrs) the European Union Delegation to Papua New Guinea, the Embassy of France to Papua New Guinea, and the United States Embassy to Papua New Guinea jointly hosted the second round-table discussion with the LGBTI community. The event was hosted by the Ambassador of France (an EU member state) to Papua New Guinea, H.E. Philippe Janvier-Kamiyama, at the residence of the French Embassy.
On the occasion, Heads of Missions engaged with a representative from the LGBTI community. In his introduction Ambassador Janvier-Kamiyama said:
"Around the world, LGBTI people are still victims of violence, discrimination and violations of their fundamental rights. In 72 countries, homosexual relations are considered as offenses or crimes, punishable by prison terms or even the death penalty in 8 countries. France remains concerned about serious violations of LGBTI rights, including repression and torture in a number of countries, in particular with the return of a wave of moralization".
The LGBTI community representative stated: "It is important to focus on the human rights aspects of our people, recognising that members of the LGBTI community in Papua New Guinea simply have the same rights as every other person; acceptance and inclusiveness of all despite our differences".
Mr Bernard Link, Deputy Head of US Mission remarked: “The U.S. Government remains committed to promoting the human rights of LGBTI persons not only in PNG but all over the world. We strongly believe that every person, no matter his or her gender or sexual identity, deserves to be valued and respected by their government.”
The second roundtable event was a reflection on discussions that took place last year at the first roundtable, which was viewed positively as a safe space for the LGBTI community to openly share their experiences, both difficulties and triumphs.
The European Union, France and the United States are of the opinion that through continued and open dialogue with members of the LGBTI community a better insight can be gained into how to raise understanding and awareness of the importance to promote and protect human rights with the ultimate objective to cooperate on progressing the rights of LGBTI persons in the country.
The occasion included the screening of three short films about the difficulties and achievements of members of the LGBTI community in different EU member- and EU accession candidate countries. Considering that 2018 sees the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, missions resolved to continue working together towards promoting the rights of the LGBTI community in Papua New Guinea.
As 2018 celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the European Union, its member states and all like-minded nations around the world shall continue to work, at home and abroad, to ensure that further progress is made on this Declaration, the first article of which reads: "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights".
LGBTI persons, wherever they may reside, are no exception; discrimination has no place in today's world.
Paying tribute to all those working to promote and protect human rights – and in the present context in particular those striving to safeguard the human rights of LGBTI persons – the European Union, France and the Embassy of the United States to Papua New Guinea reaffirmed their commitment to support human rights for the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) persons in Papua New Guinea.