I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The EU strongly opposes all forms of discrimination and violence, including on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
We are gravely concerned that sexual orientation and gender identity continue to be at the root of serious human rights violations around the world. Many LGBTI persons around the globe experience discrimination in their day-to-day life, which often lead to harmful effects, such as stigmatization, social exclusion or even extreme forms of violence, including torture and murder.
The European Union has - and will continue to - consistently and constructively engage with UN mandates focusing on violence and discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, or any other grounds, and we will support continued UN work in this regard.
We therefore thank the core group and its members for their work on this important matter. We appreciate the constructive spirit shown by the core group in the presentation of this initiative on "Mandate of the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity".
We also look forward to continue our efforts in enabling the Independent Expert, as well as other UN mandate holders, to continue to foster a climate of dialogue to help overcome fears and suspicions and to make progress in having access to a range of countries.