United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
December 16, 2021
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the First-Ever Consensus Adoption of a UN Resolution Referencing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
The United States celebrates the adoption of our biennial resolution on “Strengthening the Role of the United Nations in Promoting Democratization an Enhancing Periodic and Genuine Elections,” which passed by consensus today in the United Nations General Assembly. This resolution is vital in authorizing the UN’s continued work in providing election support to those countries seeking assistance around the world. But its adoption today also marks an historic moment.
This is the first time in the UN’s 76-year history that any UN body has adopted by consensus a text referencing “sexual orientation and gender identity.” This landmark moment is not only historic for the broader LGBTQI+ movement, but draws attention to the challenges LGBTQI+ persons face in voting and running for office and underscores the critical role the international community can play in addressing these barriers.
We have seen an alarming trend of laws, policies and regulations that discriminate against citizens on the basis of their marginalization, such as their disability, race, and ethnicity. This resolution states clearly that individuals should not be barred from running for office or from voting on the basis of their identity. The resolution also seeks to promote the universality of democratic values based on the free will of the people and their full participation in all aspects of public affairs, including the need for free and fair elections for all citizens.
The United States is proud to have facilitated the text that led us to this moment, and we will continue to work with countries in the UN LGBTI Core Group, members of civil society, and others, to ensure that the human rights of all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, are realized.