The United Nations DPI/NGO Relations organized and led an expert panel to discuss the International Holocaust Remembrance Day that the United Nations honored on January 27th. In particular, this meeting was created to talk about the treatment of homosexuals and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender during this period of time. The Chief of NGO Relations, Mr. Brez stated that we can achieve the United Nation’s goal and mission of leaving no person behind in 2015. Thus, learning from the plights of subcultures within society will help us engender a more positive, accepting outlook on the rest of humankind. The next speaker, Mr. Jensen, talked about the history of the treatment of homosexuals in Nazi Germany: “Carl Vaernet conducted experiments on those convicted of homosexuality at Buchenwald.” He emphasized the idea that understanding history is crucial in understanding the atrocity of the crimes committed against human kind. The next speaker, Mr. Bustamante stressed how learning about the history of the Rights of Discriminated people aligns with the UN’s goal of advocacy and education. He stated, “equality is for all, and no one should be discriminated against.” Mr. Radcliffe spoke of the human right abuses in Nazi Germany and the progress humanity has made to have a more inclusive society, accepting of same-sex relationships as well as other definitions of “family.” However, he qualified those statements by reminding the audience that some countries today are still behind the curve, and there are still people and groups of people that are discriminated against. In closing, Mr. Radcliffe suggested that there remains work to be done to make sure groups are not marginalized, and one important step would be advocating policy and legislative change by working with civil societies, victims, and human rights monitors.
Meeting: The Holocaust, Homosexuals and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights Today
Thursday, January 29, 2015; 11:00-12:30; Conference Room 2
Speakers: Jeffrey Brez, Chief of NGO Relations and Advocacy at UN Department of Public Information; Erik Jensen, Associate Professor of history at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; Charles Radcliffe, Chief of Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; Rafael de Bustamante, Counselor – Human Rights and Social Affairs – EU Delegation to the UN
Written By: Daniel Cho
Edited By: Modou Cham