Statement made by
My Rt. Hon. Friend the Minister for Women and Equalities (Elizabeth Truss) has made the following statement to the House of Commons:
The UK is a global leader for equality at home and abroad, driven by a fierce belief that everyone deserves the opportunity to succeed at whatever they wish to do and to love whoever they want to love. We proudly support, defend and champion the rights of LGBT people all around the world.
Now, more than ever, is an important time for us to come together and build back a better world, one where all LGBT people feel safe.
That is why the UK Government will deliver its first ever global LGBT rights conference. Safe To Be Me: A Global Equality Conference will take place from 27 to 29 June 2022, marking the 50th anniversary of the first London Pride.
The conference will bring together countries, international civil society and businesses to improve the rights and freedoms of LGBT people around the world. We will address three key challenges: supporting decriminalisation and legislative reform to advance equality and legal protections for LGBT people globally, tackling violence and discrimination, and improving access to public services.
The event brings together two ongoing international commitments the UK holds: co-chair of the Equal Rights Coalition alongside Argentina from 2019-2022, and hosting the Council of Europe’s European LGBTI Focal Points Network Annual Forum alongside Cyprus.
We will be organising a series of virtual events that bring together our key international partners, starting with an event on 18 May 2021 to mark this year’s International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). The 2021 IDAHOT+ Forum will be an important moment to discuss a range of important issues including LGBT-inclusive healthcare and business advocacy. It will also be the beginning of a year-long partnership with Cyprus, our friend in Europe and the Commonwealth.
Additionally, as co-chairs of the Equal Rights Coalition, the UK and Argentina will launch the first Strategy of the Equal Rights Coalition, and its Five-Year Implementation Plan, at a virtual meeting in July this year. This comprehensive strategy will increase international action to advance freedom and defend the rights of LGBT people. We want to ensure that everyone can live their lives free from the discrimination and violence that persists today.
To drive this work the Prime Minister has appointed Lord Herbert of South Downs as his Special Envoy on LGBT rights. In this role, Lord Herbert will champion LGBT rights in the UK and abroad.
The Government is committed to ensuring that LGBT people can be safe and free to live their lives as they wish, here at home and supporting them around the world. These events will be the next important step to ensuring we build a world where it is truly Safe To Be Me.
This statement has also been made in the House of Commons