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Remarks by Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. at Viet Pride 2015

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Date: Thursday, 30 July 2015
Event: Viet Pride 2015
Venue: Goethe Institute, 56-58 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi

Good afternoon, colleagues and friends –

It is a great pleasure to be with you today to celebrate the annual Viet Pride in Ha Noi, joining the tide with 24 other cities and provinces throughout Viet Nam.

This is a great accomplishment for love and diversity, given that the national movement started with only one city, just three years ago.

This success belongs to you – the community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex people and your allies – and it is thanks to your commitment to fighting exclusion and injustice.

Even though achieving full equality is still far ahead, LGBTI people continue to make a difference through their activism. Gay and lesbian couples can no longer be punished by law for living together. Sex reassignment for transgender and intersex people is now widely discussed in the Civil Code revision. Policymakers in the National Assembly and the Government have become more aware of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities, and have shown openness to make the laws work for LGBTI people and the society at large.

It is encouraging to see more and more development partners showing their support for LGBTI rights and joining events such as this one. The United Nations is proud to be part of this network of supporters, and has been acting through advocacy, research and policy advice to promote equal rights for all. We firmly believe that inclusion benefits the entire society, and that a different sexual orientation or gender identity must not deny one’s right to a dignified life.

We therefore applaud the historic ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirming marriage equality for all Americans. Many Vietnamese have expressed their solidarity with this milestone decision. Inspired by it, people of all genders and sexualities marched along Nguyen Hue Street in Ho Chi Minh City to show their affection for one another.

Together with our partners – the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Institute for the Studies of Society, Economy and Environment – we are pleased to bring you an analysis of this ruling in today’s discussion.

Thank you for joining this dialogue. I wish everyone a fruitful exchange and a great time at the 2015 Viet Pride.

Xin cam on va chuc suc khoe!