Press Release

UN Lebanon Response to the IDAHOBIT Statement Addressed to the United Nations and Partners in Support of the Rights of LGBTIQ+ People

19 June 2020

  • In response to the Statement to Humanitarian and Development Agencies of the United Nations (UN) on the Occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) issued on May 17, 2020 by the Undersigned Embassies and Missions in Lebanon, the United Nations and its partners join the pledge of support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Queer (LGBTIQ+) community in Lebanon.

In Lebanon, as well as in other parts of the world, the UN continues to work towards the protection of all persons, including sexual and gender minorities. As the crisis unfolds in Lebanon, we recognize that vulnerable groups, especially LGBTIQ+ persons, of all backgrounds and nationalities, are continuing to face human rights abuses and incredible challenges to access basic services, livelihoods, food, shelter, healthcare and protection from sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

Under the UN values of leaving no one behind and as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we will continue to ensure that our interventions and services are inclusive of all persons and do not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.

In Lebanon, the United Nations, along with our national and international development and humanitarian partners are responding to the needs of LGBTIQ+ persons, adults, youth, and children, in the following ways:

• Advocating for the protection of LGBTIQ+ individuals from violence, discrimination, and criminalization, including repealing national discriminatory laws which violate human rights.

• Supporting national institutions and civil society with assistance to ensure the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ people and provide resources to LGBTIQ+ community-based protection and youth groups.

• Advocating for all LGBTIQ+ persons to be able to safely access public spaces.

• Increasing vulnerable LGBTIQ+ individuals’ access to essential and live saving services, including cash assistance, shelter, healthcare, psychosocial support, including GBV services.

• Strengthening confidential complaint mechanisms to enable accountability for UN and partners.

• Creating enabling environments for diversity and inclusivity within UN agencies’ and partners’ workplaces, including protections for LGBTIQ+ staff members.

• Monitoring the heightened risks of LGBTIQ+ people during the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying socioeconomic impacts, including around eviction and homelessness, and economic exploitation and employment discrimination.


Further to these efforts, the United Nations and our partners commit to strengthening our support on the above, and expanding our assistance towards LGBTIQ+ people in the following ways:

•  Integrating LGBTIQ+ rights within UN interventions across all sectors, including social protection, health, food security, livelihoods, water, sanitation and hygiene, basic assistance, security and justice; specifically -

  • Ensuring that cash assistance and social safety nets reach LGBTIQ+ people, without discrimination.
  • Create inclusive health care systems, which recognize and address the diverse needs of LGBTIQ+ persons, considering issues around mental health and psychosocial support related to sexuality and gender, particularly transgender persons.
  • Increase LGBTIQ+ people’s access to safe and adequate housing, including the establishment of shelters to protect survivors of violence.
  • Promote the adoption of policies and services— at the national and local level — to help create socially inclusive, equitable and safe cities and public spaces free of violence and harassment against the LGBTQI+ community, both internally to the UN and externally
  • Establish comprehensive sexuality education that enable marginalized communities to better educate young people to tackle stigma and discrimination within the coming generations.

• Generate public advocacy around issues of sexual and gender justice and celebrate LGBTIQ+ history month in June each year.

• Conduct regular consultations with LGBTIQ+ individuals and organizations on the needs, gaps, and challenges of LGBTIQ+ people to continue to inform inclusive gender-sensitive programming.

• Develop a comprehensive strategy on LGBTIQ+ issues, approved by the UN Country Team and Humanitarian Country Team.

Under our obligation to support the fulfillment of human rights and meet the humanitarian needs of all people, we stand ready to assist the government and all stakeholders as we collectively work to guarantee the protection and promotion of the rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Lebanon.


Addressed to: (by embassies’ alphabetical order)

  1. Ambassador Hubert Cooreman, Embassy of Belgium in Lebanon
  2. Ambassador Emmanuelle Lamoureux, Embassy of Canada in Lebanon
  3. Ambassador Merete Juhl, Embassy of Denmark in Lebanon
  4. Ambassador Ralph Tarraf, Delegation of European Union in Lebanon
  5. Ambassador Tarja Fernández, Embassy of Finland in Lebanon
  6. Ambassador Bruno Foucher, Embassy of France in Lebanon
  7. Ambassador Georg Birgelen, Embassy of Germany in Lebanon
  8. Ambassador José Ignacio Madrazo, Embassy of Mexico in Lebanon
  9. Ambassador Jan Waltmans, Embassy of Netherlands in Lebanon Ambassador Leni Stenseth Embassy of Norway in Lebanon
  10. Ambassador José María Ferré de la Peña, Embassy of Spain in Lebanon
  11. Ambassador Jörgen Lindström, Embassy of Sweden in Lebanon
  12. Ambassador Chris Rampling, Deputy Head of Mission Alyson King Embassy of United Kingdom in Lebanon
  13. Country Director Ed Barnett, UK Department for International Development
  14. Ambassador Ricardo Nario, Embassy of Uruguay in Lebanon

UN entities involved in this initiative

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
International Labour Organization
International Organization for Migration
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Environment Programme
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations Children’s Fund
United Nations Industrial Development Organization
United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon
United Nations Office for Project Services
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon
United Nations Truce Supervision Organization
United Nations Volunteers
World Food Programme
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative