Vitit Muntarbhorn, the UN’s Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, resigned on 8 September 2017 in a letter sent to the President of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) and will leave his post at the end of October.
“The main reason for the resignation is illness: I have been unwell for the past few months and have also been hospitalized,” wrote professor Muntarbhorn, according to the Washington Blade.
“I am now recovering and I wish to reduce my workload generally. In addition, there is a family reason: A key member of my family/household is ill and I am now having to undertake additional family obligations which consume both time and energy.”
Professor Muntarbhorn was appointed as the first LGBT independent expert in September 2016 after the new post was created in June of the same year.
In his one year in the position, the international law professor at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok completed two initial reports, one to the HRC in June 2017 and another to be presented to the General Assembly in October.
He also responded to specific human rights threats in Honduras and Chechnya.
The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights is expected to invite applications for Vitit Muntarbhorn’s replacement in the next few days.