The first-ever UN independent expert to tackle LGBT human rights has vowed to persevere despite opposition to his appointment within the UN.
"This mandate will cover every country under the sun and under the moon," Vitit Muntarbhorn told a packed hall at the 28th IGLA conference in Bangkok last week.
“There can never be a political or legal vacuum in terms of protecting people." This includes working with countries opposed to his appointment, Vitit said.
Opponents to Vitit's appointment include countries in, Africa, the Middle East as well as China and Russia.
"No entity, no authorities are monolithic," Vitit said. "We will find strands, advocacy of kindness, consideration, humanity, in pretty much every region, and we must use that well in terms of building the capacity to rationalize with those authorities that might not yet be open enough."
"You will always find someone, even among those governments, that are slightly more open to discussion," he added.
LGBT rights advocates and allies from all over the world gathered in Bangkok last week for the 28th ILGA World Conference.
Established in 1978, ILGA (International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association) is a global federation of national and local organizations dedicated to achieving equal rights for LGBT and intersex people.
“This conference … provides a space for the LGBTI community around the world to come together and dialogue on issues facing our community, and also celebrate the achievements we have made,” Micheal Ighodaro from AVAC (Global Advocacy for HIV Prevention) told the Washington Blade.