Open Letter on the occasion of Warsaw’s Equality Parade, 9 June 2018

Open letter of the Ambassadors of Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam, as well as the General Representative of the Government of Flanders and the Representative of the Government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, the Representatives in Poland of the European Commission and of the UNHCR, the Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, and the Secretary General of the Community for Democracies, on the occasion of the Equality Parade in Warsaw on 9 June, 2018. This letter has been coordinated by the Embassy of Ireland in Poland.

On the occasion of this year’s Warsaw Equality Parade, we express our support for efforts to raise public awareness of issues affecting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community and other communities in Poland facing similar challenges. We also acknowledge similar efforts in Częstochowa, Gdańsk, Łódź, Katowice, Konin, Kraków, Opole, Poznań, Rzeszów, Szczecin, Toruń and Wrocław.

We affirm the inherent dignity of each individual as expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Respect for these fundamental rights, which are also enshrined in OSCE commitments and the obligations and standards of the Council of Europe and the European Union as communities of rights and values, obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure they enjoy equal opportunities. To this end, and in particular to shield communities in need of protection from verbal and physical abuse and hate speech, we need to jointly work on an environment of non-discrimination, tolerance and mutual acceptance. This includes in particular sectors such as education, health, social affairs, citizenship, public service and public documents. We pay tribute to the hard work of LGBTI and other communities in Poland and around the world, as well as the work of all those who seek to ensure human rights for LGBTI and other persons belonging to communities facing similar challenges, and to end discrimination in particular on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Human rights are universal and everyone, including LGBTI persons, are entitled to their full enjoyment. This is something that everyone should support.

H.E. Shpresa Kureta, Ambassador of Albania
H.E. Patricia Salas, Ambassador of Argentina
H.E. Paul Wojciechowski, Ambassador of Australia
H.E. Werner Almhofer, Ambassador of Austria
H.E. Colette Taquet, Ambassador of Belgium
Ivica Pranjic, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina
H.E. Alfredo Leoni, Ambassador of Brazil
Jeremy Wallace, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Canada
H.E. Julio Bravo Yubini, Ambassador of Chile
H.E. Petros Kestoras, Ambassador of Cyprus
H.E. Ivan Jestřáb, Ambassador of the Czech Republic
H.E. Ole Egberg Mikkelsen, Ambassador of Denmark
H.E. Harri Tiido, Ambassador of Estonia
H.E. Hanna Lehtinen, Ambassador of Finland
H.E. Pierre Lévy, Ambassador of France
H.E. Rolf Nikel, Ambassador of Germany
H.E. Evangelos Tsaoussis, Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic
H.E. Martin Eyjólfsson, Ambassador of Iceland
H.E. Tsewang Namgyal, Ambassador of India
H.E. Gerard Keown, Ambassador of Ireland
H.E. Anna Azari, Ambassador of Israel
H.E. Alessandro De Pedys, Ambassador of Italy
Satoru Takahashi, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Japan

H.E. Edgar Bondars, Ambassador of Latvia
H.E. Conrad Bruch, Ambassador of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
H.E. Natasha Meli Daudey, Ambassador of Malta
H.E. Alejandro Negrín, Ambassador of Mexico
Robert Markić, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Montenegro
H.E. Mary Thurston, Ambassador of New Zealand
H.E. Ron J.P.M. van Dartel, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
H.E. Olav Myklebust, Ambassador of Norway
H.E. João Silva Leitão, Ambassador of Portugal
H.E. Dario Galassi, Ambassador of San Marino
H.E. Nikola Zurovac, Ambassador of Serbia
H.E. Robert Krmelj, Ambassador of Slovenia
H.E. Simon Jabulani Ntombela, Ambassador of South Africa
H.E. Francisco Javier Sanabria, Ambassador of Spain
H.E. Stefan Gullgren, Ambassador of Sweden
Chasper Sarott, Chargé d’Affaires, Embassy of Switzerland
H.E. Tunç Üğdül, Ambassador of Turkey
H.E. Andrii Deshchytsia, Ambassador of Ukraine
H.E. Jonathan Knott, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
H.E. Paul Jones, Ambassador of the United States of America
H.E. Pablo Scheiner, Ambassador of Uruguay
H.E. Luis Gomez Urdaneta, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
H.E. Vu Dang Dzung, Ambassador of Vietnam
Yves Wantens, General Representative of the Government of Flanders
Laurence Capelle, General Representative of the Government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation
Marek Prawda, Head of Representation, European Commission in Poland

Anna-Carin Öst, Representative, UNHCR Representation in Poland
Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
Thomas E. Garrett, Secretary General of the Community of Democracies