Closing remarks by Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the High-level side event of the LGBTI Core Group, United Nations, 21 September 2016.
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Distinguished colleagues and guests,
It is an honour to be here today.
And it is truly inspiring to hear you describe your experiences.
We have heard powerful testimonies of what can be accomplished through strong leadership, courage and commitment.
Kim Friele, a pioneer activist for LGBTI rights in Norway, once said that Being human, means being different. No one is like everyone else.
Because we believe that all humans are born ‘free and equal in dignity and rights’ – diversity must be respected.
Norway is proud to be part of the Core Group. I would like to thank the UN Secretary-General for personally putting equality for LGBTI people high on the international agenda.
I want to express my gratitude to all of you in this room – and to the brave activists, reporters, politicians, religious leaders and judges all around the world who have committed themselves to this cause, and who are working diligently to ensure that human rights are universally granted.
Although Norway has come far in the realisation of LGBTI rights since decriminalisation in 1972, there is more to be done.
Recently, my government launched a new plan of action to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual and gender identity.
The plan presents a broad range of actions, including measures focusing on immigrants and a scheme to improve our understanding of issues relating to the rights of intersex people and children.
We also need to implement new legislation to simplify the procedure for people wanting to change gender.
My job is to ensure that all Norwegians feel valuable just the way they are.
All people must have the same opportunities for personal development, participation and self-realisation, irrespective of their gender identity and sexual orientation.
Agenda 2030 includes a clear commitment: No one shall be left behind. The SDGs are now our roadmap to the world we want.
To achieve this, we must work together enhance the implementation of human rights.
In our own countries.
And in our international work.
The recent decision by the Human Rights Council to appoint an Independent Expert to combat violence and discrimination against LGBTI people is a milestone.
You can count on Norway’s unconditional support.
We have made great progress over the past few years. We can take considerable pride in our joint accomplishments.
Our common efforts make a real difference.