News / Announcements /
17 May 2021 - International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bisexuality 2021

International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bisexuality 2021
May 17th, 2021

Worrying stability on LGBTI issues

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bisexuality, which is celebrated every year on 17 May, is an opportunity to assess and promote the problems arising from such perceptions but also as a springboard for continuing the effort to create a non-discriminatory society. Every person must have the right to self-determination and we must all defend that right. This day is also an important opportunity to strengthen the LGBTI community.

Cyprus, according to the annual survey of the international organisation for LGBTI rights ILGA-Europe, with 31% remaining in 19th place among the countries of the European Union and 29th among the 49 countries of the Council of Europe.

We are all concerned about this stability, which was the result of an extremely turbulent year, not only in Cyprus and Europe but also around the world. 

At the same time, we understand that we need to defend freedoms that we have worked hard for many years and which we may have taken for granted. We have a duty to protect and empower every person within our communities, especially people of multiple identities, who have been disproportionately affected by the most privileged among us. At the same time, a number of actions that have had to be stopped, it is high time that they restarted with the main priority the promotion of the draft legal recognition of gender identity in parliament.

Looking ahead, in the context of its participation in actions that promote equal rights and help solve problems of the LGBTI community, the Government has for months been preparing a series of actions concerning LGBTI people. 

A key part is the organisation for the first time by the Government of Cyprus of a Pan-European LGBTI Conference allowing the direct involvement of government departments in this area. In particular, Cyprus in cooperation with the United Kingdom, the government is organising the IDAHOT+ Forum 2021, which will take place online on 18 May 2021 from London. The event, on behalf of Cyprus, is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice and Public Order with Minister Emily Yolitis welcoming attendees with the British counterpart of the Minister for Women and Equality, Liz Truss, also taking part in a discussion.

At the same time, on 19 May, the 27th Round Table Discussion of the Council of Europe's European Network of LGBTI Government Contact Points (EFPN) will take place, where Cyprus will be represented by officials of the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs.

It is worth noting that the next meeting, which will again be co-organised with the United Kingdom, will be hosted in Nicosia in May 2022. On the occasion of the above two events, transnational cooperation with the United Kingdom on LGBTI issues is officially launched, and a Memorandum of Understanding on the promotion and protection of LGBTI rights in Europe and the Commonwealth is expected to be signed next month. An important parameter will concern issues of discrimination in the workplace, including educational and informational actions for employers and employees, as well as informing LGBTI workers about their rights.

Although the entire planet's period is difficult, it must also be seen as an important opportunity to redraft and redefine everyone's goals. This year more than ever, the world should stand united. The momentum of the effort to support people who are discriminated against on a daily basis should not be diminished but should instead be strengthened and certainly by returning to normality it should be shown in the result.

As every year, by the way, I would like to convey, particularly to young LGBTI people, a message of support and support, as well as the assurance that the effort for change is dynamic and lasting.