The United Nations (UN) in Guyana officially launched pride month 2022 with a flag raising ceremony at the UN House.
The rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ+) persons are human rights. They are protected by international law.
Yeşim Oruç, UN Resident Coordinator stated, “UN agencies have a history of working together with LGBTIQ+ organisations to address the challenges and vulnerabilities that LGBTIQ+ communities face and to ensure that they are not left behind from Guyana’s enormous development potential.”
Offering remarks at the ceremony, Hon. Gail Teixeira, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance said, “the government is committed to human rights and democracy…this is an issue that we will continue to strive to make progress on.”
The UN has worked closely with LGBTIQ+ organisations in Guyana since 2005/2006 when the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) worked to raise awareness of health issues affecting key populations in Guyana.
In 2017, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) undertook a National Dialogue on HIV and the Law as part of its ‘Being LGBTI in the Caribbean’ project, which was funded by the generous support of the USAID.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supported the outfitting of safe spaces for gender-based violence victims. Additionally, the International Organisation (IOM) supported the provision of food hampers for LGBTIQ+ migrants.
In 2022, the UN will also host a gender-based violence sensitisation session with LGBTIQ+ organisations, under the Spotlight Initiative, which is supported by the European Union.
Friday’s ceremony was attended by representatives of LGBTIQ+ organisations – Guyana Trans United, the Guyana Rainbow Foundation, EQUAL Guyana, Proud To Be Trans, and Tamùkke Feminists; members of the diplomatic community, and UN staff.
A number of local LGBTIQ+ have already announced their calendar of activities to commemorate Pride, with activities slated for the period June/July.