The Pride Parade which is to take place in Sarajevo on September 8 is an opportunity for Bosnia to demonstrate the values which it prides itself on, a statement signed by The Council of Europe, the EU Delegation and Special Representative, the UN and a number of embassies in the country said on Friday.
The diplomats expressed their “support for, and solidarity with, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT)."
“Every citizen of BiH – regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics - is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, including the right to be protected from discrimination and violence, and the right to peaceful assembly,” they said.
“The strongest, safest, and most prosperous societies are those in which all citizens can live freely, without fear of violence or discrimination. LGBTI people in BiH also deserve to be accorded the same respect and dignity as their fellow citizens. They should enjoy a fair and equal opportunity to play a full and active part in their own society,” the diplomats said, adding that they “stand ready to support" the authorities, civil society organizations and all interested parties in the country in their efforts to ensure the protection of human rights and social inclusion of LGBTI people.
“Human rights are universal and apply equally to all people,” they stressed.
The diplomats argued that the Parade is an opportunity for Bosnia, “which prides itself on being an open, multicultural country that respects the rights of all individuals - to demonstrate tolerance and appreciation for diversity.”
“The first BiH Pride Parade announced for 8 September 2019 presents an important opportunity for the institutions in BiH to demonstrate their continued dedication to fundamental human rights for all, including ensuring the protection of their LGBTI citizens,” their statement said.”
The diplomats stressed that access to public space for the event and ensuring freedom of assembly “are critical in the advancement of human rights for all members of our society and are guaranteed to all citizens of BiH by its Constitution and other legislation.”
“We look forward to seeing all public officials, institutions, and citizens of BiH working together to ensure that this event will be conducted peacefully, safely, and with dignity,” they concluded.
The joint statement was issued by:
Council of Europe Office in Sarajevo
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany
The British Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Diplomatic Office of the Kingdom of Belgium in Sarajevo
The Embassy of France in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Embassy of Italy in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Embassy of Spain in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Sarajevo
The Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina and European Union Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The United States Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Embassy of Sweden in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina