Remarks by Ms. Pauline Tamesis, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam
22 September 2023
Dr. Nguyen Anh Tri, National Assembly Deputy,
Members of the LGBTI Community;
On behalf of the UN in Viet Nam, it is a privilege to join you for the UN Free and Equal Campaign. Our campaign is dedicated to promoting equality, respect, and dignity for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.
Over the past three months, the UN in Viet Nam, particularly UNDP, UNAIDS and UN Women, have collaborated with Its T Time and iSEE to raise awareness. Through the media campaign, "A4 Sheet - A happy beginning," we have raised awareness about the rights and the necessary legal framework. We have shared over 30 powerful stories, reaching over 160,000 people across various age groups and genders.
These stories illustrate that the daily lives of transgender persons can change significantly with the supporting legislation that enables them to change their identity documents. The A4 sheet is not just a piece of paper. It is a new birth certificate or marriage license showing someone’s preferred gender identity. And it can have a powerful and positive effect on a transgender person’s lived reality.
In addition, the "Human Library - Trans living books" event connects journalists with transgender and gender-diverse storytellers, fostering honest conversations and amplifying trans voices.
As we celebrate Hanoi Pride Week, the JOURNEY TO FREE AND EQUAL 2023, it is our collective responsibility to ensure that every person in Viet Nam can live a life free from discrimination and prejudice.
Viet Nam has made progress in promoting human rights and inclusivity: same sex marriage was decriminalised; and slowly but surely awareness on LGBTI rights and health is growing and policies are developing progressively. Yet, discrimination and stigma against the LGBTI community persist. This is why UNFE Campaign aims to unite stakeholders in Viet Nam to engage in a dialogue with each other and learn about the very real challenges the LGBTI community is still facing.
By fostering open dialogue, we can create a more inclusive society. By fostering a supportive environment, we can empower individuals to live their lives with pride and confidence.
The UNFE Campaign in Viet Nam is a call to action – a call to uphold the principles of equality and human rights.
Through partnerships and joint initiatives, we can amplify our impact and ensure that the necessary resources, legal protections, and services are accessible to all.
Let us work together to raise awareness, advocate for legal reforms, and create safe spaces for the LGBTI community. Together, we can build a society where every individual is free and equal, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Together, we can shape inclusivity, creating a world where every person can live free from discrimination and enjoy equal rights and opportunities.
This year’s UN Free and Equal campaign would not have been possible without each one of you. I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the organizers, partners, and volunteers who have contributed to making the UN Free and Equal Campaign a reality. Your tireless efforts have created a safe space for people from all backgrounds to come together, celebrate love, and promote equality.