Foreign Minister Tuomioja to Strasbourg to a Council of Europe conference on combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity
On 26-27 March, Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja will participate in Strasbourg in a Council of Europe conference against discrimination of sexual or gender minorities (LGBT people), Combating discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity across Europe: Sharing knowledge and moving forward.
The conference will be organised by United Kingdom, the present holder of the Council of Europe Chairmanship, which has designated LGBT rights as one of the priorities for its chairmanship.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe gave in 2010 recommendations on measures to combat discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity. This document was the first of its kind, and even though it is not legally binding, it still bears significant political weight. The implementation of the recommendations is supported by a special LGBT unit in the secretariat of the Council of Europe, whose work Finland supports. For the purpose of implementing the recommendations, Finland has established an inter-administrative working group, coordinated by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, which will report to the Council of Europe on the implementation of the recommendations in Finland.
In Strasbourg, Tuomioja will participate in a panel discussion consisting of the ministers from the participating countries. In this panel, measures taken by various countries to implement the recommendations will be reported, among other things. By participating in the event, Tuomioja also highlights the importance of this particular issue for Finland. The LGBT rights are one of the priorities of Finlands international human rights policy.
During his visit, Foreign Minister Tuomioja will also have bilateral meetings with Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, and Nicolas Bratzan, President of the European Court of Human Rights.
Further information: First Secretary Pasi Kokkonen, tel. +358 9 1605 5323, and Veikko Kiljunen, diplomatic adviser to the Minister, tel. +358 40 351 9526