Digital Video Conference on LGBTI Community Issues

Foto de Grupo

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
Managua, March 2, 2016

I want to welcome our guests here in Nicaragua and to our colleagues and guests from our Embassy in Panama. It is especially gratifying to see Ambassador Feeley and see our two embassies working together on this important subject. Yesterday was the International Day for Zero Discrimination and I want to reinforce the message that no individual or group should be made to feel that they are not an integral part of their society.

Both Nicaragua and Panama face similar contexts regarding the development of LGBTI rights. Both individuals and LGBTI organizations are facing challenges and activists have little or no space to express their concerns, aspirations and contribute in this way to the development of their countries.

Protecting human rights is at the core of who we are as Americans and is a cornerstone of our diplomacy. We work every day to reaffirm the universality of human rights. It may be an LGBTI person, a member of an ethnic or racial minority, or a person with different abilities; human rights are universal and no person may be outside their protection.

Several groups are represented here today and we know that there are many others who participate in organizations of all kinds, whether to promote LGBTI issues or other social issues, but everyone is working to create a better future for you and other Nicaraguans and Panamanians.

We hope that sharing your experiences and lessons learned will encourage you to continue working towards a safer, more prosperous and democratic society. We also hope that this session will facilitate joint discussions with new ideas to help you overcome the obstacles that you face.

Welcome once again to this videoconference and thank you for participating and sharing your perspectives. Thank you very much.

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