Bangkok & Valletta - The Ministry for European Affairs and Equality (Malta) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed a memorandum of understanding, formalizing their collaboration in advancing equality, human rights and social inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in Asia and the Pacific.

Malta’s progress on LGBTIQ rights over the past few years means that it is increasingly a point of reference for other countries seeking to introduce legislation and policy to advance LGBTIQ equality. This is especially the case with regard to legislation dealing with gender identity recognition and the criminalization of conversion practices where its legislation is world leading.

As a member of the Equal Rights Coalition, Malta is committed to share its experience and expertise in this field and to express its solidarity in concrete forms.

The collaboration will support the Being LGBTI in Asia and the Pacific programme and benefit LGBTI communities, governments and other stakeholders in the region by bringing in Maltese expertise on laws, policies and programmes geared towards advancing the Sustainable Development Goals in relation to LGBTI equality.

“I am pleased to have overseen the setting up of the Human Rights and Integration Directorate and the number of initiatives it has taken to advance LGBTIQ equality in Malta. With the setting up of the SOGIGESC Unit and the expertise built in this field, I believe that we have a role to play in assisting others to attain the Sustainable Development Goals. It is therefore my Ministry’s pleasure to partner with UNDP Asia Pacific on the Being LGBTI in Asia and the Pacific programme,” said Joseph Camilleri, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality of Malta.

Under the five-year agreement, Malta and UNDP will work together to share information and technical assistance on laws, policy documents and initiatives concerning sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics. The cooperation builds on previous technical assistance Maltese experts have provided in support of progressing legal gender recognition for transgender people in Asia through the Programme.

“Malta has some of the world’s most progressive and inclusive laws and policies protecting rights and inclusion of LGBTI individuals, setting an inspiring example on how governments can work towards leaving no one behind. We are delighted to have Malta join the Being LGBTI in Asia and the Pacific -partnership and offer their expertise and technical assistance to their counterparts in Asia and the Pacific,” said Jaco Cilliers, Chief of Regional Policy and Programme for Asia and the Pacific at UNDP.

Being LGBTI in Asia is a regional programme supported by UNDP, the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs of Trade (DFAT), the Faith in Love Foundation, and now the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality (Malta). We work to address inequality, violence and discrimination on the basis of SOGIESC, and promote universal access to health and social services.

The Memorandum enters into force with immediate effect.

 

For more information, please contact:

Ian Mungall, Programme Analyst (Knowledge Management and Communications), HIV, Health and Development, UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub
ian.mungall@undp.org | +66909710908

Gabriella Calleja, Head, SOGIGESC Unit, Human Rights and Integration Directorate, Ministry for European Affairs and Equality
gabriella.b.calleja@gov.mt | +35699250943

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