UN Globe at the United Nations
Advocating for the equality and non-discrimination of LGBTI staff in the UN system and its peacekeeping operations

Updates on the Work of UN Globe

Updates on the work of UN Globe

Update on the work of UN-GLOBE + UN-GLOBE's IDAHOT 2016 message and poster

Dear colleagues,

As you know, IDAHOT 2016 is coming up, to be commemorated next Tuesday, May 17. UN-GLOBE has picked a theme for the day: the cost of hiding one’s sexual or gender identity in the UN workplace. We aim to highlight the cost to the UN of homophobia and transphobia, and bring attention to the issues faced by LGBTI staff in the field, in particular.

As part of our IDAHOT 2016 campaign, we have reached out to all the heads of organizations of the UN system with a UN-GLOBE statement for IDAHOT 2016, and our poster. Please feel free to use either as you see fit. It would be particularly useful if you could help disseminate the message, or put up the poster in a visible place at your workplace. It may not be the most stunning poster you’ve ever seen (or for the wrong reasons it actually is), but I believe it effectively makes a point.

In other developments, please know that I was in Geneva this March where I met with the heads of ILO, UNOG, and WIPO; the deputy head of OHCHR; and the Director of HR at WHO. Together with Nanoo (Sandhu Gurchaten), our Vice-President, we asked for a commitment to incorporate an LGBTI perspective in all their policies. Our issues, our concerns, the ways certain policies such as mobility to certain countries impact us should never be ignored. When drafting policies, we should be consulted. The meetings were successful, and going forward, it would be a matter of holding them accountable.

While in Geneva, I also moderated a panel discussion featuring UN parents who had adopted or had children through surrogacy. This was part of our efforts to bring attention to the need to change parental leave policies at the UN so that all children – whether adopted, born through surrogacy, or given birth by a staff member – are treated equally. The stories told by parents at this event were very moving, and I would encourage all of you to watch the video at www.unglobe.org/events.

On other matters: the project with the Fordham Law School, together with Mala Kumar who is building an interactive map for us where LGBTI staff can record their experiences in countries they have served, continues to move forward. Please bear with us as it takes time to do the research, and time to bring a map to reality when our resources are so limited.

Finally, we continue drafting the proposals on an inclusive workplace for trans and intersex staff, and the Working Group established to examine these proposals will soon be debating them. I hope we can send them out by June to all organizations of the UN system.

Next, we will tackle proposals for an inclusive workplace for staff members with HIV and AIDS, plus a survey of all staff of the UN system on sexual and gender identity matters.

UN-GLOBE continues to operate under one overarching goal: to create a true culture of diversity and inclusion in the UN system. LGBTI advocacy in the UN has to start at home.


Hyung Hak Nam

President, UN-GLOBE