The Wife of President, Elizabeta Gjorgievska, addressed the panel discussion on the occasion of May 17 – International Day against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia, organized by the EU Delegation and the US Embassy, and held at the EU Residence in Skopje.
In her address, Gjorgievska pointed out that it is necessary to talk about sensitive topics in order to have a realistic picture of the challenges of our common society. She stressed that we are all different on different grounds, but we all live in a common home – which we all have an obligation to build as an open and democratic society.
“It is necessary for all of us to work together to promote the rights of each community, especially when it comes to vulnerable communities. Equality in the enjoyment of fundamental rights, access to justice, social and health care, equal opportunities in education and employment are needed to enable every member of our community, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, to have a predictable and stable future”, the President’s Wife said.
In her address, Gjorgievska pointed out the Istanbul Convention which provides a broad framework for better legal solutions, awareness raising, strengthened capacities of institutions and greater cooperation with the civil sector and the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination as a tool when it comes to endangering the rights of persons on the basis of sexual orientation.
The President’s Wife underlined that in dealing with the challenges it is good to establish cooperation between state institutions and civil society sector, activists, because LGBTQI+ people do not always feel comfortable to speak openly, or to complain or report if they think that some of their rights are endangered, they have experienced discrimination or they have survived violence.
Gjorgievska said that the development of an open and democratic society is a long-term process and that things do not change overnight, but pointed out that with joint work we will succeed in creating a just society free of prejudice in which vulnerable citizens will be protected.
The event was addressed by David Geer, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Kate Marie Byrnes, US Ambassador to the Republic of North Macedonia, Kire Vasilev, Chairman of the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, as well as activists for the rights of LGBTIQ+ people.