Official Human Rights Forum Opening at UN City

Around 250 participants will be welcomed in the lobby areas of UN City Copenhagen on Monday 16 August

Official Human Rights Forum Opening at UN City

In 2015, the United Nations launched a set of global goals to end poverty and inequality by 2030. “The Sustainable Development Goals” (SDGs), were signed onto by 193 governments on the basis that they apply to everyone, everywhere and that they will ‘leave no one behind’. Equality groups strongly pushed for the rights and needs of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and intersex individuals to be taken into account.  

Six years later, on Monday 16 August from 15:00-17:45, we meet, in the framework of Copenhagen 2021 at UN City Copenhagen, to evaluate the progress, discuss challenges and opportunities, and suggest a way forward that secures the inclusion of LGBTI+ people in the frame of the global SDGs.

The United Nations Opening Plenary is organized in collaboration with UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, and coordinated with other UN entities. It will be a public event at the iconic star-shaped UN City at the harbor front, and available live for the world to tune in. 

Dr. Natalia Kanem, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency said: 

 “The widespread violence, discrimination, and exclusion faced by LGBTQI people and their families constitute serious human rights violations and impede efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and their promise of leaving no one behind. UNFPA is committed to addressing the specific needs of LGBTQI people. Around the world, we support health, comprehensive sexuality education, and advocacy initiatives that help marginalized communities and lift up young people, including the LGBTQI youth often left behind.” 

Program Outline

The discussions during the plenary take a starting point in three real life dilemmas faced by the LGBTI+ Community in obtaining basic human rights, putting a focus on challenges in reaching the goal of “leaving no one behind” of the Sustainable Development Goals. The three dilemma dialogues will take place between activists, experts, UN entities, and civil society. The content has been curated in collaboration with the OHCHR, UNOPS, UNDP, World Bank, the UN Secretary General’s Office for Youth, and the Office of the Independent Expert on SOGI. 

Confirmed speakers and panelist to this event are: 

  • United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director Grete Faremo 
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet 
  • Minister for Development Cooperation and Minister for Nordic Cooperation, Denmark Flemming Møller Mortensen 
  • United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem 
  • UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy Ulrika Modeer 
  • United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake 
  • UN Independent Expert on SOGIE Victor Madrigal-Borloz 
  • International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) President Franka Cadée 
  • Anonymous Activist, Nigeria.  
  • Activist Tuisina Ymania Brown, Samoa, Co-Secretary General of ILGA world. 

The day will be summarized by the Independent Expert on the protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity Victor Madrigal-Borloz and United Nations Secretary General’s Youth Envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake. 

Moderator of the day will be Deputy Speaker of the Danish Parliament and former Danish Minister for Equal Opportunity MP. Karen Ellemann. 


1. What has been done so far on the SDG with an LGBTI+ focus?
2. Presenting ongoing SDG work and realizations. 
3. Identifying current LGBTI+ issues within the SDG and presenting a solution.
4. Suggesting a way forward for SDGs global implementation that secures the inclusion of LGBTI+ people.


This event is by invitation only. Please email for more information.

Sign Language Interpretation

Speakers include
  • lemming Møller Mortensen, Minister for Development Cooperation and Minister for Nordic Cooperation, Denmark
  • Michelle Bachelet, UN Under-Secretary-General and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
  • Dr. Natalia Kanem, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 
  • Ulrika Modéer, Assistant Secretary General & Director of Bureau of External Relations & Advocacy, UNDP. (TBC)
  • Jayathma Wickramanayake, UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
  • Victor Madrigal-Borloz, HRC Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity

Partners and Sponsors

See the full list of Partners and Sponsors