UN Human Rights Council’s Independent Expert on SOGI Vitit Muntarbhorn Resigning due to Illness

By September 13, 2017 Newsroom

The first ever UN’s Independent Expert on Protection against Violence and Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (IESOGI), Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn has resigned from his position.

In the resignation letter he sent to the UN Human Rights Council, the UN body that appoints the position, Professor Vitit cited his illness and the health of a family member as the reason for his departure.

Vitit was assigned the position back in September 2016 after the mandate of IESOGI was created by the 47 member UN Human Rights Council in June 2016. The appointment, however, was not a walk in a park. The mandate of the position was challenged by a coalition of countries that did not want to defend the rights of their LGBT citizens in November, and again, in December of the same year. Yet, the victory prevailed on our side in both times.

Vitit and his team has released a report of his investigation to the Human Rights Council last June and will soon present the report to the General Assembly in October.

The IESOGI’s position carries a three-year mandate to investigate anti-LGBTQ abuses across the globe, and Vitit will end his tenure on this coming October 31. The vacancy of IESOGI has now been re-opened by UN Human Rights Council. The application deadline is 12 (noon time) Greenwich Mean Time on 11 October 2017.

APCOM wishes him and his family good health and support, and immensely thanks Vitit and his team for the work they have done.

“On behalf of APCOM, I would like to send our sincere thank you to Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn for his dedication and his pioneering role as the first UN’s IESOGI,” said APCOM Executive Director Midnight Poonkasetwattana. “No one can doubt his passion to defend and protect the rights of LGBT people, as seen in his opening speech of the 28th ILGA World Conference held in Bangkok in 2016. APCOM will continue his legacy to advance LGBT rights, in Asia-Pacific region and globally.”
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