United Nations lays out hopes for LGBT progress in 2016

A UN spokesman has spoken about the progress made on LGBT rights in the past year, and the body's hopes for further progress in 2016. Speaking to United Nations radio, Charles Radcliffe of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said, "I think we've had a lot of good news in recent years, lots of progress, not only in western countries but in Latin America." He pointed out that in the western world, the focus should be on consolidation, "because it's not all about marriage, and in many of these counties a lot more work still needs to be done, whether it's on transgender rights, or protection of children against bullying, or banning so-called reparative therapies." He also acknowledged that things move at a different pace in different areas of the world. "In Africa we still need to support activism. There's still a lot of work that needs to be done to make the community visible and better understood, and we need to be ready for the pushback that is inevitable whenever a community is asserting its rights. "And in the Middle East we've seen terrible violence, extremism, focused on many vulnerable groups, including on people who are perceived to be gay, and the atrocities that are being carried out by some of the terrorist groups have come to the attention of the UN security council for the first time, and we need to be very vigilant." He also said one of the main positives of the past year was how the business world stepped up the plate on LGBT issues, and he expressed his hopes that we might see equal marriage this year in Taiwan, and civil partnerships in Thailand.