Justice Minister Stephie Drakos on Tuesday stressed the need for a change in culture regarding the rights of LGBTI+ people, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the Protection and Promotion of the rights of LGBTI+ People in Europe and the Commonwealth with the UK.
The MoU was also signed by Minister of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Amanda Milling in London.
According to a joint statement by the two sides, the Memorandum of Understanding outlines steps taken by the two countries to promote and build an inclusive society where LGBTI+ people have the same opportunities and enjoy equal rights, without any form of discrimination.
It further sets specific outputs for closer cooperation of the two countries within the European Governmental LGBTI+ Focal Points Network and the Equal Rights Coalition, closer cooperation to promote LGBTI+ rights in the Commonwealth, as well as actions to promote the benefits of diversity and LGBTI+ equality in the workplace.
The governments of Cyprus and the UK are currently co-chairs of the network.
“The signing of the Memorandum demonstrates tangibly the importance the two governments attach to the issue of the protection of the LGBTI+ rights and their commitment to further bolstering and advancing this agenda,” the statement said.
Drakos expressed strong support to all policies and actions against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Though we have made much progress on the field of LGBTI+ rights, we acknowledge that there is more work to be done. What we need is not necessarily more laws, but a change in culture which can be achieved through efforts and actions for raising awareness in order to build a more diverse, inclusive and respectful society. I am certain that the signing of the Memorandum is a step in the right direction,” she added.