The Cyprus chapter of Diplomats for Equality on Friday issued a joint statement from 26 diplomatic missions operating in Cyprus to mark the upcoming Pride Month and the 2024 International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Interphobia and Transphobia.

We stand united in our shared commitment to safeguard and champion human rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics,” the joint statement said.

It added that Cyprus had taken “significant strides” towards the recognition and protection of human rights for LGBTQI+ persons and welcomed the government’s adoption of legislation criminalising conversion therapies.

It also encouraged Cyprus to consider introducing an amendment to remove the legislative exclusion of same-sex couples in civil union from adoption and hoped to see renewed progress on the legal gender identity recognition bill and the recognition of same-sex marriages conducted abroad.

Some 66 countries still criminalise same-sex relations, with ten going so far as to impose the death penalty, the statement said.

The statement paid tribute to “the relentless work” of Accept – LGBTI Cyprus and Queer Cyprus and other such organisations abroad. It also said the business community had a key role to play by supporting LGBTQI+ employees and lifestyles and offering employment “based on skills and skills alone”.

We highlight how much more work there is to be done for a reality where everyone, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics, is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve,” it concluded.

The diplomatic missions who signed the declaration were: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, the US, UK, the EU Representation and the Office of the European Parliament.

There are in total some 45 diplomatic missions in Cyprus.