Ban Ki-Moon, secretary general of the United Nations, has praised Austria’s own Conchita Wurst for her “powerful message of tolerance”.
On his recent visit to the Austrian capital of Vienna, Ban Ki-Moon called Conchita Wurst’s victory at the Eurovision contest in May, “an electrifying moment of human rights education.” He added, “She confounds people’s preconceived ideas of gender and sexuality – and she appeals to them to accept her as she is.”
At the official event, the singer entertained several hundred UN staff when she belted out a rendition of Cher’s Believe and her winning song, Rise Like A Phoenix.
Conchita responded to an eruption of cheers, saying, “I dream of a future where we won’t have to talk about sexual orientation, the colour of your skin, your religious beliefs.”
Ban Ki-Moon pledged his continued support for the LGBT community, and commended the drag queen for using her new found fame in campaigning for LGBT rights.
“I will continue to fight against transphobia and homophobia,” he said. “I will stand strong for equality. I hope more of you join our global ‘Free and Equal’ campaign.”
United Nations Free & Equal, which was launched in 2012, is a campaign aimed and educating and raising awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination. It also promotes “greater respect for the rights of LGBT people everywhere”.
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