The fact that this conference is about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, and how governments and development institutions can address exclusion based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), causes me to reflect on those who have to face this stigma because they do not conform to the expectations of society.
Too often, the world can feel like a harsh and non-inclusive place for people who don’t fit others’ ideas of how they should look, think, speak, feel, behave – how they should “be”. I firmly believe that this has real impacts on individuals, communities, and economies.
However, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide great opportunity for more inclusive development – opportunity for a seismic change in human development. After all, the overarching principle adopted with the SDGs is the theme of today’s conference – “leaving no one behind”. Whether it’s the SDGs, or the World Bank’s twin goals of ending extreme poverty and increasing shared prosperity, I strongly believe that these lofty goals can only be achieved through economic and social inclusion of the most marginalized.