Drag singer praised by UN chief for human rights work

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Conchita Wurst, Austrian singer and winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 2014, performs at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. 03 November 2014. UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

The Austrian winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, Conchita Wurst, has been commended by the UN Secretary-General for promoting respect for diversity.

The drag singer, also know as Thomas Neuwirth, performed live in the presence of Ban Ki-moon, the diplomatic community and members of civil society in Vienna on Monday.

Speaking at the event, Mr. Ban said he knew Conchita as the star of the world when she won the contest and turned her victory into what he called "an electrifying moment of human rights education".

"Conchita is promoting respect for diversity. This is a core value of the United Nations Charter, along with our commitment to tolerance. She confounds people's preconceived ideas of gender and sexuality and she appeals to them to accept her as she is." (23")

Mr. Ban said that as United Nations Secretary-General, he was proud to champion the cause of equality for all members of the human family no matter who they are or whom they love.

He said he was resolved to lead by example that's why this year he extended benefits to same sex partners of UN staff.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations

Duration:  1’14″

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