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ILGA-ECOSOC campaign: 6 new LGBTI organisations apply

in WORLD, 09/06/2006

LGBT organisations apply for consultative status at the United Nations

NEW YORK, NEW YORK : ILGA’s campaign to make LGBT voices come out at the United Nations rose to a new level last week with six additional groups applying for consultative status at the UN. The groups that applied by the May 31, 2006 deadline include the Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas e Transgêneros (ABGLT), COC Nederlands, the Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales (FELGT) of Spain, Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ), Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), and the Riksförbundet för sexuellt likaberättigande (RFSL) of Sweden. Over 2,700 NGOs have consultative status at the UN, which allows them to participate fully in global debates such as at the newly formed Human Rights Council, by circulating written statements, giving oral statements, and organizing side events.

Currently, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has not granted this status to a single national or international LGBT organization. In January 2006, the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) and the Landsforeningen for Bosser og Lesbiske (LBL) of Denmark were denied consultative status by ECOSOC’s NGO Committee in an unprecedented procedural move led by Egypt and the Organization of Islamic Conferences. In May 2006, consultative status was also denied to ILGA-Europe and the Lesben und Schwulenverband in Deutschland (LSVD) of Germany, although the ECOSOC appeared less hostile in this round of applications. Cuba went from opposing consultative status to simply not being present for the vote, Columbia went from abstaining to voting in favor of consultative status, and the United States changed its position and supported the two groups as a result of intensive lobbying efforts.

In July, the full 53 member ECOSOC will consider the rejection of the applications of ILGA, LBL, LSVD, and ILGA-Europe by the NGO Committee. ILGA and its NGO allies will campaign for recognition of LGBT NGOs at that time. The latest wave of applications will extend the campaign for UN recognition into 2007 – when the six new applications will be considered by the NGO Committee.

Thanks to the international effort to make LGBT voices heard at the UN, the ECOSOC is now considering applications from ILGA as well as groups from Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, and an international church with members in twenty-two countries. “The six organizations that submitted applications in May 2006 demonstrate that LGBT issues are critically important around the world, including religious communities and the Global South,” noted ILGA Co-secretary General Rosanna Flamer Caldera. Co-secretary General Philipp Braun added, “With the valuable contributions of ABGLT, COC Nederlands, FELGT, GALZ , MCC, and RFSL, LGBT groups will continue to demand attention at the UN until we are properly recognized and our voices are heard.”

For more information on the groups that have applied for consultative status in 2005 and 2006:

* ABGLT (Brazilian Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Association - Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas e Transgêneros)

* CGLQ (Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Quebec – Coalition Gaie et Lesbienne du Québec)

* COC Nederlands (COC Netherlands)

* FELGT from Spain (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual State Federation - Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales)

* GALZ (Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe)

* ILGA (International Lesbian and Gay Association)

* ILGA-Europe (The European Region of ILGA)

* LBL (Danish Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Association - Landsforeningen for Bosser og Lesbiske)

* LSVD (Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany - Lesben und Schwulenverband in Deutschland)

* MCC (Metropolitan Community Churches)

* RFSL (Swedish Federation for LGBT Rights - Riksförbundet för sexuellt likaberättigande)

For more information on ILGA: ILGA or information@ilga.org

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