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Sofia - Bulgaria

in BULGARIA, 23/10/2006

Annual conference – celebrating families and 10 years of ILGA-Europe!

Between 26 and 29 October 2006, over 200 delegates from all over Europe will gather in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia for the ILGA-Europe’s 10th annual conference (ILGA’s 28th annual European conference). The conference theme is “We are Family – Our families in Europe and the European family.” The main focus of this conference is twofold – celebrating the diversity of families and celebrating the 10th anniversary of ILGA-Europe.

Europe and some of its countries has made significant progress is terms of acknowledging, legally recognising and accepting various family models. But there is still significant work to be done in order to achieve full social acceptance and legal equality for all families across the continent. ILGA-Europe is firmly placing diversity of family models and their acceptance and recognition back to its priority list by organising a special panel and various workshops on families.

Traditionally our conference is a unique opportunity for activists from all over Europe to discuss challenges, celebrate achievements, and brainstorm further strategies and projects. We will continue our efforts of strengthening the capacity of the member organisations by organising various practical workshops on improving our skills and techniques in implementing diversity practices, lobbying, fundraising and working with media.

As this is our 10th anniversary conference, we will reflect on our achievements and pay tribute to ILGA-Europe’s fathers and mothers. We will also sketch out our next 10 years, identify the main challenges and discuss the best ways of achieving further and fuller equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Europeans.

It is significant and symbolic that the conference takes place in Bulgaria which joins the European Union next year. We hope this will be a great opportunity not only for the Bulgarian LGBT activists and organisations to meet their colleagues from across Europe. And also that this will be a great chance for the Bulgarian officials to better understand LGBT issues and learn from other European experiences how to address these issues and build Bulgaria as an equal and inclusive society for all its citizens.

The Bulgarian Gay Organisation GEMINI, which co-hosts the conference has provided tremendous contribution toward the organisation of the event. Not only does the conference working programme promise to be exciting, diverse and stimulating, the same is expected from the social programme!

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