The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), a leading international LGBTI rights group, has been granted consultancy status by the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
The Monday vote saw 30 nations approve the ILGA for consultancy status. ECOSOC consultative status will allow the ILGA to attend UN conferences and meetings, submit written documents on relevant issues, make oral interventions, and also host panels in UN buildings. As such, accreditation is a vital step in allowing the ILGA to advance its advocacy of LGBTI rights within the UN.
ILGA in fact attained accreditation back in 1993, but that was stripped over certain members advocating for the abolition of laws of consent. With those individuals swiftly removed from the ILGA and policy changes put in place, the group has sort to regain accreditation ever since but has been blocked by nations opposed to LGBT rights — that is until this week when the ILGA was once again approved.
“This is a historic day for our organisation, which heals a 17-year-old wound – said co-Secretary General Renato Sabbadini, in Geneva for the occasion – and we want to thank all, really all UN Members who voted in our favour, they all deserve indeed to be named fully: India, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malta, Mexico, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary.
A special thanks goes to Belgium, for its relentless efforts in building a consensus around us, together with the United States and Argentina. We would like to thank also our member organisations which successfully lobbied their Governments on this occasion and all our allies for their support, in particular Arc-International in Geneva.”
“Today we are celebrating – said co-Secretary General Gloria Careaga from Mexico City – but we are aware that there is a lot of work to do for us in the coming months. We are looking forward to working together with all our members, particularly those which also have the status, and our allies to advance LGBTI human rights in the UN bodies in the coming years, taking advantage of the very positive developments opened by the resolution presented by South Africa in the UN Human Rights Council last June.”
Out of interest, the countries that voted against accreditation were: Iraq, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Egypt, and Ghana.
Those abstaining were: Guatemala, Mauritius, Philippines, Rwanda, Bahamas, and the Ivory Coast.
For more information on the ILGA and to access the ILGA’s considerable resources pages including maps showing the state of LGBT rights across the globe, please click here.