Sunday, 12 December 2010

ILGA world conference sends key message: activists should forge alliances

Source: ILGA

More than 300 activists from 76 countries attended the 25th World Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and called on collaboration with civil society to fight homophobia and trans-phobia. (LBT) issues and on issues of transgender people.

One of the spearpoints of the International LGBTI Rights movement should be the forging of strong alliances with other people and institutions in civil society, who support the principles of equality and freedom for sexually diverse people and communities (LGBTI) all over the world. This was a principle conclusion of the 25th World Conference of ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, which came to an end last Thursday in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"This conference has given the mandate to look for more allies in the struggle for equality and freedom for LGBTI people around the world, particularly in civil society. We hope that this will be relatively easy, as by stating clearly in our vision that we believe in human rights for all, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression", said re-elected ILGA Co-Secretary General Renato Sabbadini (Italy), at the end of the conference.

According to Sabbadini ILGA will also demand its rightful recognition by the United Nations in the upcoming period, stressing that "ILGA will renew its efforts to see its right to engaging with the UN system like any other legitimate NGO recognized.”

The organization has been hindered in its endeavour to get UN (ECOSOC) recognition in the past by homophobic governments falsely accusing the organization of promoting illegal sexual activities. According to Sabbadini: "ILGA has shown that it is aware of the suffering of others in society, and that it is ready and willing to engage with other civil society subjects to work for a better world for everyone".

Sabbadini added "considering that opponents of LGBTI rights – i.e. certain governments, certain fundamentalist religious organisations, etc. – have on average far more means and resources than ILGA, the conference was a resounding success." More than 300 activists from 76 countries from all continents attended the World Conference in Sao Paulo, which included a Pre-Conference on Women's (LBT) issues, and one on issues of transgender people, and was hosted by the Brazilian organizations: Coletivo de Feministas Lesbicas, Grupo Dignidade, Grupo Arco-Iris and Instituto Edson Neris.

Sabbadini's enthusiasm was echoed by his female, also re-elected counterpart Co-Secretary General, Gloria Careaga. According to Careaga (Mexico): "The world is now in a very difficult economical and political situation, which means that we have to look for better conditions of life for everybody and for the protection of those who suffer discrimination".

Careaga went on to say "This Conference has faced the challenge to go on in building a strong and diverse force against all kinds of discrimination calling for social movements from all kinds to join and come together in this struggle".
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