Monday, 25 July 2011

ILGA wins UN accreditation after years of battle

By Paul Canning

ILGA - the International Lesbian and Gay Association, one of the oldest international LGBT groups - this afternoon won accreditation as an NGO to ECOSOC, the UN Economic and Social Council.

ILGA has been fighting for recognition at the United Nations for many years.

Last year the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) won accreditation to ECOSOC.

In May ILGA lost a vote on recognition at the the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations.

The vote was:
In favour: 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.
Against: Iraq, Morocco, Namibia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Cameroon, China, Egypt, Ghana.
Abstentions: Guatemala, Mauritius, Philipines, Rwanda, Bahamas, Ivory Coast.
In a press statement ILGA said:
ILGA was the first international LGBTI organisation to get ECOSOC consultative status in 1993, but lost it the following year due to the presence of groups advocating the abolition of laws of consent. ILGA has applied to regain the status ever since, following the expulsion of the above mentioned groups from its membership and after amending its constitution to state clearly its commitment against child abuse, but a small group of countries sponsoring homophobia had been able to influence the votes in the UN NGO Committee examining the applications for a long time. In the meantime, many ILGA members – like LBL Denmark, COC The Netherlands, FELGT Spain, LSVD Germany, ABGLT Brazil, IGLHRC US, and Ilga-Europe – were able to obtain the status by having the negative recommendation of the NGO Committee overturned in the ECOSOC Council, as it has happened in the case of ILGA today.

"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. A special thanks goes to Belgium, for its relentless efforts in building a consensus around us, together with the United States and Argentina."
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