European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

12th ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference concluded in Vienna

A successful 12th annual conference of ILGA-Europe concluded in Vienna on 2 November. 230 participants from 40 countries took part in the conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Think Globally, Act Locally”.

This year’s conference explored the current state of the international human rights standards related to sexual orientation and gender identity and explored a vision of human rights in the next decade and the strategies needed to achieve that vision. Two conference panels included the following distinguished guests and experts:

- Thomas Hammarberg, Human Rights Commissioner of the Council of Europe

- Morten Kjaerum, Director of the Fundamental Rights Agency of the European Union

- Belinda Pyke, Director of the European Commission’s Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and equal Opportunities

- Professor Jack Donelly, Denver University, author of highly acclaimed by academics, students and human rights activists alike book “Universal Human Rights in Theory and Practice”.

The panels were echoed and complimented by a rich and diverse workshop programme.

The Annual Conference is also ILGA-Europe’s annual general meeting and following last year’s constitutional changes a new Executive Board election system was put into practice: half of the Executive Board was elected for the next two years and half for the next year. The following individuals were elected as ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board (first 5 for the next two years (2008-2010), and second 5 for the next year (2008-2009):

1. Renato Sabbadini (Italy)

2. Deborah Lambillotte (Belgium)

3. Pierre Serne (France)

4. Linda Freimane (Latvia)

5. Ruth Baldacchino (Malta)

6. Martin K.I. Christensen (Denmark)

7. Paata Sabelashvili (Georgia)

8. Christine Le Doaré (France)

9. Louise Ashworth (UK)

10.Tomasz Szypula (Poland)

Natasa Sukic (Slovenia) was elected as reserve member of Executive Board.

Ruth Baldacchino and Soren Juvas (Sweden) were elected as European representatives on ILGA Executive Board.

Janfrans Van Der Eerden (The Netherlands) and Jackie Lewis (UK) were elected as reserve European representatives on ILGA Executive Board.

The Conference has also voted to host ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference in 2010 in The Hague (The Netherlands).

This year’s Annuals Conference was co-hosted by HOSI Wien and was the first ever ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference under the patronage of a state head - Heinz Fischer, Federal President of the Republic of Austria, had agreed to be honorary patron of the Conference. Dr. Maria Berger, Federal Minister of Justice of Austria, attended the opening plenary of the Conference and delivered her greeting. A greeting to the Conference from Barbara Prammer, President of the National Council (Parliament) of Austria, was also read out. During the Conference the participants were invited by Michael Häupl, Mayor and Governor of Vienna to a reception at Vienna City Hall.

The next Annual Conference of ILGA-Europe in 2009 will be held in Malta and co-hosted by Malta Gay Rights Movement.

For more information please contact
Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 496 708 375

Notes for editors:

(1) ILGA-Europe is the European Region of the International Lesbian and Gay Association and works for equality and human rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Europe: www.ilga-europe.org.

(2) Further information about ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference: www.ilga-europe.org/conference.