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

UN denies consultative status to ILGA-Europe

On 17 May 2006, when the world marked International Day against Homophobia, the United Nations (UN) rejected ILGA-Europe’s application for consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). Day before a similar application by LSVD a German national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) federation was also rejected.

Rejection was proposed by Iran and supported by 9 countries - Cameroon, China, Côte d’Ivoire, Iran, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Senegal, Sudan, Zimbabwe; 7 counties did not support rejection of ILGA-Europe’s application - Chile, Colombia, France, Germany, Peru, Romania, United States), and 2 countries abstained (India, Turkey).

Submitting her proposal for immediate rejection of the application, the representative of Iran, supported by Sudan’s delegate, said that ILGA-Europe and LSVD were part of the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), whose application had also been rejected. Iran had doubts over how the organisation could contribute to ECOSOC’s work and the answers it had provided were not satisfactory.

In general statements and explanations of position, the representatives of Germany, France, Chile, Romania, India and Peru expressed their concerns that due process had been violated as the NGO had not been given an opportunity to answer Iran’s objections. France’s delegate noted that such rejection was a violation of article 15 of resolution 1996/31 governing the Committee. Speakers also expressed concern that discrimination had entered the Committee’s realm.

Patricia Prendiville, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe, said:

“We are deeply disappointed that our application was rejected. We believe this completely unfair decision is motivated by prejudice and ignorance. Ironically this decision was made on the International Day against Homophobia and is yet another proof that LGBT people in the world are far from being treated equally and with dignity. We are thankful to all those countries and European organisations that supported our application. We will continue in our work to achieve the human rights of LGBT people and to have their rights respected”

Ends

For more information please contact Juris Lavrikovs at + 32 2 609 54 16 / + 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.

(2) Full text of ECOSOC media release is available at: www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/ecosoc6203.doc.htm