ILGA Granted UN Consultative Status | Freedom House

ILGA Granted UN Consultative Status

Despite opposition from the majority of African and Islamic countries, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) has granted consultative status to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) after a 29 to 14 vote. Consultative status gives the ILGA the ability to attend and speak at UN meetings and participate in Human Rights Council proceedings. The ILGA has 670 member groups in more than 110 countries.  NGOs, particularly those that address politically polarized human rights issues such as gay rights and religious freedom, have long faced enormous challenges in obtaining these rights at the UN.

Last month the United Nations passed a landmark resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity, calling on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination and host a follow-up panel to discuss the findings. Violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity has been largely ignored internationally and in many countries legislation still exists that considers homosexuality illegal, including Pakistan, Morocco and Iran. ECOSOC previously blocked consultative status for another organization committed to combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, the US-based International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).  The organization first applied for consultative status in 2007, was subjected to lengthy approval processes, and finally received a “no action” motion deferring a vote.

Freedom House applauds the move to grant consultative status to the ILGA as well as other efforts to combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the UN and urges the NGO Committee of ECOSOC to expand access for civil society to the UN by de-politicizing the process for NGOs achieve consultative privileges.

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