Support the Fair Treatment of Civil Society at the UN

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

, by Collective, IGLHRC

Dear Friends & Colleagues:

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission needs your support. Three years ago we applied to the UN for consultative status so that we can bring the voices and issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to the UN. We finally have a chance on during this session of ECOSOC in July to get this status.

But there are governments who are doing all they can to prevent this. We need as many Member States as possible to support us. You can help by asking your government to vote in our favour and by showing your organizations support through visiting and adding your name to this letter to be sent to all Member States.

As the letter below explains, the sub-committee that makes recommendations to the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this last May again prevented our application from being considered on its merits by the full ECOSOC. With the support of some Member States this measure to block us is being brought to the attention of ECOSOC and we are hoping that we will be able to move forward and be approved.

Please add your organization name today and send this email on to your lists.

Thank you for helping to ensure that the voices of civil society are not silenced by discrimination.

Cary Alan Johnson Executive Director International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

This letter will be available in French and Spanish shortly. Please email ecosoc.communications suS if you would like to receive the translated versions.


To the Members and Observers of the United Nations Economic and Social Council:

Civil society is a vital partner in the work of the United Nations and the 2010 session of the UN ECOSOC presents an opportunity to support civil society voices. We urge you to support the application for NGO consultative status of the human rights organization, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and to prevent the unfair use of procedural measures to silence civil society.

Last month, certain Member States in the subsidiary NGO Committee presented a motion of “no action” on the call for a vote to decide on the consultative status application of IGLHRC. This no-action call was successful despite the fact that IGLHRC’s application has already been in the Committee process for three years and the organization has answered numerous questions and requests for information. The nature of the questions facing IGLHRC and various other statements made by some Member States indicated that this stalling tactic was motivated by the fact that IGLHRC’s human-rights work focuses on already marginalized lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.

This is the first time this no-action procedure has been used to prevent the Committee from doing its work to make a recommendation on an application’s merits after an initial (and in this case extensive) review of the applying organization. This extraordinary use of the no-action motion to prevent the full ECOSOC from taking decisions on an NGOs application, where that NGO works on politically contentious issues or for unpopular minority groups, should not be allowed to stand. If left unchallenged, this could result in the regular use of such a procedure to block progress. This would subvert the purpose of the NGO sub-committee, deny the ECOSOC the opportunity to fulfill its function and would limit the access of vital civil society groups to contribute to the work of the UN.

We call on you to support IGLHRC’s application for consultative status at ECOSOC and to send a message to the NGO Committee that it must review all applications without discrimination.

Diversity of civil society at the United Nations is essential to respecting, protecting and promoting the human rights of all people and to achieving sustainable peace and human security. Please do not allow the voices of marginalized people to be silenced by discrimination and procedural roadblocks.

Sincerely, Organization Country Name ECOSOC Status

Sign the petition here:

or email us to add your name at ecosoc.communications suS

IGLHRC · 80 Maiden Lane, Suite 1505 · New York, NY 10038 phone: +1 (212) 430-6054 · fax: +1 (212) 430-6060 ·

Endorsing Organizations:

Aleanca LGBT Albania, Albania
Alternatives-Cameroun, Cameroon
Amnesty International
Amnesty International Australia, Australia
Arc International, Canada
Arc-en-ciel d’Afrique, Rwanda
Associacao Brasileira de Lesbicas, Gays, Bissexuais, Travestis e Transexuais (ABGLT ), Brazil
Association de lutte contre le sida, Morocco
Associates for Global Change, United States of America
Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Australian Coalition for Equality, Australia
l’Autre Cercle Midi-Pyrénées, France
Blue Diamond Society, Nepal
Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Canada
Catolicas pelo Direito de Decidir, Brasil
Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), Spain
Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Center for Public Health and Human Rights, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States of America
Center for the Study of Discrimination based on Sexual Orientation, Germany
Center for Women’s Global Leadership, United States of America
Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Malawi
Centre for Popular Education and Human Rights (CEPEHRG), Ghana
Centro De Investigacion Y Promoción Para América Central De Derechos Humanos, Costa Rica
Cero en Conducta, Argentina
Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL)
Comeout Australia, Australia
Comision Mexicana de Defensa y Promoción de los Derechos Humanos, Mexico
Concertación Interamericana por los Derechos Humanos de las Mujeres, Costa Rica
Congo Action Now, United States of America
Conseil des ecoles catholiques de langue francaises centre est, Canada
Creating Resources for Empowerment in Action (CREA), India
Cultuur en Ontspannings-Centrum Netherlands (COC Netherlands), Netherlands
Dallas Transgender Advocates and Allies, United States of America
Demus, Estudio para la Defensa de los Derechos de la Mujer, Peru
DignityUSA, United States of America
EEGO Foundation, United States of America
Eddoboozi Human Rights Defenders Network, Uganda
Europe solidaire sans frontières (ESSF), France
Evangelical Network, United States of America
Fiji Transgender Empowerment Project, Fiji
Foundation for AIDS Research, amfAR, United States of America
Foundation for Women, Thailand
Fraternidad Q, Mexico
Freedom and Roam Uganda, Uganda
freedom fighters for equality facebook, United Kingdom
Freedom House, United States of America
Frontline Defenders, Ireland
Fundaciòn Ecuatoriana Equidad, Ecuador
Gay and Lesbian Association Of Ghana, Ghana
Gay Japan News, Japan
Gays United for Peace and Solidarity, Philippines
Good Samaritan Community Based Health-Care Services, Uganda
Global Rights, United States of America
Greenville-Norton Hill United Methodist Church
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights
Human Rights Foundation of Aotearoa New Zealand, New Zealand
Human Rights Initiative, Hungary
Human Rights Watch
Iglesia Catolica Antigua del Rio de la Plata en México
Ingersoll Gender Center, United States of America
International Alliance of Women, Austria
International Commission of Jurists
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), France
International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, United States of America
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association (ILGA)
International Service for Human Rights, Switzerland
International Union of Food workers, Switzerland
International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, Malaysia
Interweave Continental, United States of America
Iranian Queer Organization - IRQO
Iranian Railroad for Queer Refugees, Iran
Irish Raelian Movement, Ireland
Jamaica Forum for Lesbians All-sexuals and Gays (J-FLAG), Jamaica
Kaos GL, Turkey
Kirklees Faiths Forum, United Kingdom
Knowledge and Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces, Malaysia
Lambda Wellness Project, United States of America
Larcher Group, Canada
Las Ramonas, organizacion de Feministas Jovenes, Paraguay
Latin American and Caribbean Women’s Health Network, Colombia
Law and Rural Development, Thailand
Law, Race & Gender Unit, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany LSVD, Germany
Liga Internacional de Mujeres por la Paz y la Libertad, (Limpal / WILPF), Colombia
Marriage Equality New York, United States of America
Metropolitan Community Churches
Movimiento Antidiscriminatorio de Liberacion, Argentina
MUTUAC (United Women Workers) – Mexico
Nash Mir Gay & Lesbian Center, Ukraine
New Light Metropolitan Community Church
Ontario HIV Treatment Network, Canada
Open Society Institute (OSI)
Opportunity Agenda, project of Tides Center, United States of America
Other Sheep MCC
OTRAM (org de travestis mendocinas), Argentina,
Organización de Transexuales por la Dignidad de la Diversidad, Chile
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, United States of America
OutRage!, LGBTI human rights movement, United Kingdom
Oxfam Novib, Netherlands
Patriots for Change, United States of America
Pride Hilo, a Registered Independent Student Organization at University of Hawaii, United States of America
PT Foundation, Malaysia
Public Service Alliance of Canada, Canada
Purity Affirmative Organisation For Transgender Health-Uganda
Running Amach’-Dublin LGBTQ Women’s Social Networking Club, Ireland
Safra Project, United Kingdom
Sao-Sao-ed Group, Thailand
Semillas. Sociedad Mexicana pro Derechos de la Mujer AC
Sexuality, Orientation, Gender Identity and health (SOGIAH), Uganda
Sexuality Policy Watch - Brazilian secretariat, Brazil
Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), Uganda
Si Jeunesse Savait, Democratic Republic of Congo
Spectrum Uganda Initiatives Inc, Uganda
Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RSFL), Sweden
Tanzania Lesbian Association, Tanzania
Therapy North, United Kingdom
Uganda Harmonised Rights Alliance (UHRA), Uganda
UK Gay News, United Kingdom
UK-CAB, United Kingdom
Unidad de Atención Sicológica, Sexológica y Educativa para el Crecimiento Personal, Mexico
Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office, United States of America
United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, United States of America
Vancouver Island Human Rights Committee, Canada
Vida Plena Puebla, Mexico
WhyCantWeGetMarried.Com West Africa Chapter, Sierra Leone
Women for Women’s Human Rights (WWHR), Turkey
Women Living Under Muslim Law
Women’s Economic Council, United States of America
Women’s WORLD, United States of America
World Congress of GLBT Jews, United States of America

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