Role and impact

When ARC International celebrated its five-year anniversary in July 2008, we sent a note to our SOGI listserv marking the event, and thanking our partnering organizations and the movement on a whole for its work in advancing human rights in the last five years. The unsolicited response we got to this note was overwhelming, and gave us a true sense of our role and impact. Some examples are listed below:

• Dear Kim and John – I always have admired the work that you designed, planned and now are carrying out. It had been 5 years of other important forms of activism for the work in defense of our human rights at regional and international level. A kiss for both and is a pride to continue accompanying yours. Germán Humberto Rincón Perfetti, G&M de Colombia Abogados, Asociación Líderes en Acción

• Dear John and Kim – A very brief note to wish you both and Arc International, a very Happy 5th Birthday! I have enjoyed working with you over the last couple of years, have learned a great deal from you and have regarded your work very highly. I very much value our collaborative efforts and look forward to continued close work together. Best wishes, Sandeep Prasad, Action Canada for Population and Development

• John and Kim – Aside from your pleasing personalities, fun demeanors, and irreverent senses of humor, it is you that all of us have to thank for insisting that we work together, providing so many contexts for doing so (ARC Dialogues, etc.), and serving as role models of devotion to our collective goals and excellence in our work as advocates. Thank you, and happy birthday ARC International! Paula Ettelbrick, International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission

• Dear Kim and John – Congratulations on your 5th year of transformative work. It was a pleasure working with you in South Africa and I wish you many, many more great years!!!Nguru Karugu, Executive Director, Public Health Innovations, Kenya

• Dear John and Kim – I was not yet working at ABIA/SPW at the time of Rio gathering but I remember Sonia and Magaly telling me how wonderful was the group participating in the meeting. Since then, there were backlashes (the Brazilian resolution itself) but also great advancements to which I am sure the work of you and Kim (specially through the admiring combination of efficiency, respect and sensitiveness) has been key, not only to avoid other setbacks but specially to push the agenda forward in a qualified, consistent and sustainable way. For us who are not based in Geneva, for example, it has been extremely important to receive the great updates and reports you generously circulate in the listserves. Sonia is on vacation (promised herself not to open e-mails!! ) but for sure she would be joining this virtual celebration with a big cheers! Also, receive the best wishes from DAWN – the fruitful partnership with ARC (and our other great partners) have been essential to carry on the advocacy work at the Council. Big hug from Rio and looking forward to celebrating the ARC+10, +15, +++++ Angela Collett, ABIA/SPW, Brasil

• Dear John and Kim – For ILGA it has been a very productive relationship with ARC International in terms of our UN work over the last five years. We have enjoyed collaborating on numerous projects, including the ECOSOC campaign and the UPR project. The information received from you has been very useful for our membership. On a personal note I have enjoyed immensely working with Kim and John since we started working together around the Rio dialogue. From the perspective of LSVD (the German LGBT rights group where I am on the board) I can say that ARC International is held in very high esteem by the German Foreign Office – who value their lobby activity. All the best for many years to come!Philipp Braun, ILGA World

• Dear Kim and John – I am very sorry for not being able to congratulate you earlier. I was facing a very tight deadline and it is only today that I can “resurface” and do other things, including celebrating your organizational birthday. Let me join all the others in saying how much of a pleasure it has been to work with you both, and even to share with you some of the “inhuman and degrading treatment” that those of us venturing into UN spaces so often endure. For many more years and for the hope that, at some point, even if it’s only in our old age, our work will be rendered useless because the world would have become a better place (and then all of us can go and have a beach party!) Hugs and love and thanks to you both,Alejandra Sardá Mulabi- Espacio Latinoamericano de Sexualidades y Derechos

• Hey!!! Am I happy for you! and for us who have been blessed with such an enriching partnership with ARC. I have my memories of 5 years. Great five years that have contributed immensely to the changes we have observed around the globe towards the rights of LGBTI persons. Congratulations Kim! Congratulations John! Congratulans ARC!!! wishing you many more years of celebration of success in all your endeavours!!!! Dorothy Aken’ova, INCRESE Nigeria