define('DISALLOW_FILE_MODS',true); Action Alert: ABGLT

Action Alert: ABGLT

URGENT: ECOSOC ACTION ALERT!

(Please distribute broadly)

What’s up?

This Monday, 27 July 2009, the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is due to vote on whether to accredit the NGO Associação Brasileira de Gays, Lésbicas e Transgêneros (ABGLT), a Brazilian NGO which addresses human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

ECOSOC accreditation governs whether NGOs can attend UN meetings, submit written statements, make oral interventions, host panels – even get in the door of UN buildings.  NGOs working on these issues address important human rights questions and it is critical that they have a voice at the UN.

The attached fact sheet provides more information about the key issues.

What can I do?

The vote will be extremely close, and your support is urgently needed!

Listed below are all the ECOSOC States by region. If you live in or have connections with any of these States, please write to them or call them TODAY.

In Latin America/Caribbean:

Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Santa Lucia, Uruguay, Venezuela:

 

Support of as many as possible of these Latin American/Caribbean countries will be critical. You may point out that all of them endorsed the recent OAS resolution on sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights.

 

In Asia:

China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia

 

Japan has been consistently supportive.  South Korea has usually supported these issues in the past, and needs to be encouraged to do so again.  The Philippines and India should be encouraged to support. In a previous year, Indonesia initially abstained, but switched to a no vote following negative pressure.

 

In Africa:

Algeria, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Somalia, Sudan

Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau and Mauritius all supported the joint statement at the UN General Assembly on sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights.  Mozambique has abstained on these issues in the past.

 

In Central and Eastern Europe:

Belarus, Estonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation

Estonia, Poland and Romania supported the joint statement at the UN General Assembly on sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights, and Poland and Romania have supported previous LGBTI NGOs seeking ECOSOC accreditation.  Moldova has also supported previous LGBTI NGOs seeking ECOSOC accreditation, but this time may abstain rather than supporting. Belarus and Russia have consistently opposed such applications.

 

In the Western Group:

Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America

All Western Group States are expected to support the application, and can be encouraged to lobby States in other regions with which they have good relations.

How do I contact my government?

Please approach any contacts you may have within your country’s Foreign Ministry.  A list of Ministries of Foreign Affairs for each country can be found at:

http://www.ediplomat.com/dc/foreign_ministries.htm

You may also wish to send a copy of any correspondence to your country’s Ambassador or mission in Geneva.  A list of Geneva missions is available at:

http://tinyurl.com/t2cwt

What do I tell them?

Urge your government to support the NGO application. Some States will support this as a question of access and fairness, but do not want their support to be seen as an endorsement of sexual orientation or gender identity issues.  It may therefore be helpful to emphasise that this is a question of basic non-discriminatory access and maintaining a fair process.  Your government doesn’t have to agree with the position of every NGO, but these NGOs are entitled to participate in the work of the UN and make their perspective known.

Best wishes, and good luck!