More than 300 activists from 76 countries have participated in the 25th World Conference of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
They have called on collaboration with civil society to fight homophobia and trans-phobia.
One of the key interventions of the international LGBTI Rights movement should be forging strong alliances with other people and institutions in civil society who support the principles of equality and freedom for sexually diverse people and communities (LGBTI) all over the world.
This was a rallying call at the conclusion of ILGA’s 25th World Conference in from 4-9 December.
ILGA Co-Secretary General, Renato Sabbadini, said: "This conference has given the mandate to look for more allies in the struggle for equality and freedom for LGBTI people around the world, particularly in civil society. We hope that this will be relatively easy, as by stating clearly in our vision that we believe in human rights for all, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression."
According to Sabbadini, ILGA will also demand its full recognition by the United Nations in the upcoming period, stressing that "ILGA will renew its efforts to see its right to engaging with the UN system like any other legitimate NGO recognised.”
ILGA has been hindered in its endeavour to get UN (ECOSOC) recognition in the past by homophobic governments falsely accusing the organisation of promoting illegal sexual activities. According to Sabbadini "ILGA has shown that it is aware of the suffering of others in society, and that it is ready and willing to engage with other civil society subjects to work for a better world for everyone." Sabbadini added, "considering that opponents of LGBTI rights, including particular governments and certain fundamentalist religious organisations, have on average far more means and resources than ILGA, the conference was a resounding success."
The six-day World Conference was preceded by a pre-conference on Women's (LBT) issues, and transgender peoples’ issues, and was hosted by the Brazilian organisations: Coletivo de Feministas Lesbicas; Grupo Dignidade; Grupo Arco-Iris and Instituto Edson Neris.
Sabbadini's enthusiasm was echoed by his female co-Secretary General, Gloria Careag, who stated: "The world is now in a very difficult economical and political situation, which means that we have to look for better conditions of life for everybody and for the protection of those who suffer discrimination. This Conference has faced the challenge to go on in building a strong and diverse force against all kinds of discrimination calling for social movements from all kinds to join and come together in this struggle."
EI will be jointly hosting an LGBT conference with Public Services International in Cape Town, South Africa from 18-19 July, 2011.