Saturday, March 30, 2013

Towards New SOGI Resolution at UN

Sunil Pant (left) and Sheherezade Kara (right)
On March 22-23, state-led regional meeting on sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights took place in Nepal.

Sheherezade Kara of ARC International and Sunil Pant, the founder of Blue Diamond Society, Nepal's LGBTI organization shared why the meeting took place, what the meeting covered and what role it was going to play for the protection of the rights of LGBTI people around the world.

In June 2011, a resolution on sexual orientation, gender identity and human rights was adopted by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. As followup of this resolution, we are expecting a new version by South African government.

Governments of South Africa, Norway and Brazil have held regional seminars in different continents. One in Asia and the Pacific took place in Kathmandu, Nepal this month. Some 70 people participated from civil society organizations, human rights commissions and 16 governments in the region.

At preconference on March 21 and 22, LGBTI activists from different countries in Asia Pacific got together, shared background information and next steps of the historic meeting and discussed culture, religion, education, advocacy, networking with allies and so fourth in relation to human rights, sexual orientation,gender identity, Sunil told us. Official programs of the meeting took place on March 22 and 23 including sharing of country situations and discussion on how international law could be used to protect sexual and gender minorities. Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General sent his messages of support to the meeting.

So, what happens next? In two weeks time, another meeting will take place in Oslo, Norway where discussions and suggestions in different regional seminars will be brought together. Oslo meeting, "hopefully" Sheherezade said, will feed into the new resolution we expect in June this year.

You can read more about Oslo meeting at the Norwegian Foreign Ministry's website on "human rights, gender identity and sexual orientation".

Post by Azusa Yamashita, Gay Japan News, Japan

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