The International Lesbian, Gay Alliance is a consortium of about 300 LGBT organizations, mostly based in Europe. ILGA.org is by far the best source of on-line information about international LGBT issues. ILGA is one of the oldest and best known international LGBT organizations in the world. In the 1990s, U.S. Senator Jesse Helms succeeded to blocking all U.S. dues and peacekeeping assessment payments to the United Nations until ILGA lost its consultative status at the UN. With over 4,000 organizations that have such status, there has never been such a concerted effort by a powerful UN member state to expel a non-profit organization from having the ability to present its point of view at the UN. Jesse Helms succeeded in getting ILGA expelled. Now the tables have turned and ILGA has again had its status at the UN restored. The UUA’s office at the UN has been a singular voice for LGBT rights at the UN. That success has created space for other organizations advocating for LGBT rights to gain access to UN deliberations. The UUA UNO remains, however, a unique faith-based voice for sexual orientation/gender identity human rights.
July 25, 2011
Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative, on the United Nations Economic and Social Council Decision to Grant Consultative Status to Three NGOs
The United States applauds today’s decisions at the United Nations Economic and Social Council to overturn the Committee on NGOs and grant consultative status to three organizations: the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) , the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), and the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. We are pleased to have worked with a broad coalition of like-minded countries, including France and Belgium, as well as civil society representatives, to help bring about today’s results.
IFES is a U.S.-based organization that aids governments around the world in conducting free and fair elections.
The Belgium-based ILGA is committed to combating discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as to promoting the universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression works to promote freedom of opinion and expression in Syria and throughout the Arab world, and now holds the distinction of being the first NGO from Syria to be welcomed through the doors of the UN. Its director, Mazen Darwish, is a brave human rights advocate who continues to work for the realization of freedom and dignity in Syria. We look forward to the day when a just and democratic Syria is home to scores of vibrant NGOs like the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression.
All three of these organizations should have been granted consultative status by the Committee on NGOs, but we are pleased that the full Council took appropriate action to reverse these rejections.