UN New Yorker: First Edition

Greetings from New York and welcome to the first edition of the bi monthly e-newsletter from the OutRight UN Program Team!

Our hope is that this newsletter may go some way in providing insight into the key opportunities and challenges for LGBTI human rights and equality work at UN headquarters.

We believe that a focus on the New York-based UN system adds value to the important work being done in other parts of the UN system, as well as regional mechanisms and national advocacy and reform processes. Here in New York we focus on the General Assembly, the Commission on the Status of Women, the High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the UN Secretariat, the UN Secretary General, and UN Agencies headquartered here including UNDP, UN Women and UNICEF.

OutRight has been working on LGBT human rights in the UN system since its inception 27 years ago. In 2010, OutRight gained consultative status at the UN (known as ECOSOC status). In New York we use our ECOSOC status to advocate for the human rights of LGBTI people. Our program is now committed to maximizing the participation of LGBTI voices within the international system here in New York. In addition to the work of our New York based staff, we work closely with our regional offices and partners across the globe to maximize the participation of diverse and international perspectives in our work. We fund and train international human rights defenders and activists to participate in the UN process here in New York with a focus on key moments developed through our flagship Advocacy Week in December each year.

We are trialing our UN New Yorker as a bi-monthly newsletter, to serve as a platform to collect information and share about the events, progress and challenges on LGBTI human rights at UN headquarters in New York. We hope that the UN New Yorker can help increase transparency and accessibility to the activities and decisions made at UN headquarters while being an informational resource to strengthen national and regional-level advocacy efforts to advance LGBTI human rights. We welcome your thoughts, comments and suggestions in helping us make this relevant and accessible for you.

This month we focus on inclusive development with an in-depth look at the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the importance of LGBTI inclusive data, and the implications of a historical conflict between the Right to Development and Human Rights on progress for SOGIE/SC and human rights at the UN.


-The OutRight UN Program Team


The UN LGBT Core Group Retreat

The United Nations LGBTI Core Group is an informal cross regional group of United Nations Member States, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the non-governmental organizations Human Rights Watch and Outright Action International. It was established in 2008.

From July 5th – 7th OutRight hosted a retreat for the Core Group with the aim of creating space for the Core Group to reflect on its work and plan for the future. Representatives from 19 States joined OutRight for dinner on July 5th where Permanent Representatives and diplomatic experts reflected on achievements and challenges for the group.

Over July 6th & 7th, diplomatic experts from 20 States convened in Manhattan to operationalize a vision for the Core Group over the next 12 months. During this time the Core Group also engaged in thematic discussions with Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney with the LGBT Project at the American Civil Liberties Union and expert on gender identity and expression, and with Kimberly Zieselman, expert on the human rights of intersex people and Executive Director of InterAct, an organization advocating for the rights of intersex youth. Jessica Stern, Executive Director of OutRight Action International, led a session on recounting the history and accomplishments of the Core Group. Cynthia Rothschild, Consultant, and Rachel Jacobson, International Policy Officer for the International Women’s Health Coalition, also led the Core Group in exercises to reflect on the mission of the Group and vision for future goals and accomplishments.

Felicity Daly, OutRight’s Global Research Coordinator, and Stephen Leonelli, Senior Policy Analyst from the Global Forum for MSM and HIV, presented research on existing data on the health and wellbeing of LGBTI populations, the need for disaggregated data, and how the health and wellbeing of LGBTI populations exist within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely Goal 3. The presentation comes at the heels of the launch of a joint report, ‘Agenda 2030 for LGBTI Health and Wellbeing’.

The multi-day retreat ended successfully and with continued commitment by the LGBTI Core Group to work collectively and in consultation with civil society to fight discrimination and violence against LGBTI people.

The 2017 High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals

The High Level Political Forum (HLPF) is the central platform for review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The HLPF occurs under the auspices of Economic and Social Council each year, and every four years under the auspices of the General Assembly. The forum operates as the international mechanism for monitoring progress made in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets.

The 2017 HLPF was held from July 10th – 19th at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, and is the second since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. The HLPF included the presentation of 43 voluntary national reviews (VNRs) and thematic reviews of the progress on seven key SDGs including key goals SDG 3 and SDG 5. This year over 5000 participants registered for HLPF, including 77 State ministers and over 2500 civil society representatives making it the second largest gathering at the UN after the Commission on the Status of Women.

The HLPF program is comprised of the Ministerial Declaration, Thematic Reviews of the SDGs, Expert Meetings on the SDGs, Voluntary National Reviews from Member States, a General Debate, Business and Partnership Exchange Forums and Side Events. For more information on “What is the High Level Political Forum,” read an informational blog by Rashima Kwatra, OutRight’s Communications Officer.

Civil Society Participation

The formal participation of civil society at the HLPF occurs primarily through the framework of the Major Groups. The Major Groups were first established at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. Other Stakeholders Groups were added in the 2012 Rio+20 Sustainable Development Conference. The Major Groups recognize nine sectors as the main channels through which civil society can organize, and contribute to international efforts to achieve sustainable development at the UN and include:

  1. Women
  2. Children and Youth
  3. Indigenous Peoples
  4. Non-governmental Organizations
  5. Local Authorities
  6. Workers and Trade Unions
  7. Business and Industry
  8. Scientific and Technological Community
  9. Farmers

Negotiations in the Trustee Council at UN Headquarters in New York

The Ministerial Declaration

The HLPF Ministerial Declaration is the main outcome document for the HLPF. The document is agreed upon by all 193 Member States of the United Nations and builds on the Political Declaration of ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ adopted in September 2015. The negotiations are conducted at UN Headquarters in New York on behalf of Member States by delegates from the 2nd Committee of the General Assembly and begin three weeks prior to the HLPF. For more in-depth commentary on the process and the 2017 outcome read our guest blog by OutRight Intern Tim Greenwald.

Voluntary National Reviews

The Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) are led by States as part of the follow up and review process of the SDGs. The VNRs offer a space for States to exchange good practice and provide insight into experiences and challenges in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda within a peer-learning environment. VNR written reports are generally submitted prior to the HLPF and loaded onto the website for public view. The verbal reports are provided during the second week of the HLPF and are delivered in panels of 3 States or individually, with each State granted 15 minutes for each report. Following the State report, other States, UN Agencies and Major Groups and Other Stakeholders are given limited time to ask questions to each State. For in depth analysis on SOGIE/SC inclusion in the 2016 and 2017 VNRs keep an eye out for the upcoming reviews by ARC International and MSM Global Forum focusing on SOGIE/SC and key populations.

LGBTI Stakeholder Group representation at the VNR breakfast for States and Civil Society Breakfast hosted by UN DESA and the UN Foundation

The LGBTI Stakeholder Group

For the first time, this year OutRight and RFSL led a coalition of organizations and individuals working on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics (SOGIE/SC) and human rights, public health and development, in the lead up to the HLPF to plan joint advocacy around the event. Members of the LGBTI Stakeholder Group also worked within the Major Group and Other Stakeholders memberships to promote the mainstreaming of LGBTI issues across the various sectors. The group represented the first ever LGBT coalition at the HLPF and engaged in joint advocacy and information sharing as well as side events and other activities. The primary objectives of the group were to raise visibility of SOGIE/SC in the 2030 Agenda, and test the HLPF space for advocacy opportunities for LGBTI participants in the future.

This year the first LGBTI Stakeholder Group reported several key achievements. Members of the group:

  1. Made formal statements and interventions at:

    • The Ministerial Declaration negotiations
    • The Thematic Review on Implementation
    • The VNR breakfast between States and Civil Society

  2. Worked with New York based UN Missions to advocate for inclusive language on human rights, gender, and civil society participation within the 2017 HLPF Ministerial Declaration.

  3. Co-sponsored two packed side events exploring LGBTI data and inclusion and sexual rights and reproductive health; The Importance of Data in Ensuring LGBTI in Agenda 2030 and From Side-Line to Centre: Using the 2030 Agenda to Tackle Sexual and Reproductive Coercion, both of which featured OutRights’ Global Research Coordinator, Dr. Felicity Daly.

  4. Provided SOGIE/SC content to formal Major Group statements and questions for SDG 3 and SDG 5 and several VNR panels.

Providing a formal LGBTI Stakeholder Group statement at the Thematic Review for SDG 17.


Will the UN “Leave No One Behind” and Improve LGBTI Health and Well-Being?

Dr. Felicity Daly, Global Research Coordinator

A new report published by OutRight Action International and the Global Forum on MSM in collaboration with the Global Platform to Fast Track the Human Rights and HIV Responses with Gay and Bisexual Men highlights that wherever research has been conducted LGBTI people’s health is shown to be consistently poorer than the general population. The report argues for a global health and development approach that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people and illustrates how the aspiration of the SDGs to “leave no one behind” could be utilized to improve these communities’ health and well-being.

Released ahead of the United Nations (UN) High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 for LGBTI Health and Well-Being calls on countries to recognize and address the impact of stigma, discrimination, violence, and criminalization on the health and well-being of LGBTI people. Both former Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and the Independent Expert on protection against violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity Prof. Vitit Muntarbhorn, have made it clear that the SDGs are inclusive of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics.

My co-authors and I want to see inclusion of LGBTI health concerns in the implementation of the health goal - SDG 3 - so that LGBTI people can claim the right to health. During the HLPF we had several important opportunities to present the findings and recommendations of the paper to: a gathering of the UN LGBT Core Group; in a side event co-convened with United Nations Development Programme and RFSL, which reviewed LGBTI inclusion in the SDGs including the UNDP led LGBTI Inclusion Index; and another side event co-hosted with the International Planned Parenthood Federation which underscored how Agenda 2030 can be used to tackle sexual and reproductive coercion.

Within each of these events we shared the data that we analyzed in Agenda 2030 for LGBTI Health and Well-Being which shows significant health disparities experienced by LGBTI people e.g. compared with the general population gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men are 19 times more likely to be living with HIV and transgender women are 49 times more likely to be living with HIV. The data also demonstrates that LGBTI people also experience: poor mental health, higher prevalence of alcohol and substance abuse, lack of access to sexual and reproductive health services, and inadequate funding for inclusive and effective health interventions. The report notes that the health concerns of lesbian and bisexual women, transgender and intersex people in particular remain understudied and underserved.

The common drivers behind these health disparities are violence, criminalization, social exclusion and discrimination, including widespread discrimination LGBTI people experience in healthcare settings. Ironically, this means that very often LGBTI people are rendered invisible in efforts to collect health data, which do not include questions about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression and sex characteristics.

Agenda 2030 for LGBTI Health and Well-Being details the type of data UN Member States should collect to effectively monitor implementation of the targets of SDG 3 in a way that improves the health and wellbeing of LGBTI people. We want to ensure Member States ask the right questions in order to understand and monitor health and well-being among LGBTI people.

The available data about LGBTI health overwhelmingly represents research conducted in high income countries where there has been social and legal progress for some sexual and gender minorities. For example, a systematic review of general population studies conducted in Australia, Europe, and North America found that compared with heterosexual people, lesbian, gay, and bisexual people are at higher risk for mental disorders, including depression and anxiety, suicidal ideation and deliberate self-harm.

Data gaps are starkest in countries where discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression and sex characteristics is entrenched. LGBTI people are well aware of the health disparities taking hold and stealing lives in their communities, but insufficient evidence makes it harder to make a convincing case for health services to respond to these needs.

Throughout the HLPF we have stressed that all Member States must repeal the laws, policies and practices that criminalize same-sex behavior and limit the ability of people to express, and have legally recognized, their gender identity and legally prohibit non-consensual medical procedures, including intersex genital mutilation, forced sterilization, and forced anal examinations. We hope Agenda 2030 for LGBTI Health and Well-Being will be utilized as tool to monitor Member State reporting on LGBTI people in the context of SDG3, as well as inspiration for how to supplement official reporting with health data collected by and for LGBTI people.


Dr. Felicity Daly joined OutRight Action International in January 2017 as its first Global Research Program Coordinator. Felicity comes to OutRight after leading the Kaleidoscope Trust, the UK's first global LGBT rights NGO. She has two decades of professional experience in international development, forging advocacy of international non-governmental organizations promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights and responding to HIV/AIDS in low and middle-income countries. She worked as an independent consultant conducting research within academia and for bilateral donors, and UN agencies from 2011-2015. Felicity holds a Doctor of Public Health (Dr PH) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, an MSc (Merit) in Development Management from the London School of Economics and a BA (Summa Cum Laude) in International Studies from The City College of New York.

The HLPF Ministerial Declaration

Tim Greenwald, OutRight UN Intern

The Ministerial Declaration (the declaration) is the outcome document for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development. The HLPF is the process through which the UN assesses progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda. The declaration negotiations, which occur prior to the commencement of the HLPF, enable delegates from all UN Member States to provide recommendations for sustainable development in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under review. In 2017, these include SDGs 1, 2, 3, 5, 9, 14 (+17). This year›s theme is “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world.”

The 2017 declaration negotiations began on June 21st after the co-facilitators (Jamaica and Austria) of consultations of the ECOSOC High-Level Segment and the HLPF released the Zero Draft, the first draft, of the declaration ahead of UN Member States. The first round of informal consultations took place on June 21st and 22nd, the second round occurred on June 30th and the final round on July 5th. All 193 UN Member States were represented by ECOSOC Second Committee delegates during the consultations. Representatives that were most engaged in the spoken negotiations included: G77 and China (represented by the Egyptian delegate), the Russian Federation, and Canada, Australia and New Zealand (who negotiated as CANs and were represented by an Australian delegate), the European Union (representing 28 Member States), Japan, United States, Israel, Switzerland, Norway and Mexico. Delegates from other countries had limited participation during the negotiations, but the aforementioned countries serve to exemplify a schism mainly between global north and global south states that grew increasingly divisive as the negotiations progressed.

Countries representing the global south are referred to as the G77 in the UN context, which is comprised of a group of 134 countries (plus China). During the four days of deliberation, the contrast between the G77 agenda and the priorities of the other global north states mentioned above (with the exception of the Russian Federation) became visibly apparent. A pattern evolved in which hostilities and tensions escalated when human rights and climate-related discussions arose. Such issues included: gender equality, rights of children and adolescents, global warming and Methods of Implementation (MOI), among others. For more information on this dynamic read my informational blog on the historical conflict between the Right to Development and Human Rights.

In spite of the G77 and the Russian Federation’s initial opposition to the inclusion of language on gender equality (for example guaranteeing equal rights for women and girls as those provided to men and boys) and human rights in the declaration. Additionally, there were several debates regarding language on foreign occupation (i.e. Palestine aka West Bank and Gaza, among others), in which Israel and the U.S. were vehement dissenters, while the G77 argued in favor of adding such language. Furthermore, the G77 (and the Russian Federation) repeatedly attempted to omit sentences that listed stakeholders and marginalized/vulnerable groups.

As the HLPF continued many of the elements of the Ministerial Declaration remained unresolved. In the second week of the HLPF, the co-facilitators handed over the leadership of the declaration to the President of the ECOSOC Council. The declaration then went through a process known as a Silence Procedure, whereby the draft document would have been adopted should no countries have further objections to the negotiated text. However, there were multiple countries who raised concerns; (1) Australia, Canada, New Zealand wanted stronger language on gender and human rights and (2) the US and Israel which contested language on foreign occupation. The issues were ultimately resolved through a combination of closed informal consultations and two votes on the paragraphs referring to finance and trade, and foreign occupation. The declaration was adopted by the HLPF on Wednesday, 19th July, and by the Economic and Social Council on Thursday, 20th July 2017.

The OutRight UN Program advocated throughout the negotiations and during the HLPF for strong and inclusive language on gender and human rights, as well as for guaranteed access to civil society participation. While not a place for substantial normative progress on LGBTI human rights, OutRight considers the HLPF Ministerial Document a vital document in protecting access for civil society to the HLPF and the Agenda 2030 more broadly as well as affirming the strong multilateral commitments made in the Agenda 2030 negotiations of 2015.


Tim Greenwald joins Outright Action International while pursuing a Master of International Affairs degree from Columbia University SIPA with a concentration in Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs and a particularly emphasis on gender and public policy. For the past 3 years, Tim has worked for United Nations Population Fund in the Philippines, Morocco and Egypt on issues related to gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive health and rights and adolescent empowerment. Tim worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Arab E.Y.E.S. Zine while working for UNFPA in Egypt, wherein he wrote empowering narratives from youth communities throughout the Middle East and North Africa and published a quarterly Zine to disseminate these stories throughout the MENA Region.


In Conversation:

Micah Grzywnowicz and Suki Beavers

OutRight is excited to be play a key role in contributing to the development and implementation of the LGBTI Inclusion Index for the SDG’s. In the wake of the 2017 HLPF we asked two of our wonderful partners to interview each other on their roles in developing the Index and what we can expect for the project in the future.

Suki, tell me about the UNDP led LGBTI Inclusion Index - what is it and why did UNDP begin work on it?

A longstanding aspect of UNDP’s work has been to support national actors to collect and analyze the necessary data and evidence base that is required to inform national development plans, policies and programmes. A lack of data and the related absence of measurement of inclusion of LGBTI people in the context of the SDGs, led UNDP to begin working on the development of an LGBTI Inclusion Index, which is designed to inform evidence-based development strategies that help advance inclusion of LGBTI people, achieve the SDGs, and truly leave no one behind.

The conceptualization process began when UNDP and OHCHR convened a multi-sectoral expert meeting that brought together representatives of multilateral organizations, LGBTI rights advocates, data collection experts, and some key private sector leaders in data collection and analysis. Together these experts developed a working definition of LGBTI inclusion that includes both “Access to opportunities and achievement of outcomes for LGBTI people.” The experts also proposed four priority areas that should be the starting point for tracking progress on the inclusion of LGBTI people in development all around the world. Following this meeting, ILGA and OutRight Action International facilitated additional consultations with LGBTI organizations from around the world to validate the working definition of, and the dimensions that should be prioritized to measure LGBTI inclusion. A global survey gathered responses from LGBTI organizations, individuals and allies on the definition of, and the priority dimensions required to measure LGBTI inclusion. This online consultation was followed by an in person validation meeting of LGBTI organizations and activists who emphasized that, given the diversity within and between LGBTI people, the priority dimensions chosen and the indicators used for measurement should, to the degree possible, reflect both the inclusion of LGBTI people generally, as well as key elements of inclusion most relevant to: lesbians, gay men, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people.

The expanded dimensions of LGBTI inclusion that were prioritized by civil society and are now the five dimensions of the proposed LGBTI Inclusion Index, are: 1) Economic Well-being; 2) Civic and Political Participation (broadly defined to also include anti-discrimination frameworks and legal recognition); 3) Personal Safety and Violence; 4) Health, and 5) Education. Many areas where indicators needed to be identified, refined or developed to measure inclusion in these priority dimensions were also identified.

Micah, you have been working on the development of the Index since the first multi-sectoral expert meeting held in September 2015 – why did you invest your time in this process? What value does civil society see in this initiative, and in particular in participating in the process of the conceptualization and development the LGBTI Inclusion Index?

As you know, I've been very engaged in the development and adoption of the SDGs throughout 2015 and I had a strong conviction that it was critical that LGBTI people actively participate in all elements of Agenda 2030 - implementation, follow up and review. In this context, I was extremely excited about, and interested in, the Index because it presented novel ideas of a concrete way of highlighting the importance of ensuring LGBTI rights and inclusion are there and understood to be there as part of the Agenda 2030. The LGBTI Inclusion Index is a tool to provide us all with good quality data that is severely lacking right now! States need reliable data in order to deliver on the promise of "leaving no one behind" which the Agenda 2030 aspires to, and I think the Index can help in achieving that.

Being involved in the Index work from the beginning presented an important opportunity for RFSL and LGBTI civil society actors generally to start building a partnership with UNDP, the UN broadly and the range of interested and involved stakeholders who can work together to advance the rights and inclusion of LGBTI people as part of the efforts to implement Agenda 2030. In addition, participation from the beginning ensured that the expertise and experiences of LGBTI people was made available to inform the design and conceptualization of the LGBTI Inclusion Index so that it would be designed with us and not just for us.

Can you tell us about the next steps in the process to develop the Index? What partnerships are involved?

UNDP has continued to work on developing an LGBTI Inclusion Index which will have two primary components: the collection and analysis of existing data in every country where it already exists, and the generation of new data specifically on LGBTI inclusion, initially in a smaller group of countries, working with governments, academia, civil society and others. Both of these streams of data collection and analysis will increase the evidence base related to the inclusion of LGBTI people, and thus inform policy, programmes and advocacy. Building on the consultative processes that have informed the development of the LGBTI Inclusion Index to date (including the multi-sectoral expert meeting and civil society validation processes), the phase we are now working on is technical, designed to refine the previous work, and result in an agreed core set of measurable indicators, for all five of the priority areas of the LGBTI Inclusion Index. UNDP and the World Bank are working together to support additional consultations to inform this work on the development of indicators to measure LGBTI inclusion. To facilitate this process, a draft set of indicators (which will be accompanied by an explanatory background paper), will be proposed to operationalize the LGBTI Inclusion Index, and will form the basis to two rounds of virtual consultations, followed by an in-person meeting. In order to ensure the inputs of civil society as early in the process as possible, the first round of virtual consultations will be with civil society, and will led by three of the leading LGBTI organizations with ECOSOC status that have been involved in the development of the Index to date; ILGA, OutRight Action International, and RFSL. The results of these consultations will then be available to inform the second round of virtual consultations, which will be held with a small group of multi-sectoral data experts who will also review and provide technical inputs to the draft set of indicators for the respective priority dimensions. We hope that the small technical groups focused on each of the five priority dimensions will be co-chaired by relevant UN agencies and other multilaterals, and will include representatives from; government, academia, civil society, multilaterals, and the private sector. Finally, a small in-person consultation will be held to provide a final round of technical review and recommendations on the agreed set of core indicators. We hope to have the draft set of core indicators for the LGBTI Inclusion Index developed by the end of this year, and will then focus on developing and piloting data collection methodologies. At the same time, as additional resources will be required to operationalize the LGBTI Inclusion Index, we will continue resource mobilization discussions with a range of potential partners. And, we are actively seeking the participation of experts from governments, academia, civil society, private sector, multilaterals and other stakeholders as we move toward operationalization.

Micah, now that the Index is moving to these next steps – how do you think civil society will want to engage with and use the Index when it is operationalized?


There are a few ways that civil society will be able to engage with the next steps of the process to further shape the Index. For instance, LGBTI communities will be part of the consultations to develop and prioritize the core set of indicators. It will be a very direct way in which we can help design the Index and its focus. The Index was always about responding to the needs of communities and developing the indicators is another way of doing that.

Support for the strengthening of capacities of national actors to undertake the collection and analysis of data on the inclusion of LGBTI people, is another important aspect of the LGBTI Inclusion Index. This presents a great opportunity to highlight and engage the research and data collection expertise that some LGBTI groups and academics already have. We hope that the process of implementing the Index will provide opportunities to build those capacities in many countries, so that LGBTI people can be part of the research and data collection efforts in their countries, alongside other stakeholders.

Moreover, as soon as the Index starts producing data, LGBTI communities and civil society will be able to use it and highlight areas where LGBTI people experience exclusion in order to advocate for legal, policy and programmatic changes. I think it will be very useful especially in the context of the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, which give us such wealth of issues covered - we will be able to refer specific data to specific goals and provide specific recommendations. Also, we could use the collected data when our governments create national action plans for the implementation of the SDGs in order to show challenges for our communities so they can be addressed within the Agenda 2030 framework on the national level.

What is interesting about data is what it tells us but also what it doesn't tell us. As LGBTI groups we could use the data that is already available to help identify what else is not yet available to drive new research so that there is continuation of building new evidence base. In that way we will also contribute to the data revolution that the Agenda 2030 calls for!


Suki Beavers is UNDP’s Global Advisor, Policy and Programmes, Health Governance and Inclusive Political Processes. She focuses on inclusion, with particular emphasis on; the rights and inclusion of LGBTI people, advancing gender equality and the rights and empowerment of women, preventing and responding to GBV, and supporting civic engagement. She has previously served as: UNDP’s first global Policy Advisor on Inclusive Political Processes (2014-15), as the Policy Advisor and Cluster Leader, Democratic Governance, Crisis Prevention and Recovery and Gender Based Violence with the UNDP Gender Team (2010-2014), and as the Human Rights Advisor with the Asia Pacific Regional Bureau (2005-2009).

Suki has worked across a spectrum of development contexts, including; stable, crisis, post-crisis and transitional settings. She has written and contributed to the development of numerous publications, policies, and programmes to support legal, policy, and advocacy approaches to a range of issues, including; access to justice, anti-corruption, CEDAW, civic engagement, HIV/AIDS, inclusive political processes, sexual and reproductive health and rights, the rights and inclusion of LGBTI people, VAW/GBV, women’s participation and decision-making, and worker’s rights. Prior to joining UNDP, Suki led and supported NGOs, worked in academia, was a legislative lobbyist, and practiced law.


Micah Grzywnowicz is the International Advocacy Advisor at RFSL, the Swedish Federation for LGBTQ Rights and a member of the UNDP Civil Society Advisory Committee.

In 2011 Micah worked at the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe and assisted in preparing the groundbreaking report ‘Discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity in Europe’.

In 2012 Micah was a Sauvé Fellow in Montreal doing research on the forced sterilization of trans people worldwide and participated in the consultation process on the thematic report on torture and healthcare of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Micah has a Master’s degree in Human Rights from the Central European University in Budapest.


The 18 acres of land the UN headquarters sits on is an extraterritoriality, meaning local (US) law does not apply - however, the UN has agreed to follow most US laws in exchange for its status.

In 1970, the OECD agreed on a target for international aid: 0.7% of a donor nation’s Gross National Income (GNI) should go to official development assistance (ODA). Only 6 countries have met this target so far.

The net total spent on aid in 2016 by DAC countries was $143.33 million USD. Of that amount, $13.26 million USD was the Official Development Assistance (ODA) for “Humanitarian Aid” and $19.82 million was for “Unspecified”--0.925% and 1.38% of the net total for DAC countries respectively.

The knotted gun sculpture outside the UN’s New York headquarters, “Non-Violence,” was made by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd for Yoko Ono to commemorate her husband John Lennon. This sculpture is the original, and there are 30 other sculptures around the world, including Switzerland and Beijing.


Opening of General Assembly session - 13 September
UN GA High Level Meeting Week - 18-22nd September
Annual general debate - "The Sustainable Development Goals: A Universal Push to Transform Our World" - 20 to 26 September

First day of the meeting of the 3rd Committee - October 2nd
Report of the Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - TBA
UN General Assembly Side Event with the Independent Expert on SOGI - TBA

OutRight Week of Advocacy - December 2nd - 9th
UN LGBTI Core Group Human Rights Day Activity - TBA
OutSummit - December 9th

Send questions and comments to:
Rashima Kwatra, rkwatra@outrightinternational.org, +1 (917) 859-7555