UN Update: IGLHRC Reviewed for Consultative Status; Applications by Two Swiss Lesbian NGOs Deferred

IGLHRC’s application for UN consultative status was reviewed for the first time at the May 18-27, 2009 session of the UN Economic and Social Council’s Committee on Non Governmental Organizations (often referred to as the NGO Committee). The UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) grants consultative status to NGOs after reviewing the NGO Committee’s recommendations.

Consultative status is a key means for civil society to access the UN system. It enables NGOs to deliver oral and written reports at UN meetings, organize events on UN premises, and speak out about abuses and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Over 3,000 NGOs have consultative status with the UN, about 10 of which are LGBT NGOs.

IGLHRC submitted an application in May 2007 and waited two years for its initial review this week. The review included questions from the delegations of Romania, Sudan and the UK regarding the organization’s activity and finances, and a request for more time to study the application by the delegations of Egypt, Pakistan, Qatar and Sudan.

IGLHRC’s application, together with applications of the Swiss Lesbian NGOs LOS and Lestime (who received more questions from the delegations of Egypt and Qatar), were deferred to the next session of the NGO Committee in January 2010.

For more information about UN consultative status for LGBT NGOs read summaries of the NGO Committee’s January 2009 session by clicking here and the 2008 sessions by clicking here.