On November 17th, 2010, the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly voted 79-70 to remove a reference to sexual orientation from a resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. The resolution urges States to protect the right to life of all people, including by calling on states to investigate killings based on discriminatory grounds. For the past 10 years, the resolution had included sexual orientation in the list of discriminatory grounds on which killings are often based. It is the only UN resolution to contain language on sexual orientation.
Civil society was shocked and angered by this reversal, but it seemed impossible to change the situation in the short-term. That was, until the U.S. Ambassador to the UN announced at a World Human Rights Day panel on December 10th, that they were going to fight to reintroduce this wording when the resolution came before the General Assembly on December 21st.
This announcement led to 11 days of arguably the most successful and controversial civil society engagement in the history of global LGBT advocacy. On December 21st, 2010, the UN General Assembly voted 93-55 to reintroduce the sexual orientation language into the EJE resolution, marking a gain of 23 States in favour. The U.S., however, was unwilling to expand the resolution to include gender identity, leaving the trans community without explicit protection.
ARC International, GATE (Global Action for Trans* Equality) and United and Strong (St.Lucia) are engaged in an informal research project to gather information on this initiative and write/present a paper at the upcoming IASSCS conference in Madrid in July 2011. We would be very pleased if you can assist us in preparing an analysis of this important area of LGBT movement work. We apologize, in advance, for the short time-frame for response. We are asking that you return your answers to these questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 17, 2011.
1. Could you define your institutional affiliation? Please, include the following indicators:
– grassroot organization, membership organization, NGO, network, other (please explain)
– local, national, regional, international, other (please explain)
– sogi, lgbti, specific (i.e., “trans”, “lesbian”, “hiv/aids”, “sexual rights”, etc), other (please explain)
2. Did you/your organization engage in the international process of reintroducing sexual orientation in the resolution? If your answer is “no”, could you explain why?
3. If your answer to the last question was “yes”, could you describe your/your organization engagement with the process of reintroducing sexual orientation in the resolution?
4. Could you describe your advocacy efforts around the resolution?
5. How do you evaluate the impact of those efforts?
6. How do you evaluate your country behavior in regard to the resolution? Was this behavior predictable from your country record on sogi issues? If not, how do you explain that change?
7. How do you evaluate your organization engagement with the process around the resolution in terms of your own organization history? (For example: was that engagement included in your general workplan or demanded a special effort? Did it impacted, positively or negatively, on your organization visibility, capacity, access to funds, access to national, regional and/or international dialogs, etc).
8. Did you/your organization notice that gender identity was not included in the resolution? Was that an issue for you/your organization? Did that exclusion impact the decision to support or not the advocacy efforts?
9. How would you evaluate the international activist effort around the resolution?
10. How do you evaluate your/your organization access to the international process around the resolution? Please, take into account the following issues:
– geopolitical accessibility (Global South/East, trans*, etc)
– (communication between the sogi international coordination group and your own organization/network.
– support materials circulated.
– other/s that you consider relevant.
11.Have you participated in any follow up activities related with this resolution? If that’s the case, could you describe them?
12. Are you aware of follow up activities?
13. In your opinion, what would be the next steps in regard to this resolution? (and, more broadly, sogi issues at the UN)
14. How do you envision your engagement with those next steps? Please explain.
15.Would you/your organization support a future resolution focused solely on sexual orientation issues? (with exclusion of gender identity / trans* issues). Why?