Wednesday, 3 November 2010

MGRM: 14th ILGA-Europe's Annual Conference concluded in The Hague


Four committee members from MGRM attended the14th ILGA-Europe Annual Conference held in The Hague. Gabi Calleja, the Co-ordinator of the Malta Gay Rights Movement was elected to the Executive Board during the conference while Ruth Baldacchino was re-elected as one of the two European representatives on the ILGA World Board.

Ruth Baldacchino was member of the ILGA-Europe Board between 2006 and 2010, and has been serving on the World Board since 2005. Also present were Silvan Agius, Policy Director with ILGA-Europe, Nikki Falzon as a volunteer, Mark Grech and Bernard Muscat from MGRM as participants.

Nikki Falzon, Mark Grech, Gabi Calleja, Ruth Baldacchino, Silvan Agius, Bernard Muscat

Over 260 lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) activists, European and national politicians, representatives of other organisations from 37 European countries gathered in The Hague, The Netherlands between the 28th and 31st October 2010 for the largest annual event on LGBTI rights in Europe.

The Conference theme "Expressing our differences, challenging our prejudices, developing our alliances" and other issues were debated in a number of panel discussions, workshops and self-organised groups. Conference participants adopted a resolution expressing concerns about the rise of extremism in Europe and encouraging ILGA-Europe, including member organisations, to support efforts to tackle extremism in all its forms. A second resolution of the Conference encourages ILGA-Europe member organisations to actively promote and embrace diversity within LGBTI communities. The Conference also adopted a declaration condemning the attack on Russian LGBTI activists which took place in Tomsk (Russia) while the Conference was taking place, expressing its solidarity to the activists and calling upon greater tolerance towards LGBTI human rights defenders in Russia.

This year's Conference was organised in co-operation with COC Haaglanden. Next year's ILGA-Europe Annual Conference will take place in October 2011 in Turin (Italy).

Ruth Baldacchino said, "The ILGA-Europe Annual Conference is a crucial event to highlight and raise awareness on the situation of LGBTI people in Europe. Whilst we can be proud of great advances in some countries, the same cannot be said of other countries, including Malta. The current political shift towards extreme views seriously threatens more advances in the areas of human rights and social justice. This Conference confirmed that it is important for activists, academics and decision-makers to seek ways of co-operation to challenge prejudices and build alliances to progress on human rights for LGBTI people."

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