Committee on NGOs in a historic decision recommends Austrian LGBT Organization for Special Consultative Status
In a historic vote today, the Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations recommended special consultative status to Homosexuelle Initiative Wien, an Austrian LGBT Non-governmental Organization active in defending the human rights of gays and lesbians and in combating all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
After having submitted its application for consultative status in 2007, the NGO has systematically been postponed by the NGO Committee from one session to another for political reasons, thus preventing this and other NGOs fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons to receive ECOSOC consultative status and to participate in the UN’s work.
The Permanent Mission of Austria consistently made clear in its statements in the NGO Committee that the application enjoyed the full support of the Austrian Government, that Homosexuelle Initiative Wien fulfilled all criteria and should thus be granted consultative status. Homosexuelle Initiative Wien has been confronted and has answered numerous and mostly unfair and repetitive questions from members of the NGO Committee throughout the last two years. Against this backdrop, some members of the Committee decided that it was time to take action by calling for a vote.
In a vote of 9 members in favor of the application, 6 members against and 2 members abstaining, the Committee today recommended granting special consultative status to the Homosexuelle Initiative Wien.
After the vote, several members congratulated the Committee for taking action and underlined that this vote – together with the equally successful vote of last week on an Australian LGBT organization (Australian Lesbian Medical Association) – constituted a historic achievement.
The consultative status, which is granted to NGOs by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), will allow Homosexuelle Initiative Wien to participate in the work of the UN.
We congratulate Homosexuelle Initiative Wien!