LGBTI equality and human rights in Europe and Central Asia

Anniversary 15th ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference concluded in Turin

On 30 October, the 15th ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference concluded in Turin. 343 lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) activists, European and national politicians, representatives of other organisations from 43 countries gathered in Turin, Italy between 27 and 30 October 2011 for the largest annual event on LGBTI rights in Europe.

The Conference theme "Human Rights and "Traditional Values": clash or dialogue?” and other issues were debated in a number of panel discussions, workshops and self-organised groups. As this year the organisation celebrates its 15th anniversary, the Conference reflected on the history of the European LGBTI movement and the challenges ahead.

The Annual Conference adopted a declaration regarding the situation in Northern Cyprus which remains the only territory in Europe where consensual sexual acts between adult men are still criminalised.

This year’s Annual Conference received a support message from Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Republic of Italy, and enjoyed the patronage of the Italian Senate, Chamber of Deputies of the Italian Parliament, Minister of Equal Opportunities, the Municipality of Turin, the province of Turin and Esperienza Italia 150º.

Martin K.I. Christensen, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board, said:

“We are very pleased with the attention ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference received from the Italian authorities. One of the aims of our Annual Conference is to help our member organisations in the host countries to advance the right of LGBTI people. We hope that our Conference, the presence of such high number of activists and experts working in this field in Italy in a combination with great support demonstrated by various national and local authorities in Italy, will result in a new era and new concrete actions leading towards the improvement of LGBTI people’s rights in this country.

While Italy is one of the founding Member States of the European Union and the Councils of Europe, when it comes to the rights of LGBT people, it remains one of the least advanced countries in Europe according to our Rainbow Europe Map and Index.”

During the Annual Conference, representatives of ILGA-Europe membership also elected new members to the Executive Board. Five new members elected for a two-year mandate are:

  • Louise Ashworth (UK)
  • Martin K.I. Christensen (Denmark)
  • Paulo Côrte-Real (Portugal)
  • Sanja Juras (Croatia)
  • Tanja Lehtoranta (Finlad)

Björn van Roozendaal (The Netherlands) was elected as a reserve Board member.

The other five members of the ILGA-Europe’s Executive Board for the next year are:

  • Gabriella Calleja (Malta)
  • Gregory Czarnecki (Poland)
  • Linda Freimane (Latvia)
  • Kristian Randjelovič (Serbia)
  • Pierre Serne (France).

During the first meeting on 30 October 2011, the Executive Board elected Gabriella Calleja and Martin K.I. Christensen as Co-Chairs of the Executive Board.

This year’s Annual Conference was organised in cooperation with the Organising Committee of the 15th ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference in Turin. Next year’s ILGA-Europe Annual Conference will take place in October 2012 in Dublin, Ireland.

The Conference also approved Zagreb, Croatia, as the host city for the ILGA-Europe’s Annual Conference in 2013.