This article was published on August 28th, 2018
Everyone’s favorite nations beginning with the letter “C” have joined forces to take names in the fight for equal rights and protections for LGBT people. Recently, Vancouver, Canada joined partnering nation Chile in hosting an international conference for the Equal Rights Coalition.
Previously held in Stockholm, Berlin, Washington, D.C., and Montevideo, the Equal Rights Coalition Global Conference on LGBTI Human Rights and Inclusive Development was a 3-day series August 2- 5, of events meant to galvanize and fight for the advancement of LGTBI people. For the first time ever, Canada played host to the Global ERC summit in Vancouver.
With 39 member nations / states including Canada and Chile as co-chairs, The Equal Rights Coalition Global Conference is “dedicated to the protection of the rights of LGBTI people around the world.” For this year’s theme, Leaving No One Behind, the Global Conference is bringing together countries from all over the world and developing strategies, civil society organizations, cooperation agencies, private donors, and normal people looking to get involved in helping out the cause of advancing LGBTI human rights. This includes development around the world.
These global conferences are helping build diplomatic engagement between countries when it comes to LGBTI rights. The Equal Rights Coalition believes that nations standing together will create more of a change than working apart. Canada and Chile have partnered to present this year’s conference in efforts to bring about as much positive change for queer people as possible.
Several leading world organizations attended the conference, including the Human Rights Coalition, The United Nations, World Bank, OutRight, and the American State Department. Current Equal Rights Coalition members include: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and Uruguay.
The global Equal Rights Coalition conference provided multiple outlets and opportunities for collaboration between ERC member countries/ states and other stakeholders. Consisting of panels, plenaries and a number of breakout sessions that facilitated open dialogues on how to advance LGBTI human rights, the conference helped solidify old partnerships and bridge new ones. The conference’s three objectives of building: Building knowledge, building norms, and building networks were met head on and the conference ended with much to be celebrated.
While the results of the Equal Rights Coalition global conference may not be completely visible for some time, member nations emerged with the brightest outlook yet for queer people around the world. Soon, there won’t be any member nation or not left behind.