Ground-Breaking Session on LGBT and Human Rights Opens




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Jun 03, 2013
by Louise Hallman
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Ground-Breaking Session on LGBT and Human Rights Opens

“Now is the time for a new Global LGBT Forum” Session chair Klaus Mueller opens the seminar ‘LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges and Next Steps'

A new international forum for LGBT rights was launched on Sunday, June 2, 2013, with the opening of the Salzburg Global Seminar program ‘LGBT and Human Rights: New Challenges, Next Steps’ at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria.

Speaking at the opening session, seminar Chair Klaus Mueller said: “I strongly believe now is the time to create a Global LGBT Forum. A space to come together and reflect on the new challenges we are facing and consider the next steps needed to secure the safety, free expression and equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people and communities.

“Human kind is defined by its diversity: the free expression of sexuality and gender is increasingly defining the societies in which we want to live in the 21st century. But progress is by no means certain. In 2011, South Africa spearheaded the first UN Resolution on Human Rights, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, supported by 40 other countries—yet in 78 states, governments continue to legitimize and sponsor violence again their LGBT citizens.”

Mueller, who is a museums consultant, film-maker and historian, and whose academic work includes in-depth study of the persecution of homosexuals under the Nazi regime, hopes this seminar will serve as the inaugural session of this new Global LGBT Forum.

The seminar, supported by funds from HIVOS, Stiftung EVZ, the German Federal Foreign Office and Michael Huffington, is bringing together over 60 participants from 35 countries to discuss wide-ranging topics, from the rule of law and international institutions, data gathering on LGBT issues, and the potential role of philanthropy, to queer film-making and the use of social media.

A cultural showcase evening is also scheduled. Welcoming the newly inducted Salzburg Global Fellows to the historic Schloss, Clare Shine, Vice President and Chief Program Officer of Salzburg Global called the program “ground-breaking” for its multidisciplinary and global approach.