Update as of September 2016
I wanted to give you a brief but long overdue update on the work of UN-GLOBE.
In previous messages, I have already written to you about the workshops we conducted on sexual and gender identity issues targeted to UN senior leaders. These workshops were attended by the Executive Director of UN Women, and one of the Under-Secretary-Generals of Peacekeeping, among others.
I have also written to you about finally achieving equal pension rights for all same-sex unions with the status of marriages.
You should also know that one of the main focus of UN-GLOBE these past two months has been gender, especially trans individuals and gender-nonconforming individuals. In particular, the UN-GLOBE Working Group on trans, and intersex issues, has been meeting weekly to come up with comprehensive (and we hope far-reaching) recommendations on building inclusive workplaces in the UN system. After we finalize the draft recommendations, we will engage in active consultation with national and international trans advocacy groups, and also intersex groups, to make sure that we have gotten it right. And then, we will mobilize and actively work towards turning words into reality. I can’t wait to share these recommendations with you.
I should also note that UN-GLOBE Coordinator for IOM, Jennifer Rumbach, and I spent a few days in Washington, D.C. in August to attend a workshop organized by the Department of Safety and Security. The workshop looked into ways to raise awareness among UN security officials about gender issues. Jennifer moderated one of the sessions, and throughout the workshop, we discussed the particular realities faced by trans and gender-nonconforming individuals.
In addition, particularly in Europe, we have reached out to national and international advocacy groups that are working to ensure that workplaces are inclusive of LGBTIQ individuals, and we have proposed partnerships. UN-GLOBE Vice-President Gurchaten Sandhu (aka Nanoo) has been active on this front, recently attending an international conference in Amsterdam that discussed ways to enroll labor leaders as advocates of LGBTIQ equality.
Looking ahead, this will be a busy fall for UN-GLOBE.
-- We will wrap up the recommendations of the UN-GLOBE Working Group on trans and intersex issues.
-- We will work, together with UN Plus, on a set of recommendations to make the UN workplace more inclusive of individuals with HIV or AIDS.
-- We will mount a full advocacy campaign for gender-neutral parental leave policies (meaning the same parental leave time for all parents regardless of their gender); and parental leave policies that grant the same leave time for parents who adopt, have kids through surrogacy, or give birth to their child. All families should be treated equally.
-- We will also push for the trans voice to be heard during the finalization of the UN Secretariat’s 2030 Gender Equality strategy.
-- And of course, we will continue to find solutions, together with administrations of the UN system, to individuals who have been hampered by policies that negatively impact LGBTIQ individuals.
I’ll continue to keep you posted.
Please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can write to UN-GLOBE at email@example.com, for any suggestions, comments, or complaints.
Hyung Hak Nam (Alfonso)
PS – I should add that helping us over the next few months is Evangelia Siska (aka Lila), an intern who will be doing research for us on various subjects!