Saturday, August 06, 2016

21 Advocates Vie to be the UN LGBT Independent Expert

The United Nations' Human Rights Council in Geneva at the end of June, after much arguing, voted to create a special envoy to address sexual orientation and gender identity concerns and now, more than a month later, there is information to share about the status of this important position.

Andre du Plessis, the director of UN advocacy for ILGA, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Association, sent me the follow details and I'm pleased to see a robust number of advocates vying to become the first SOGI Independent Expert.

ILGA and du Plessis promise regular updates from Geneva. Good thing we have them monitoring the hiring process and we all have a duty to support the expert, whomever it will be, who is certain to be criticized for all that she or he does by anti-gay forces at the UN.

I'll post updates from du Plessis, when I receive them. Here's the latest news from ILGA:

"Dear All,

"Applications for the position of the SOGI Independent Expert closed earlier today (August 4). The OHCHR Secretariat has already conducted its initial screening (on technical and objective requirements) and has now released the list of 21 candidates (alphabetically by family name):

"Tamara ADRIAN HERNANDEZ Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)
Silvan AGIUS Malta
Dmitri BARTENEV Russian Federation
John CERONE United States of America
Vivek DIVAN India
Jackie DRIVER United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Julia EHRT Germany
Aeyal GROSS United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Loveday HODSON United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Anohar JOHN India
Michael KIRBY Australia
Victor MADRIGAL-BORLOZ Costa Rica 
Vitit MUNTARBHORN Thailand
Dede OETOMO Indonesia
Luz Macarena SAEZ TORRES Chile
Krysztof SMISZEK Poland
Mary Cindy UY Philippines
Frans VILJOEN South Africa
Robert WINTEMUTE Canada

"Each candidate’s application form can be found here:

"The next step is that this list immediately goes to the "Consultative Group" of five ambassadors here in Geneva who each then individually scores the different applicants against the criteria.

"The five ambassadors are:
Ms. Filloreta Korda, Albania
Ms. Regina Maria Cordeiro Dunlop, Brazil
Mr. Amr Ramadan, Egypt
Ms. Elisabeth Laurin, France
Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Thailand

"This scoring forms the basis for a shortlist of candidates who are then interviewed by telephone by the Consultative Group. Usually 5 or 6 people are interviewed.

"The consultative group then makes a recommendation to the President of the Human Rights Council (His Excellency Mr. CHOI Kyonglim, Republic of Korea) through a public report. This report usually has 2 or three people recommended for the position, in order of the consultative group's preference.

"This report should be issued well before the next HRC begins on Tuesday 13 September (in theory one month before the council starts, though in June the report only went out on the second day of the council itself).

"The President then will consult with the various regional coordinators of the HRC and identify an appropriate candidate. He may decide not to follow the order of preference of the Consultative Group, and if so will justify his decision. 

"This candidate is then presented together as one list with the other mandates being filled at the session (in the upcoming session these are: the SR on Torture, the SR on IDPs, the SR on Iran, and a member of the WG on Arbitrary Detention). That list has then, to-date, been passed as a bloc by consensus of the HRC.

"This is likely to take place on Friday 30 September: the last day of the HRC."

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