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Sunil Pant - AsiaPacific Outgames

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[00:00:00] This recording was made up a second the Asia Pacific Outgames human rights conference held in Wellington New Zealand in March 2011 [00:00:09] QR codes or cat or now my height of my Keaton a free a key 10 A Copa America Tierra Martina Cotto manner heating a Tina Koto na my hi to Mickey out here or in a kayak a holiday attain a greeting Coto and a recap tour. Now my height of my tenor Koto, Koto, Koto, Koto, cat or in English, I have simply welcomed everybody, not only to this meeting, but to this co Papa to this agenda of human rights this morning. I've also particularly welcomed the leaders here. And I don't see anybody who's not a leader, actually. I have particularly welcomed visitors to RT or or New Zealand. I've acknowledged the organizers of this event by this particular forum, but also the games in general. And then in modern fashion, greeted everybody three times. It's a great pleasure for me to be here. I was delighted to take take up the invitation to be here. Of course, Grant Robertson could just as well have been doing this job as as MP for Willington Central and the chair of our rainbow labour caucus. However, he and a funny swap is visiting my my town of Nelson today, so we've swapped venues but we still waving the flag. It's a it's a great pleasure to welcome our guests this morning. I'd like to welcome Sunil pant, Felicia brown actin and grace poor at the table and and I will do a little introduction of each of them as they come up to speak simply this morning, we're going to hear from each of these wonderful people. We are going to hear about their experiences in building and promoting human rights for the LGBT communities in their areas and regions. And we will hear basically from them about anything they wish to talk to us about that is connected to the human rights agenda. But that will not be difficult for them. So it's a it's a particular pleasure to to welcome you all here today. The way it's going to run is that they will have about 20 minutes or so, today 25 minutes, I will I will tell them when they're within five minutes of 25. And so they will need to wind up we will hear from all three of them. And then have a time for questions and discussion. After that there will be a couple of roving microphones at that time, so that you will be able to make yourself heard, you only need to attract my attention. Don't worry, the main will get to speak as well. It's with great pleasure that I I first of all introduce Sonny or pant. So Neil is a member of the Constituent Assembly in the Parliament of Nepal. He's the coordinator of the parliamentary committee on environment, climate change and disaster risk reduction. And if that weren't enough, he's also a member of the Fundamental Rights Committee of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal. He has a long standing commitment to human rights. He's a signatory to the yoga katha principles, and was the petitioner of the rip to the supreme court against the government of Nepal, demanding protection and defense of equal rights of LGBT I in Nepal. And this resulted in that court making the historic decision to protect and defend LGBT rights. In recognition of his tireless work, he's been the recipient of several awards, including the money to Howard's award in 2009, the Philippe de Souza award in 2007, and the utopia award in 2005. He's the founder and executive director of the Blue Diamond society, which is an NGO working on human rights, sexual health and HIV and AIDS. It is with great pleasure that I welcome Tsuneo to the podium kilda. [00:05:13] Thank you, Madam Chair. I'll say empty. [00:05:19] This distinguished speaker panelists and Friends Thank You for Your welcome. It's great to be here today. And to be part of this conference. let me acknowledge the conference Coordinating Group and and fundraise in in particularly, there is sitting somewhere here who've been in a email contact me to bring me over here and also the rainbow Willington without their support, I wouldn't be here today. Let me quickly take us some of the pictures have put together from from the inception of Blue Diamond society, which we'll talk about the photo itself evident to speak for the issues, the problems, the struggles, the Justice culture pageants brides in lives of, of LGBT eyes in the power. We basically started from scratch. And I think this picture is is one of the few when we started Blue Diamond society early is a lot of violence is until 2007. So this is in 2003 that to make these we call for the male to female third changes in the past have been arrested and then raped and brutally beaten up by the police force. This is another attempted murder of a transgender person by another army officer. The now the beatings trying to celebrate New Year, in 62 2062, we are in 2068. Now, the is also doing outreach PR work of the raising awareness of condom and HIV. [00:07:34] He was beaten up on his face. [00:07:38] Then the frequent one of the picture of frequent arbitrary arrest of LGBT eyes in the power. This is the International Day against homophobia. We started celebrating from 2006. And it said the public space and police was asking what we're doing about and then we explained the police what we were doing. Okay, and then we the previous picture, which select quickly was about the filing rate petition to the court Supreme Court and then we waiting for the decision after the court decision. The This is the first legal ID that was given to fair gender person Vishnu and in the column of gender, Lil region third [00:08:37] independently [00:08:41] and then to visit various lobbying, empowerment training leadership building. This is a transgender Sunday sitting with the Prime Minister and the International AIDS Day last year [00:08:58] various leadership training [00:09:01] how to do public speaking [00:09:04] in line your vision with the organization, visions of all the LGBT I take place and strategize their own way forward. Part of several leadership courses and also they're trained how to do a public speaking at the training and this is a sit on a protest demanding legal ID and this is another interaction program. The Gaza pride festival beauty pageants. This is the picture of pride festival we did last year 2010. Nepal also officially promotes tourism and the minister tourism minister of Nepal welcomed galas visit his in his masses in one of those days. We also have transgender choir, choir choir, the call and they sing beautifully like we saw the mores last night. And we have several cultures, other cultures, deities and some of those. The tantric date is paintings I have here very graphic. This is modern culture is it still exists. born male very feminine type genders, dancing and performing dances, called Maroni. This is ordinary Sure. Tran tantric Hindu and Buddhist deities closely associated with gender mostly third gender or very various gender roles. This is also ordinary sure lots of is both male and female form. Standing wide location also considered to be neither male nor female. Kumari as you see, in a modern days, drag drag queen Kumari This is another paintings for the narration these are widely you can be the postcards and stuff in Nepal. And cerca de if you worship this goddess, you get all the bliss and all the satisfaction that sad they believe, the naked picture of a woman [00:11:42] at [00:11:44] a mocha should be also have another one that whatever you wish fulfilled. And this is the location in other paintings. This one is a reasonable one from I think what century BC a Buddhist deity of compassion, more glimpses of Nepal. It's basically a coordinate stories. And the quartet of Nepali village, house. Mountain close, not far from Katmandu, taken by myself. [00:12:20] And this is Buddha, Buddha, stupid in Katmandu. [00:12:26] And for your information, we have pink mountain travels and tools. Yeah. So I, let me now move to my speech. I value you all, who have gathered here, the organizations and people you represent the roles you play and potential you have to save the world of tomorrow. In particular, I I believe that the Asia Pacific out games organizers have a vital role to play in accelerating the process of the LGBT rights in Asia Pacific through such games and such human rights conferences, and supportive of the mission. I believe our success in Asia Pacific success. I have come this morning to talk with you on one of the last probably last issues of human rights in our time. That is ending discrimination over human diversity and ensuring full freedom of all beings. And New Zealand is the place to talk about ending discrimination and preserving full freedom because here and this soil discrimination against humans by humans, on the ground of so called superiority the power of evil that tried to destroy civilization has been tackled successfully. By the natives, the mores and the roots of human freedom have long ago struck deep and here they have been ritually nourished. The decisive importance of liberty, freedom and dignity of LGBT people is yet to be fully recognized. Still by quite a few members states of the United Nations concern for the prevention and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedom stands at our hearts, regardless of human diversity. We are working hard to bust the progress of the LGBT rights equality and equal opportunity because growing freedom is ultimately what will provide LGBT and our families the job security, shelter, education, healthcare, freedom and choices that we aspire to and deserve. It's that desire to build a brighter future which lies at the heart of Lou Diamond societies relation relationship, agri relationship agreement with the Asia Pacific LGBT rights movements. A movement needs visionary leaders and visionary leaders are the builders of a new town working with imagination, insight and boldness. They work with the power of dedication with a higher hope, higher purpose. They are social innovators and changes and seeing the big picture and thinking strategically. [00:15:39] We share a commitment to improving the lives and prospects of all LGBT eyes and indeed, of all Nepalese and our confidence and courage has enabled us to work across a number of friends to achieve that good relationship are the hardest effective movement building the movements in body deeply caring approach to people seeing them as their greatest asset. The most effective leaders at the movement are responsive to the real needs of people and they develop participated strategies to include people in designing their own futures. We have first a strong relationship and one which I think has had a very positive impact on the work of Nepali government and the lives of Nepali as a bt is in saying that I recognize that while the government can provide the environment and Policy settings for success, ultimately it is us, the LGBT activists, interpreters and innovators the workers who will generate greater equality and wealth and growth in the poly democracy and in its economy. Similarly, we should look to ourselves for the ideas energy that will feel development for Asia Pacific, including my one country nipple and for all of us so the question for such a conferences, how can you working with government and your wider community support LGBT I to grow their asset base and the benefits that flow from that? How can we unlock and boost the potential value in LGBT held assets? I view they see Pacific our games as an excellent network. Light Blue Diamond society, Nepal for bringing together the voices, the people, the ideas, who together can answer those questions. We know there is a great foundation to build on great things have already been achieved in Asia, in Asia Pacific in the 10 years from 2001 to 2011. In the power, the out LGBT have grown up from one to more than 300,000 the situation had changed from violence due respect. The rich has expanded from retina Park, a tiny park at the center of Kathmandu, to rural remote district in the far west of Nepal, and made the recent governments of Nepal to support LGBT issues at national and local levels, as well as international levels. The progress reflects a lot of hard work and a huge contribution by all Nepali LGBT eyes, and with significant support from our sisters and brothers abroad. It reflects the flourishing of LGBT movements and the development of new ideas and ways to ways of doing things. From far west to east of Nepal, from the planes in the south and about to the Himalayas, the mountains in the north, from some from cities to the villages. [00:18:54] In part it also reflects the successful transfer of leadership via the two meaning coaching dialogue, one on one conversation and forming the foundation of sexual and gender minorities, Nepal, back in 2007, which have 30 organization as a member. I want to talk a little about the process today I want to reflect on where we have come to so far in the last decade and what that means for LGBT as social, economic and political development. We take it as a great deal of importance and the rights and opportunities negotiation process and on completing fair and final settlement, not because we believe it is the most important issue for LGBT I but because like many of you, our goal is to move beyond gradients towards the brighter, more prosperous future we all seek. So we give everything to build the new constitution, and we only accept the new constitution when it has guaranteed full rights equality and non discrimination for LGBT eyes in the parlor. We have seen the draft criminal and civil law prepared by the law ministry, and we condemn the process that it excluded us from the drafting process. We also deeply concerned with the proposal that drafts have made in the draft civil and criminal code. They don't acknowledge transgender we call them third genders in the panel. We refute the draft law because it says only men and women can marry and as a heterosexual couple one lady. This is unacceptable. And we can't let the law ministry take it forward when it indicates LGBT people are criminal, which is against the Supreme Court decision and against the draft constitutional provisions. The state must not dictate to us to live lives against our will and nature. The new laws must allow LGBT I live a life with freedom, dignity and opportunities. [00:21:08] It's that positive forward looking part of the draft constitution and legal change process that another ministry Ministry of women, children and social welfare taking the ahead excites me. We must stop looking in the rearview mirror to add grievances past and in estate, sift our energies and focus towards building stronger foundation for the future. Don't you think it will be wise for all the governments in Asia Pacific to focus on development, how to tackle poverty, how to bring people and communities together in a state of targeting the LGBT communities who have nothing to survive. Movement builders execute with confidence successful movement builders know where they want to go and how to get there. They believed in themselves and others believed in them to the result is teamwork, shared goals and improved morale. The last 10 years in 2000, starting at outreach initiative in Radnor Park 2001 registering Blue Diamond society in 2002. Came out started from myself in 2003. Starting to address human rights violations of LGBT eyes 2004 taking the human rights abuse matters to the union in 2005. expand the program in Katmandu, and Parton and poke rather and Jenna poor Nepal guns Fiverr the major cities in 2006 joining a leading the people's movement, Jenna and Dolan second 2007 taking the government to the court 2008 standing for the Constituent Assembly election and more expansive networks and programs 2009 introducing the leadership program, working with district local district local governments working with the political parties 2010. Working with the ministries and 2011 will become another milestone setting year with our joint efforts will make this year one of the most historic one again, new LGBT leaders not only from Nepal, but from other countries in Asia Pacific see the experience of Nepali LGBT leadership, who still stand and fight from the year 2000 2001. And how much we have achieved in the intervening period. We specially the new generation LGBT I don't wish to spend more time and money on litigation and negotiation. It should be insured by the new law and new constitution. We all want to focus on careers development, contribute and make a lot of progress and move on. You should focus towards that and work hard to achieve that. As well as helping restore the honor of the LGBT is the constitutional guarantee of equality will help build a future progress. For the progress base for LGBT eyes in Nepal. We are moving on from a time when LGBT leadership and resources have been heavily focused on resolving historic cultural and legal in justices. And we are fast moving to an era in which that energy will be increasingly devoted to political and economic development and business opportunities for the present and future. Specific achievements that need to be mentioned include implementing this historic Supreme Court decision made in 21st December 2007, declaring all LGBT eyes are natural people and deserve equal rights and opportunities. Our right to life freedom and dignity was guaranteed by the court, it now must be translated into national laws and into the new constitution. The first major milestone which it meant to be achieved within the process have already been marked, including the memorandum of understanding between Blue Diamond society and Ministry of women, children and social welfare to eliminate all this all the discriminatory laws against us. The same sex marriage committee is considering giving marriage equality to all LGBT eyes in the power. The gender equality bill also must include LGBT is the law ministries preparing to present to the parliament, how can the gender equality bill be called the gender equality bill and not talk about that gender, or transgender, I seriously recognized that we need to work with the minutes with this existing system and people within law ministry in Nepal in a great deal. [00:26:04] history will judge us on our efforts to establish equality for all but it will also judge those from the government's who are empowered and who can pass the policies, how fair and just they have been introducing new laws and constitution. future generation will just then even more. When we sat in front of the singer bar, which you saw in the picture, the government hub of Nepal and got arrested. It's easy to forget there, there was considerable disquiet from media and civil society that government was doing in justices to us, the gays, lesbians and transgender not even issuing citizenship it to the to the legal citizens of Nepal, media and civil society. And the international community also contributed prominently to highlight the discrimination we have been facing and force the government to take a step back. And we are released. And then we the Prime Minister promise that you will issue the citizenship ID the legal ID issues matter as soon as possible. We're waiting for that day, as many of you and many of you may know during our early years that third gender, had her throat slit after being raped, and 39 Blue Diamond society members were arrested in 2004. And there were many more such incidents we had a tremendously difficult time. But we we stood strong and stood unshaken and established ourselves much stronger and force the government to recognize us showed the government that we were not here to vanish in the dark. We are telling them that until we have justice and equality, we will not remain quiet. And we will not leave you quietly. My sense as I travel around the country and internationally, visiting communities, schools and homes in that most of the is that most of the members of the society's LGBT eyes included want to move the conversation on an accepting us as part of family and society and live in the principal principal of live and let live. To move to move on from a conversation that passed in justices to one about how to address LGBT I underachievement about how to deliver all class education and standards to ensure all the LGBT have the skills and resources we need to succeed and how to ensure that LGBT children and families have good jobs and high aspirations. The desire to see LGBT I improve their their lot in life. To be better equipped to succeed and to no longer be over represented in negative statistics associated with education, health and crime. Lay at the heart of why both the national and local parties choose to work together, even though neither parties have compelled to do so. I hope that this conference and the support provided by out gains is a vehicle for LGBT activist to think about how dedication and courage can boost efforts and how can how you can strengthen your relationship with the wider social sector specially with your governments. The second big opportunity I would like to see is that the more reason allowed games within a specific reason as a specific reason is vast in many ways and most of the world population sites in Asia Pacific. It's important for LGBT I to make the most of Wellington's time in the spotlight, focusing on maximizing the social, economic and political Return of the outer games. I also would like to suggest that the outer game search serve as a great opportunity for LGBT business to showcase their products and innovative businesses ideas as well as creating connection with international markets. [00:30:31] Which brings me to the third opportunity which lies in making the must have Nepal's considerable legal and constitutional advancement to inspire other countries in the reason. I think there is a great potential for LGBT development and livelihoods to stand together to make the most of these opportunities. networks like our games are very important in this regard. In closing my presentation today, let me repeat that I think the future of LGBT eyes in Asia Pacific is brighter than ever. Organizations like our games are important vehicles to for bringing the leaders and thinkers together. And conferences like this are a great way of sparking the ideas, aspirations and movements that will lead the way. I wish you all the best for the year ahead and look forward to talking with you this afternoon. Thank you very much.

This page features computer generated text of the source audio. It is not a transcript, it has not been checked by humans and will contain many errors. However it is useful for searching on keywords and themes.