New Zealand’s sexual and gender diverse communities are today celebrating the launch of a new website showcasing the 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames Human Rights Conference, twenty-five years to the day after the Homosexual Law Reform Bill was passed by New Zealand’s parliament.
Information from speakers and workshops that involved people from New Zealand and Australia, the Pacific, Asia, North America and Europe is now accessible to everyone.
The 2nd AsiaPacific Outgames was opened earlier this year at Te Papa by its Patron, the Governor-General, Rt Hon Sir Anand Satyanand. “This is more than a sports tournament. There is also a major cultural programme and a significant human rights conference. It is in the New Zealand tradition to be active in the arena of human, civil and political rights” he said.
Conference Convenor Barry Taylor says the conference was an opportunity to celebrate what has been achieved and to be inspired for future challenges. “Capturing the stories and experiences of the people who attended this conference was important” says Taylor. “The programme was full of examples of LGBTI people coming up with creative solutions to address inequalities and we wanted to make sure that these were recorded for future generations”.
The website containing all of those recordings – www.wellington2011.org – launches today (9 July). The site includes all of the inspirational keynote speakers, presentations from the concurrent sessions, interviews with over sixty participants, plus sound and images from events during the week.
The conference was based around the Yogyakarta Principles. The Principles are a clear statement on international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. “The Yogyakarta Principles were a reference point in the conference proceedings and presentations.” says Taylor. “Participants were encouraged to use the Principles to review the human rights situation in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity in their countries.”
Over 26 countries were represented, including participants from New Zealand, Australia, the United States of America, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, India, the Philippines, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Vanuatu, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and many more.
“We were thrilled with the quality of presenters and the extensive array of papers” says Taylor. “We are even more delighted now to be able to share the conference legacy with the rest of the world. Through wellington.org the vision and purpose of the conference continues: to connect, collaborate and inspire.”