APCOM along with regional Asia-Pacific organizations, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus, ILGA Asia, Intersex Asia and PSGDN brought 30 plus LGBTQI participants from the region to a learning week at the ADB headquarters in Manila, the Philippines titled Gearing the LGBTQI Community in Asia and the Pacific Region to Meaningfully Engage with the Asian Development Bank, taking place 2-6 October 2023.
“ADB plays a key role in the development of under-resourced or marginalized societies. Through their constructive relationship with governments, ASC can leverage on the power of the purse to influence systemic and structural changes at the domestic level. Given their crucial role, ADB needs to strongly commit to the advancement of LGBTQIA+ rights as a non-negotiable element in the design of their development initiatives in countries.”Ryan Silverio (they/them), Executive Director, ASEAN SOGIE Caucus
“Engaging with ADB helps continue the conversation and put the pressure on what being inclusive means in eradicating poverty especially for LGBTIQ+ community.”Charline Liu, Executive Board Member, ILGA Asia
“Safeguard issues in our daily life for intersex people have never been aware, discussed, and addressed in any policy or law in almost all Asian countries. As a leader of the only intersex network in Asia, it is a great opportunity to engage with ADB on safeguard issues to create awareness and positive impacts at the regional level on safeguard issues for the Asian intersex community.”Hiker Chiu (he/her), Executive Director, Intersex Asia
“Engaging with the ADB is a worthwhile investment as they support large development (mainly infrastructural) projects in Fiji and the Pacific region and it will be good to explore how they can strengthen SOGIESC Inclusion within this space. How can multilateral banks and financial institutions like the ADB advance and safeguard the rights and protection of vulnerable and marginalised groups like LGBTQI people in their development support.”Isikeli Vulavou (xe/hir or they/their),
Chief Executive Officer, Pacific Sexual and Gender Diversity Network
Supported by Global Affairs Canada, Voice, and Open Society Foundations, APCOM brought community representatives from across the region committed to ensuring meaningful engagement, especially as the ADB’s draft Safeguards Policy is now out for review and feedback. It is crucial that our community members get to know the process and collectively strategize our engagements.
“Aside from raising awareness about the ADB, the safeguards review, the learning week will discuss how LGBTQI organizations in the region can raise our collective voice for SOGIESC inclusion, and create an on-going mutual working relationship with key personnel and leadership at the ADB so that the ADB 2030 Strategy of Achieving a Prosperous, Inclusive, Resilient, and Sustainable Asia and the Pacific, also has SOGIESC inclusion. For APCOM, bringing community voices to the forefront of discussions, specifically about issues affecting communities of diverse SOGIESC, is of prime importance, given the criminalisation laws in Asia and the Pacific region, and cultural and religious conservatism, we need to take this opportunity to ensure that the new safeguards policy also includes SOGIESC. I am very thankful to all partners involved for making this historic learning session with the ADB possible.”Midnight, Executive Director, APCOM
To contribute to awareness among LGBTQI organizations about the ongoing regional consultations of ADB specifically on SOGIESC, APCOM convened a virtual community consultation with LGBTQI organizations on 12 May 2022. It identified initial positions and recommendations from the community for the ADB consultations with civil society and non-government stakeholders on SOGIESC. The virtual consultation was participated in by 46 participants representing 31 LGBTQI regional and country-based organizations from at least 9 countries in the region.