COVID-19: Petition Statement of Support for LGBTQI communities in Asia Pacific to WHO

By August 31, 2020 October 5th, 2020 Advocacy, Policies, Regional

See our progress and sign on to the open letter

Since our joint Open Letter was sent to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization on 24 August we had a total of 20 signatories. 

See here, our first letter.

On 17 September, we followed up with a reminder to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus as well as copying World Health Organization staffers in Geneva, and Regional Office for the Western Pacific, and Regional Office for South-East Asia – with an additional 50 signatories, calling WHO to:

  • Ensure that the challenges being faced by LGBTQI, MSM and people and communities of diverse SOGIESC during the COVID-19 pandemic will be given due attention, and policies, programs, and responses are inclusive and do not add to the exclusion and discrimination experienced by LGBTQI people, communities and families.
  • Integrate a SOGIESC-inclusive approach in their COVID-19 related guidance documents, situation reports, briefs, strategies and response.
  • Work closely with LGBTQI organizations and communities towards more inclusive responses to the pandemic. 
  • Requesting a call with the World Health Organization to discuss possible ways on how we can work together and move forward on the recommendations to ensure a more inclusive response to COVID-19.

Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Director General
World Health Organization
Avenue Appia 20
1211 Geneva

Dear Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, 

Warm greetings from Bangkok, Thailand. 

APCOM Foundation is a regional civil society network operating in the Asia Pacific region, working on issues that affects the health, rights and well-being of people of diverse SOGIESC including HIV, and human rights.

I write again in relation to the “An Open Letter to World Health Organization to integrate effects of COVID-19 on the LGBTQI communities and for SOGIESC Inclusive strategies and response to COVID-19” which was sent to you on 24 August 2020.

As mentioned in our previous communication, we have been coordinating with 20 civil society groups and organisations working on LGBTQI issues in Asia and the Pacific, and on the broader context of equality and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identities, expressions, and sex characteristics (SOGIESC).

Since then, it has received wide support as there are now additional 50 signatories to the open letter, including some organizations outside of Asia and the Pacific region and those operating globally. This illustrates that the issues we have highlighted in our open letter are felt in other regions as well.

We are attaching again our letter with updated signatories for your reference.

Again, we wish to extend appreciation to you and WHO for the leadership in addressing the pandemic that has affected the globe. Your efforts to improve the health of the world’s citizens. We very much look forward to your response. We trust that through your leadership, WHO will take action. We would also like to take this opportunity to reiterate are recommendations to:

– Ensure that the challenges being faced by LGBTQI, MSM and people and communities of diverse SOGIESC during the COVID-19 pandemic will be given due attention, and policies, programs, and responses are inclusive and do not add to the exclusion and discrimination experienced by LGBTQI people, communities and families.

– Integrate a SOGIESC-inclusive approach in their COVID-19 related guidance documents, situation reports, briefs, strategies and response.

– Work closely with LGBTQI organizations and communities towards a more inclusive responses to the pandemic. 

Toward these, we would like to request for a call with your office: both at headquarters and the relevant regional offices of the World Health Organization to discuss possible ways on how we can work together and move forward on the recommendations to ensure a more inclusive response to COVID-19.

We believe that actions on these would contribute to our collective goal of leaving no one behind.

Yours sincerely, 

Midnight Poonkasetwattana
Executive Director

APCOM

See updated letter here:


If you wish to sign on the letter please send an email to Mei – [email protected] stating your full name, position, organisation, territory

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