Vladimir for ILGA-Europe Board 2018-2019: Making Europe Better

Dear friends,

I would like to kindly address my thanks to you for the trust you expressed in me during the elections to the ILGA-Europe Board for the period of 2016-2017 at the Annual Conference, held in October, 2015 in Athens (Greece).

I am thankful for this experience. As an LGBTI human rights activist, active participation in the ILGA-Europe Board has been invaluably rewarding and educational. I sincerely undertook this duty to the best of my abilities and never missed any Board Meetings.

I am very proud that during my Membership in the ILGA-Europe Board, I was able to put pressure on the Lithuanian Government regarding LGBTI human rights violations in Chechnya (Russian Federation). As a result, Lithuania became the first country to give refuge to people fleeing Chechnya because of their sexuality.

As an ILGA-Europe Board Member and Co-founder & Executive Director of the National LGBT* rights organization LGL, I also organized a protest next to the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Vilnius (Lithuania) in May of 2017 in order to draw attention to the current persecution and serious human rights violations against LGBTI people in Chechnya.

I have never been and never will be indifferent to realities of my brothers and sisters in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. I sincerely hope that I will be allowed to continue my work in advocating for the rights of LGBTI people in this region as an ILGA-Europe Board Member.

I am pleased that ILGA-Europe has welcomed new member organizations from Central Asia. I can relate to the struggles of LGBTI activists in this region. I hope that my experience in seeking progress in a hostile environment will be valuable to our new member organizations.

In the event that I am re-elected to ILGA-Europe Board for the period of 2018-2019, I will continue to be active, consistent and open to everyone. I will seek compromises, even though sometimes it might be difficult. Therefore, I would like to kindly ask you for your support during the upcoming elections to the ILGA-Europe Board.

I am looking forward to seeing you all in ILGA-Europe Annual Conference in Warsaw.

Vladimir Simonko,

Board Member, ILGA-Europe & Co-founder & Executive Director, National LGBT* rights organization LGL

© Augustas Didžgalvis