South West Liberal Democrat MEP and President of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform party Sir Graham Watson today introduced David Chalmers, who sits on the Board of the Kaleidoscope Trust, to European Commissioner for development Andris Piebalgs regarding EU funding for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex issues in the developing world.
The Kaleidoscope Trust is a LGBTI rights group launched in September 2011 which works tirelessly around the world to promote diversity and freedom from unlawful discrimination for LGBTI people. The trust's aim is respect for all regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
Commenting after the meeting, Sir Graham said "The Kaleidoscope Trust and I are pushing for more of the EU's overseas aid budget to be spent on the promotion of LGBT rights in the developing world. Although the West is far from perfect, from Uganda to Malawi, Cameroon to Brazil, the developing world is lagging behind on gay rights. It is our job to stand up for them."
"At present, only £65,000 of the £15million of EU money dedicated to democracy and human rights promotion across the world goes to LGBTI issues. This has to change."
"We are also looking for ways the Kaleidoscope Trust can work together with LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and the Lib Dem Diversity Engagement Group to improve LGBT representation at all levels of our party."
Piebalgs, who is also a Liberal, was very keen to hear the Kaleidoscope Trust's input and expressed a desire to take these issues further.