The Asia Pacific Youth Exchange - Philippines (APYExPHL) Team was invited to attend the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) first International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), held last 17 May 2019 at ADB Headquarters in Manila. In support of gender inclusion and diversity, both APYExPHL and ADB are committed to protect and nurture the dignity of every individual regardless of their gender, nationality, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, physical ability, and thinking style.
The program started with a panel discussion which opened series of dialogue between ADB employees, LGBT+ communities and representatives, student and youth organizations, civil society leaders, health and rights organizations, and many more. Among the panel speakers were the Director of the Social Sectors and Public Sector Management Division of the Pacific Department of ADB, Emma Veve; Director of the Private Sector Transaction Support Division and Private Sector Operations Department of ADB, Mark Kunzer; Midnight Poonkasetwattana, Executive Director of APCOM Thailand, Midnight Poonkasetwattana; and the Executive Director of Babaylanes Philippines, Claire de Leon.
IDAHOT recognizes that empowerment and inclusion of vulnerable groups can tremendously speed up development in multiple ways. It promotes a unified, sustainable and resilient region where all minority groups are supported and included. Resounding the Sustainable Development Goal number 5 on Gender Equality, APYExPHL-Philippines fights alongside ADB in ending all forms of gender violence, inequality, discrimination, and marginalization to ensure that all people, regardless of sex, have equal opportunities towards a quality life.