Monday, November 24, 2008

Hhmmmm...could be...

It just seems impossible that a real human being could be such a stereotypical Michael O'Brien character as Boris Ottokar Dittrich.

During his career as member of parliament he became famous for his initiatives on typical Dutch issues like same-sex marriage, euthanasia, legalising prostitution and decriminalising the use of soft drug. Dittrich is one of the first openly gay members of parliament. He is a strong advocate for human rights and has represented the Dutch parliament on numerous occasions at meetings in the UN.

Or - and here's a possibility that I think no one has considered yet - could it be that Michael O'Brien is actually making the world up as part of the notes for his next apocalyptic novel?

Dittrich was vice president of Liberal International until October 2007. He currently works for Human Rights Watch in New York City, as Advocacy Director of the LGBT rights program.

He attended the Moscow Pride in May 2007. Afterwards Human Rights Watch published a report about the freedom rights in Russia. It lead to parliamentary questions in the Dutch and European Parliament.

In July 2007 Dittrich was invited to Kathmandu, Nepal to discuss the upcoming Constitutional revision with members of the Nepalese parliament. In September 2007 he visited Brasil and spoke to members of the Brazilian government and parliament about support for LGBT-issues in Brazil's foreign policy.

In November 2007 Dittrich opened and moderated a meeting in the United Nations in New York on the introduction of the Yogyakarta Principles, a set of human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity. The meeting was sponsored by Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. Besides Dittrich other speakers included Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland and former High Commissioner for Human Rights), Ana Cabral( minister of human rights in the Brazilian government), Frederico Villegas (head Human Rights of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Argentina) and Dianela Pi, first secretary of the Uruguayan mission to the UN in New York, and speakers from UNAIDS and NGOs.

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