Eleven countries attending the first ministerial meeting on the
rights of LGBT people held at the United Nations on Thursday
reaffirmed their commitment to gay rights and ending discrimination
based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
A resolution adopted by the ministers states that “those who are
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender must enjoy the same human
rights as everyone else.”
“Key to protecting the human rights of LGBT individuals is the
full and effective implementation of applicable international human
“We agree with the United Nations Secretary-General's assessment
that combating violence and discrimination based on sexual
orientation and gender identity constitutes 'one of the great,
neglected human rights challenges of our time.' We hereby commit
ourselves to working together with other States and civil society to
make the world safer, freer and fairer for LGBT people everywhere.”
Secretary of State John Kerry attended the session, calling it
“historic” in his remarks.
“For its part, the United States and the Obama administration is
fully committed to this work,” Kerry said. “I took personal
satisfaction this past year when the United States Supreme Court
overturned Section 3 of DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act – and I
say personal satisfaction because I was one of 14 senators who voted
against that when it passed – and that prevented federal
recognition of same-sex marriages.”
“But this moment has to be more than a moment to simply
celebrate how far we have come, or the historic nature of this
particular event. When people continue to be harassed, arrested or
even murdered simply because of who they are or who they love or what
they believe, how their lives are organized and structured, then we
have to recommit to our work together. In too many places around the
world, LGBT persons are still punished for simply exercising their
fundamental rights and freedoms,” he added.
Kerry also announced a $1 million contribution from The Netherlands
to the Global Equality Fund, a global initiative to support gay
rights first announced in 2011 by former secretary Hillary Clinton.
Clinton announces global fund to support gay rights.)
The meeting was attended by ministers of Argentina, Brazil,
Croatia, El Salvador, France, Israel, Japan, The Netherlands, New
Zealand, and the United States and the High Representative of the
European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.