The United Nations last week signaled
that it was prepared to take a leading role in helping advance LGBT
rights around the globe.
Members of the United Nations Human
Rights Council narrowly approved a resolution on Thursday calling for
the creation of a new office to investigate and report on violence
and discrimination against sexual minorities.
Introduced by the Latin American
nations of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and
Uruguay, the initiative included the support of European countries.
According to The
New York Times, African and predominantly Muslim nations
opposed the measure.
Charles Radcliffe, chief of global
issues at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for
Human Rights, applauded the move, as did Secretary of State John
“This is a big deal,” Radcliffe
told the Times. “Ten years ago, you hardly heard the words
'gay' or 'trans' at the UN.”
The resolution “reflects the growing
global momentum against human rights violations and abuses that LGBT
persons continue to face around the world,” Kerry said.
The United States is not a current
member of the Human Rights Council.