Free & Equal – the UN public information campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality – has released a three-minute video of the first-ever ministerial meeting on LGBT rights at the United Nations held on September 26. The video captures statements by several attendees, who included the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the US Secretary of State, the Argentine, Brazilian, Croatian, Dutch and Norwegian foreign ministers, the French Minister of Development Cooperation, senior officials from the European Union, Japan and New Zealand, and the directors of Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission.
“When I became high commissioner for human rights five years ago there was almost no discussion at the United Nations on the human rights challenges faced by lesbian gay transgender and intersex people. That is no longer the case,” said UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay.
“When the United Nations was formed the founders declared this purpose: to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of the human person,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry. “We really do send a clear and compelling message by coming together today. And it is not just in support of gays and lesbians around the world, it is really in support of the founding values of this institution.”
“Unfortunately, no country can claim to be free from the scourge of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression – my country is no exception”, said Brazil’s foreign minister, Luiz Alberto Figueiredo.
“A proactive approach actually pays off. It actually works,” said Croatian foreign minister Vesna Pusić.
The Free & Equal campaign aims to raise awareness of homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination, and encourage greater respect for the rights of LGBT people. Free & Equal is an initiative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) implemented in partnership with the Purpose Foundation – a leader in building global, social media-driven campaigns on human rights-related issues.