WATCH: U.N.'s First Forum Dedicated to LGBT Rights

For the first time, a broad coalition of national leaders met at the United Nations Thursday to discuss the ongoing fight for LGBT equality worldwide.

BY Sunnivie Brydum

September 30 2013 2:23 PM ET

On Thursday, the United Nations hosted it first-ever ministerial meeting on LGBT rights at its headquarters in New York. 

The forum featured U.N. representatives from a broad coalition of allies, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, foreign ministers from Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Holland, and Norway as well as the French minister of cooperation, and senior officials from the European Union, Japan, and New Zealand. Also in attendance were the directors of Human Rights Watch and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. 

Now a video produced by Free & Equal, the U.N.'s public information campaign for LGBT equality, captures some of the highlights of the historic meeting. 

"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," said Pillay. "That is no longer the case."

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry had strong words in support of the ministers' collective mission, as well. 

"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 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."

Watch the highlights video below, and find out more at Free & Equal.

 

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