The United Nations Security Council issued a statement on Monday condemning this weekend's attack on a gay bar in Orlando, Florida in a statement that specifically denounced violence targeting people “as a result of their sexual orientation” for the first time.
The statement was a landmark because the Security Council, the main body in the UN focused on peace and security, has never issued an official document of any kind referencing sexual orientation. It's a category that many countries have fought to keep out of UN documents, arguing that it is not recognized under international human rights agreements. Monday night's document was a press statement, not a formal resolution, but it still required unanimous agreement from the committee that includes LGBT-rights opponents like Russia and Egypt.
The statement comes as the UN Human Rights Council opened a session in Geneva where a group of South American countries is expected to introduce a resolution to create the UN's first ever LGBT rights watchdog.
Here's the full statement from the Security Council:
The following Security Council statement was issued today by Council President François Delattre (France):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida, on 12 June 2016, targeting persons as a result of their sexual orientation, during which 49 people were killed and 53 injured. They expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of the United States. They wished a full recovery to those injured.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.
J. Lester Feder is a world correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC. His secure PGP fingerprint is 2353 DB68 8AA6 92BD 67B8 94DF 37D8 0A6F D70B 7211
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