Samantha Power, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, last week led a group of 17 other ambassadors to the UN to the Stonewall Inn and pledged to advocate for LGBT rights across the world. Power said that Stonewall was the most symbolic place the group could have gone following the Pulse nightclub attack in Orlando.
The envoys are all part of a caucus known as the UN LGBT Core Group. Members of the group include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, El Salvador, France, Israel, Japan, Montenegro, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the UK, the U.S., and Uruguay, as well as the European Union.
The Ambassador of the Netherlands to the UN, Karel van Oosterom, told the Associated Press that the Orlando attack had shown “a vulnerability that we need to address urgently.” He continued, “Unfortunately, we see that worldwide the rights of LGBT people are under pressure, and we need worldwide global action to address this, and the Core Group will be instrumental in doing that.” While the Core Group has repeatedly pressed a human rights agenda that is inclusive of LGBT rights, it has repeatedly ran into opposition from member states in Africa and the Middle East, as well as Security Council permanent members Russia and China.