Official status has been granted by the UN to a gay and lesbian organisation from Brazil. This will allow the group to participate in UN meetings on topics ranging from health to human rights.

This marks the third year that the UN Economic and Social Council has overturned a decision by a 19-country committee blocking gay groups from participating in the global body’s debates.

“If the U.N. cannot be open and diverse, then we are really set for failure,” Guilherme Patriota, a senior Brazilian diplomat, told The Associated Press. “There are another 400 NGOs seeking the same status next year. We need to keep working on making the U.N. more open to plurality and diversity.”

Patriota also said that the organisation was a valuable partner of the Brazilian government in AIDS campaigns, condom promotion and other social causes, and questioned why the application was rejected in the first place.

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