United NationsAt an annual United Nations meeting, a dozen agencies issued a joint call imploring countries to end violence against LGBT individuals.

The introduction came shortly before the UN secretary-general was scheduled to discuss including LGBT individuals in a new set of global development goals. Multiple agencies including human rights, refugees, children, health, and food made statements addressing serious concerns “that millions of people around the world face widespread human rights violations.”

The goals are clearly defined in The Sustainable Development Goals program. The UN outlines “ambitious targets” relating to poverty, equality, and climate change for the 193 member states.

The goals pledge that “human rights and fundamental freedoms are enjoyed by all, without discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, colour, sex, age, language, religion, culture, migration status, political or other opinion, national or social origin, economic situation, birth, disability or other status.”

76 states with laws criminalizing same-sex relationships between consenting adults have been urged to repeal the laws. The statement addresses how “violence and discrimination against LGBT individuals have far-reaching effects on society and even economic growth.”

Several countries that hold anti-LGBT laws have already spoken out against including LGBT individuals within the new Global Goals.