During a visit to Brazil on March 19, President Barack Obama joined with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to call for establishment of an LGBT rights "special rapporteur" at the Organization of American States.
In a statement issued three days later, the White House added: "President Obama believes that advancing the human rights of minorities and the marginalized is a fundamental American value. The president was pleased to announce during his trip to Brazil that he and President Rousseff agreed to promote respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals through the establishment of a special rapporteur on LGBT issues at the Organization of American States. This special rapporteur will be the first of its kind in the international system."
The OAS, which dates to 1948, comprises the 35 independent states of the Americas and is the principal political, juridical and social governmental forum in the hemisphere, according to its website. The OAS charter says the organization promotes peace, justice, solidarity and collaboration as well as members' sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.