HRC Co-Hosts Historic Breakfast at the World Economic Forum in Davos
January 23, 2014 by Limor Finkel, Global Engagement Program Coordinator
Today, HRC co-hosted a historic breakfast alongside Credit Suisse, The Huffington Post, Microsoft, the Paul E. Singer Foundation, the Third Point Foundation, and TimeWarner at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
The panels highlighted the global fight for LGBT equality and marked the first time in World Economic Forum history that LGBT rights were up for discussion. UN High Commissioner Navi Pillay gave opening remarks and highlighted the 2011 UN resolution classifying LGBT rights as human rights and their two recent UN studies on violence and discrimination against individuals around the world based on their sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Discussions like this [at Davos] feed into important decisions that will be made during the March session [at the United Nations],” Pillay remarked to a packed audience.
HRC President Chad Griffin directed some of his remarks at Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who just last week signed into law horrifying anti-LGBT legislation that further criminalizes homosexuality and organizing within the LGBT community.
“You can be imprisoned for 14 years for simply being a gay person. And each one of you [in the audience] would be subject to arrest because you’re in this room today. You’d go to prison for 10 years,” Griffin stated while addressing a crowd that also included Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Virgin mogul Richard Branson, and dozens of other international business, government, and thought leaders.
Fareed Zakaria of CNN and TIME moderated the two panel discussions over the course of 90 minutes, which included conversations with Russian-American journalist and author Masha Gessen, J-FLAG (Jamaican Forum of Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays) Executive Director Dane Lewis, Cameroonian lawyer and LGBT activist Alice Nkom, HRC President Chad Griffin, Elliot Management Corporation founder Paul Singer, and Third Point founder Dan Loeb.
To watch the event in its entirety, visit the HuffPost Live stream.