UN Youth SummitOrganisers have dubbed Australia’s first LGBT youth summit a success after a full day of deliberations from the passionate crowd of more than 150 students.

Former high court justice Michael Kirby opened up the summit, held at the University of Melbourne on May 16.

The event was organised by UN (United Nations) Youth Australia, while the crowd was made up of 15- to 18-year-olds from Melbourne and regional areas including Geelong.

By the end of the day, delegates had drafted and approved the petition calling for improvements in more than 50 areas of LGBT rights.

The end result was a five-page declaration which organisers said will go to every parliament and every federal MP, campaigning for improved LGBT rights such as marriage equality.

The petition also called on UN members to commit to removing discrimination and improve work and education standards for LGBT people.

Summit convener Alec Webley told the Star Observer the event went “incredibly well”.

“What was amazing was you had a group of not just LGBT delegates but you had allies as well – 150 students all standing together for LGBT rights, not just for Australia but right across the world,” he said.

“My only disappointment was that we only got 150, but it’s the first year and I hope soon every single young person in the country is able to make the kind of public statement these 150 young people made today.

“LGBT rights is so emphatically a young persons’ movement because you ask anyone under the age of 23 why we have unequal marriage, just to pick one issue, and they can’t tell you.

“If we are going to see social change in Australia, it has to come from youth.”

Workshops were held throughout the morning with key speakers from 11 organisations including It Gets Better, the Human Rights Law Centre and the United States Consulate.

Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations Adam Pulford accepted the declaration on the day, pledging to present it at the UN General Assembly later this year.

Minus18, It Gets Better Australia, Rainbow Network Victoria, WayOut, and Safe Schools Coalition Victoria helped organise the event with UN Youth Australia.

UN Youth Australia is a youth-led, youth-run volunteer organisation dedicated to educating young people about international affairs.

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