France and the Netherlands initiated the nonbinding symbolic declaration in the light of the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was marked earlier this month.
"This is the first time in history that a group of member countries voices its objection to discrimination that is based on sexual identity and orientation," said Dutch foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen. "The issue is no longer taboo," he added.
A Syrian representative read the statement of the opposition to the declaration, arguing that the declaration would result in more sex crimes against children.
The United States, Russia and China have abstained on the matter.
The declaration was read out by Argentina at a plenary session. S far diplomats promoting it have gathered 66 supporting signatures.