Peter Tatchell: Uganda should not take the presidency of the UN General Assembly

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Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa should not be allowed to become President of the United Nations General Assembly due to Uganda’s anti-gays laws, Peter Tatchell has said.

The human rights campaigner is urging the public to sign a petition against the appointment of Mr Kutesa.

He will become president of the global parliamentary forum on 11 June.

“A close ally of the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, Sam Kutesa is accused of support for the new anti-gay law, financial corruption, political repression and military intervention in the Congo,” said Peter Tatchell.

“As a senior government minister, he has colluded with enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, which dictates automatic life imprisonment for any form of same-sex contact with sexual intent – even mere kissing and cuddling.”

Mr Tatchell continued: “It is outrageous that Kutesa has been nominated by the African Union. He is not a fit and proper person to hold this prestigious UN post.

“David Cameron, William Hague and governments worldwide should be lobbying the UN to block Kutesa’s appointment on the grounds that his political record is inconsistent with UN principles.

He added: “Surprisingly, it appears that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, has not, so far, objected to his appointment or attempted to challenge it.

“I have written to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, urging that a decision on Kutesa’s appointment be delayed until his suitability for the presidency is assessed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

Mr Kutesa previously claimed that the majority of Africans “abhor” homosexuality.

A Ugandan law further criminalising same-sex sexual activity, allowing repeat offenders to be sentenced to 14 years in prison, was given presidential approval in February.