There’s growing anger that Uganda’s Foreign Minister, Sam K. Kutesa, will this month become the head of the UN General Assembly.
Critics have pointed out that Kutesa, who has also been accused of corruption, represents his country’s repressive administration, led by President Museveni, which earlier this year enacted the appalling Anti-Homosexuality Act.
He has defended the law internationally, stating that “the majority of Africans abhor this practice” and that “we shall not accept [its] promotion and exhibition, because we think that is wrong for our young people and it offends our culture.”
It is now Africa’s turn to head the General Assembly and Kutesa was the only candidate submitted by the African Union for the year long ceremonial post. He is set to take charge on June 11.
Two US senators have questioned his appointment on the basis of his involvement in passing the anti-gay law.
“It would be disturbing to see the foreign minister of a country that passed an unjust, harsh and discriminatory law based on sexual orientation preside over the UN General Assembly,” said one of the objectors, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
A petition has been launched calling on the US to revoke Kutesa’s visa, which would bar him from entering the country and taking the position at the UN in New York.
British LGBT rights campaigner Peter Tachell has also urged Prime Minister David Cameron and governments worldwide to block Kutesa’s appointment “on the grounds that his political record is inconsistent with UN principles.”
“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,” said Tachell.
“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,” added Tachell.
He insisted that the “UN needs to put in place a proper scrutiny procedure for all candidates for senior posts, to prevent corrupt officials and human rights abusers being appointed.”