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Uganda's Foreign Minister to get top UN post

London - 2 June 2014

Uganda's Foreign Minister to get top UN post

Accused of supporting anti-gay law, corruption & political repression
Bid to stop him becoming President of UN General Assembly

Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa is set to become President of the UN General Assembly on 17 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, Director of the human rights organisation, the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

“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.

“His government is harbouring the leader of the M23 rebel group, Sultani Makenga, who is on a UN sanctions list. The Ugandan government is refusing to hand over Makenga to the Congolese authorities or to the International Criminal Court.

“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.

“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.

Read the letter to Ban Ki-Moon here: http://bit.ly/1otb3jo

"Looking to the future, 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," said Mr Tatchell.

ENDS

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