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Obama to meet with gay-hating UN president

Obama to meet with gay-hating UN president

President Barack Obama is to meet with Sam Kutesa, the new president of the United Nations General Assembly who was instrumental in bringing in new anti-gay laws in Uganda, today (24 September).

The meeting will take place in New York this afternoon, prior to a UN Security Council summit on foreign terrorists the US president will chair.

But experts say Obama is unlikely to use this opportunity for a moral argument over homosexuality.

‘The U.S. has bigger fish to fry at the U.N. this year, including the fight against the Islamic State and Ebola,’ Richard Gowan, a U.N. specialist at New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, told Foreign Policy.

An administration official, when asked about the president’s planned talking points with Kutesa, said: ‘We expect their conversation will center on matters pertaining to the U.N.’

Uganda’s foreign minister was chosen to lead the world’s parliament in June, with the 65-year-old being Africa’s unanimous choice for the role.

Several thousand LGBTI advocates and allies signed a petition calling for him to be blocked from taking the petition, but the UN failed to listen.

Michael Cashman, a gay member of the House of Lords, said: ‘Placing Mr Kutesa in such a prominent position is an insult to the founding values and principles of the United Nations.

‘I can not imagine the United Nations will continue its sterling work as the guardian of our human rights, including of LGBTI people, with an outspoken homophobe at one of the top positions.’

Human Rights Watch Africa expert Maria Burnett said: ‘There are real concerns about Sam Kutesa’s commitment to the values embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including his defense of Uganda’s profoundly discriminatory anti-homosexuality law.’