Thanks to Bruce for alerting me to this story.
The new President of the United Nations General Assembly, who took office last week for a one-year term, has some 'unacceptable' views on the human rights of LGBT people in the world.
When asked during a press conference this week about last year's U.N. resolution calling for the decriminalization of homosexuality throughout the world, Ali Abdussalam Treki (pictured) called the matter “very sensitive, very touchy.”
"As a Muslim, I am not in favour of it…it is not accepted by the majority of countries. My opinion is not in favour of this matter at all. I think it's not really acceptable by our religion, our tradition...It is not acceptable in the majority of the world. And there are some countries that allow [homosexuality] thinking it is a kind of democracy…I think it is not,” he added.
Individual human dignity and equality is the basis for democratic rights, as we know. It's too bad that fact is lost on the new United Nations president.
His comments are disgusting, especially since they were spoken on the same day Treki also declared, "Dialogue and mutual understanding are the way to resolve our problems."
Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs committee, blasted the new president's comments. “The anti-gay bigotry spewed by this Qaddafi shill demonstrates once again that the UN has been hijacked by advocates of hate and intolerance,” she said.
After giving a platform this week to Iran's bigoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as well as Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, I would tend to agree.
I also heartily agree with the words of Matteo Pegoraro and Dario Picciau, co-Presidents of EveryOne Group, and Roberto Malini as published on this site.
“Ali Abdussalam Treki made a very serious statement which cannot in any way be justified. Like every other Member of the General Assembly, the President has a duty to represent the principles and the aims of the United Nations, according to the Charter adopted on June 26, 1945 in San Francisco with its respect for Human Rights and fundamental freedom for all the human beings (article 1).
"In fact, with such a declaration, the president of the General Assembly has legitimized the violence, the imprisonment and the death penalty for thousands of homosexual people all over the world.
"Malini, Pegoraro and Picciau are appealing to the General Secretary and to the Security Council - whose duty it is to solve controversies in the General Assembly regarding the principles of the United Nations - to immediately remove Ali Abdussalam Treki from his role of President for his non-compliance to the aims and principles of the UN.
"EveryOne Group is also appealing to the associations and LGBT organisations, the EU Commission, the European Parliament and the governments of the democratic countries, particularly France and Holland - who put forward the above-mentioned moratorium - to stigmatize the statements made by the President of the UN General Assembly, and to ask for the immediate removal of Ali Abdussalam Treki from the presidency of the UN General Assembly."
To tolerate Treki's comments is to welcome any and all violence against LGBT people the world over. Sad thing is, I'm sure Canada's government under Stephen Harper probably has nothing to say about this outrage. I look forward to standing corrected on that.