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Sam Kutesa emerges UN General Assembly president
Ugandan Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, was elected on Wednesday as the next president of UN General Assembly amid criticism over his role in passing Uganda’s controversial anti-gay law.
His election came under intense questioning about the anti-gay law and his stance on equality for homosexuality.
Kutesa said on Thursday in New York in his speech to the General Assembly as president-elect, that his focus would be on finalising the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, paying particular attention to finding a solution for climate change, promoting gender equality and eradicating poverty.
His election to the post was controversial, being a confidant to Museveni, Kutesa consented to the controversial anti-gay bill and also defended Uganda’s anti-gay stand in international forums as the country’s foreign minister.
The United States of America mission to the UN issued a statement that acknowledged the election of Kutesa and called on the General Assembly to uphold the UN charter’s principles on human rights.
Kutesa, 65, is a lawyer-turned-politician and one of Uganda’s wealthiest people and the owner of the firm that collects revenue and oversees all operations at Uganda’s main international airport of Entebbe.
He also was a confidant in the Ugandan regime and has been a cabinet minister ever since Museveni came to power in 1986.
Although he has been caught up in corruption scandals, he has never been prosecuted or properly investigated for allegations of large-scale corruption.
Among the accusations are that Kutesa and two other politicians took bribes amounting to $23m from the international oil firm.
Kutesa denied all the allegations, saying they were part of a conspiracy by members of the opposition against him.
He would take over the highly ceremonial position as head of the assembly in September after the African regional group, whose turn it was to select a president, presented him as the only candidate for the position.
Source - NAN
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