Ali Abdussalam Treki, the former Foreign Minister of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (Libya) assumed office as president of the United Nations General Assembly on September 15, 2009.
One of the first official statements of his office is outrageous and is being condemned by the International Lesbian & Gay Association ("ILGA") who is an advisory member at the United Nations.
It is truly said that the Organization of American States, whose concept predates the United Nations, passed resolutions recognizing LGBTI people last year. (previous story).
Even worse, the head of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (who replaced the longest serving head of the organization, Kofi Annan, who retired after serving 10 years) has made no official statement about General Assembly President Ali Abdussalam Treki's statement.
ILGA is deeply worried and outraged by UN Assembly new President Ali Abdussalam Treki's failure to consider the protection of the life and safety of lesbians, gay men, trans, intersex and bisexual people all over the world a matter of human rights.
In an interview prior to his first address to the UN Assembly in his new role, Mr. Treki declared himself to be "not in favor at all" with reference to the Statement in favor of the decriminalization of homosexuality signed by 66 Countries and read by the Argentinian representative last December at the General Assembly in New York.
Furthermore, Mr. Treki said that the matter referred to by the Statement, i.e. decriminalization, was "not acceptable in the majority of the world" and that "there are some countries that allow that (sic), thinking it is a kind of democracy".
Considering that the Statement called for the Universal Decriminalization of Homosexuality, one cannot but conclude that the new President of the UN Assembly is... in favor of criminalizing lesbians and gay men, bisexual, trans and intersex people. The worrying and serious implications of this attitude, coming from the new head of an institution which is supposed to regard human rights – all human rights – as the most sacred value, cannot be overstated.
We appeal to the representatives of the States which signed the Statement against criminalization of homosexuality, but also voted for the election of Mr. Treki in his new position, to demand an explanation to the UN Assembly President for his words and react consequently.
Gloria Careaga & Renato Sabbadini
Co-Secretaries General, ILGA
Kentucky Equality Federation, an ILGA member added:
Electing a President of the General Assembly is a serious matter; Mr. Treki's statement about homosexuality is outrageous: "It is not acceptable in the majority of the world. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not." He defended his stance by citing his Muslim faith and heritage.
"This is scary for our LGBTI family abroad; people who live in fear of being executed [and hundreds are daily] for being gay saw light at the end of the tunnel with the United Nations Statement; now, that light has been extinguished," stated Kentucky Equality Federation President Jordan Palmer. As president of the United Nations General Assembly, he was elected to office to represent all the people of the Earth, and not his Muslim faith; clearly, he has no understanding of the office he was elected and we echo ILGA's call to action. Kentucky Equality Federation will post an action alert within the next 24 hours so people can contact U.S. State Department Secretary Hilary Clinton to do as ILGA has request."
If the new President of the United Nations General Assembly thinks homosexuality is sick, and even added that "there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not," he has effectively alienated himself from some powerful United Nations member states such as: Argentine Republic, Federative Republic of Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Commonwealth of Australia, Commonwealth of The Bahamas, Commonwealth of Dominica, Federal Republic of Germany, Kingdom of Belgium, Kingdom of Denmark (which also includes Greenland), Kingdom of Norway, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kingdom of Spain, Kingdom of Sweden, New Zealand, Oriental Republic of Uruguay, Portuguese Republic, Republic of Finland, Republic of Hungary, Republic of Iceland, Republic of South Africa, State of Israel, Swiss Confederation, United Kingdom, United Mexican States, and the United States of America.
Not accepted by the majority of the world? How does he count? Sure, you have some large countries that oppose it such as the Russian Federation, and most Muslim countries make homosexuality criminal (most of the time punishable by death); but that is NOT the "majority of the world."