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Statement by Ambassador Guillermo Rishchynski, Canada’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Election of Sam Kutesa as President of the United Nations General Assembly

The President of the General Assembly (PGA) guides the collective work of this body for the next year, and it is right that a leader from the African group of countries take up its turn occupying this important role.  However, Canada cannot remain silent about the selection, without a vote, of Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa of Uganda as PGA.  

Uganda's government has a track record of violating the fundamental human rights of its citizens, and this compels Canada to underscore yet again our conviction that fundamental human rights are universal, the birthright of people of all regions of the world. 

Within the UN, the prohibition on discrimination is enshrined in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.  We call on the incoming PGA to reflect and defend all the core foundational Human Rights instruments upon which the moral authority of the UN rests, and during the PGA’s tenure Canada will look for clear demonstration of commitment to these principles. 

Additionally, Canada will continue to seize every opportunity to press the Government of Uganda to protect the human rights of all Ugandans regardless of their sexual orientation.”


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