Category International


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to see you on the eve of the General Debate and I thank you for your time.

I am pleased to brief you as we open a new session of the General Assembly this afternoon.

More than 140 heads of state or government will attend. Civil society leaders, CEOs and other influential global figures will also be here.

Together, we will address the horrendous violence in Syria and Iraq, where conflict and governance failures have provided a breeding ground for extremist groups.

I welcome the growing international consensus to act against this serious threat to global and regional peace and security.

Violence continues in Mali, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. We will not let these crises be forgotten – and we will meet next week at the highest level to determine what more we can do.

The situation in and around Ukraine remains volatile.

In Libya, order is breaking down.

In the aftermath of yet another devastating war in Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians seem more polarized than ever.

In Nigeria, the advances of Boko Haram grow more alarming every day. As in Syria and Iraq, we are seeing terrorist organizations not only carrying out attacks but seizing large areas of land beyond the government’s control.

The world is facing multiple crises. Each has its own dynamics, and requires its own approach. But all have featured atrocious attacks on civilians, including children. All have dangerous sectarian, ethnic or tribal dimensions. And many have seen sharp divisions within the international community itself over the response.

In my main speech to the Member States next Wednesday, I will call on world leaders to unite and uphold human dignity, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We will also place a special focus on Ebola Virus Disease, which is a cause of huge concern in West Africa and beyond.

Two days from now, the Security Council will convene an emergency meeting on the outbreak. WHO Director General Margaret Chan and I will outline the international action plan to contain this threat.

Next week, the General Assembly will follow-up with a High-Level Meeting on the needs of the people and countries affected by Ebola.

Generous contributions are being announced each day – but we have a lot of catching up to do to provide the health services, food, water, sanitation and supplies that are needed.

Every day we delay, the cost and the suffering will grow exponentially.

We cannot allow bans on travel or transport to slow us down.

We need isolation of people affected by Ebola – not of nations struggling to cope with it.

This is not just a health crisis; it has grave humanitarian, economic and social consequences that could spread far beyond the affected countries. The United Nations is determined to meet this test of international cooperation and solidarity. But we will need to be as bold and courageous as those who are already fighting on the frontline of the disease.

That is why we are mobilizing – and why the United Nations will be the centre for action in responding to the outbreak.

Ebola is an exponential crisis that demands an exceptional global response.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The new session of the General Assembly will be a pivotal period for our efforts to defeat poverty and adopt a new generation of sustainable development goals.

Action on climate change is urgent. The more we delay, the more we will pay in lives and in money.

The Climate Summit that I am convening one week from today has two goals: to mobilize political will for a universal and meaningful climate agreement next year in Paris; and second to generate ambitious steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen resilience.

We are anticipating an impressive turnout of leaders from government, business, finance and civil society.

Most important, we are expecting significant commitments and progress.

Today, I am delighted to announce that a new voice will be joining our climate advocacy efforts. Leonardo DiCaprio is not just one of the world’s leading actors; he has also a long-standing commitment to environmental causes, including through his foundation.

Today, I am appointing him as our newest United Nations Messenger of Peace, with a special focus on climate change issues. His global stardom is the perfect match for this global challenge. His first act as a Messenger of Peace will be to address the opening of the Climate Summit on 23 September.

Finally, the week will open and close with two remarkable public gatherings on the streets of our host city, New York – the People’s Climate March on Sunday the 21st , and the Global Citizen Festival on Saturday the 27th of September.

I will link arms with those marching for climate action. We stand with them on the right side of this key issue for our common future.

I will also take part in the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park to thank thousands of young people for helping us to fight hunger, protect the planet and promote the rights of women and girls.

At this time of turmoil, the next two weeks will highlight again the indispensable role of the United Nations in tackling global threats and seizing opportunities for common progress.

Your coverage of these issues and events will, as ever, make an important contribution.

Thank you very much for your attention.

Questions and Answers

Q: Thank you, Mr. Secretary-General on behalf of the UN Correspondent Association. And it’s a tough time in the world and you have reflected that in your statements. And I’m Pamela Falk from CBS News. There you go. (Laughter) It was a characterization. My question is about the very difficult question of foreign terrorist fighters and ISIS. In the global fight, and we will see a lot at the Security Council and at the General Assembly about ISIS; is your opinion that the UN Security Council would have to authorize the use of force if there were air strikes or any other intervention in Syria? Thank you.

SG: As everybody has watched what President [Barack] Obama declared the last time, I welcome his decisive and firm commitment as a leader of the United States and world to fight against terrorism which is a common enemy for humanity. This air strike and military operation, which was done at the request of the Government of Iraq, was able to help the United Nations and other actors to, first of all, save a lot of human lives and the United Nations was able to deliver humanitarian assistance to many trapped people in and around Mount Sinjar at that time. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, was able to initiate the massive effort, the largest ever operations, humanitarian operations a couple of weeks ago.

Now, it is clear that ISIS is a threat to international peace and security as has already been declared by the Security Council. I understand that President Obama is going to chair this summit meeting of Security Council on 24 September. And I’m sure that the leaders of the world and the Security Council will very seriously discuss this issue, how to address the foreign fighters and terrorists as a whole.

I, therefore, urge the international community endorse with the means to act decisively and after sober reflection it is critical to keep at the forefront the protection of our civilians. Again, I expect the Security Council will lead this leadership role, how the United Nations and international community will address all these issues.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, Sherwin, South Africa Broadcasting. I wonder, sir, if you could attach some value to the annual gathering here in New York. And you mentioned 140 Heads of Government and Heads of State that will be coming and you didn’t mention the large entourages that accompany them and what really becomes a very expensive and hugely difficult logistical exercise. So is the world better off given what happens here in New York; and, if so, why?

SG: More than, as I said, I think 140 Heads of State and the Government leaders will participate all throughout this session. And when it comes to the climate change summit meeting, in just one day, more than 120 Heads of State and Government will participate. Of course, it requires a lot of mobilization of resources from the international governments, from the Host Government, from the United Nations.

But considering all the problems and crises which we are confronting, we have many people who are being killed needlessly and we have many refugees and displaced people have come. They have to flee their homes. It’s very necessary and important that world leaders show their unity of leadership and show their solidarity to work as world leaders, to make this world more prosperous and safer, safer and secure.

That is number one priority of the United Nations. Without that we cannot promote, we cannot engage in development. We have to protect the human rights and human dignity of all these people. But first to come we have to have protection of all the people. That’s why the world leaders are gathering in the United Nations annually. That, I think, this is most important occasion for the world.

Q: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary-General. I wonder, at this time of many crises whether you view this as certainly one of the greatest periods of turmoil that the world is facing and are you concerned at this time of turmoil that the leaders of three major countries are not coming to the General Assembly? And I’m talking about Russia, China and India; especially China and India for the climate summit.

SG: India, I understand, Indian Prime Minister is coming. Even though he will not be able to participate in climate summit meeting, per se, I really wanted to have him participate in climate change summit meeting. He is going to address the General Assembly. I understand it’s the 27th or so. I do not remember exact date. But he is coming.

China is represented by Deputy Prime Minister Li Keqiang. He is number three in terms of hierarchy. He is a very senior person. I met President Xi Jinping last month. And also I met Prime Minister Li Keqiang in Beijing in – I think it was in July. So I had already met China’s leadership, top leadership. The big regret, of course, they were not able to participate this time. But Chinese is very much accommodated.

I have not yet been fully informed of who is going to be represented from Russia. But, in any event, we have other means of communications, ways and means of having their leadership demonstrated in the United Nations.

But, as I told you, this is going to be one of the largest, biggest gatherings of world leaders particularly when it comes to climate change. The largest gathering, which I remember was in Copenhagen. At that time we regarded it was the largest, but at that time less than 100 leaders came. I’m now talking about the prime minister and above. Prime minister and above. One hundred, more than 120 leaders are coming in which day. Of course, you know, leaders are coming from first day and until the end of the general debate. But we are counting altogether 140. And so it’s extremely difficult to have at one day at one time at one place 120 Heads of State in Government. That means there is a very strong commitment on the part of leaders on climate change and other crises, which we are now experiencing.

Q: Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary-General, again, on Syria, do you think the possible air strike, U.S. air strike against ISIS, within Syria, results in any Syrian authorization, might be violation of the international law? Also your Special Representative in Syria, Mr. [Staffan] de Mistura, met Bashar al-Assad recently, so what could be the position vis-à-vis of the Syrian president? Is he your partner?

SG: First of all, I know that this issue is one of the, you know, concerns which have been discussed. But it has not yet happened, but it would be a little bit premature for me to say something about which on a hypothetical or which has not happened. But in general, and generally speaking, I told you that this military operation which was conducted at the request of Iraqi Government, that I supported and I welcomed this kind of a decisive action. And overall, I welcome, I welcome such a decisive and coordinated action to fight international terrorism and extremism. That is what we have to do. But when it comes down to very detailed legal or political implications, I will have an opportunity of addressing this issue later, when really something happens.

But if I, as a Secretary-General, I’m asking the world leaders whenever there is military operations, all these operations should be conducted in strict scrutiny of international humanitarian and human rights laws, protecting civilian population and minimizing the impact on civilian populations.

Q: Mr. Secretary-General, Talal Al-Haj from Al Arabiya. Today the Prime Minister of Iraq, Haider al-Abadi, has failed to get the Parliament approval and appointment of the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Defense in Iraq. The last time the Parliament failed to do that, the Iraqi Government stayed without the Minister of Defense, of Interior for four years. Taking consideration that the world is looking to Iraq to take the fight on the ground to ISIS, what is your take on this failure today of the Iraqis elected two important ministers?

SG: When I spoke to Prime Minister al-Abadi after he was sworn in as a prime minister, I strongly encouraged him that he should have an inclusive government. Of course, you know, I welcomed and I congratulated the formation of an inclusive government. But at the same time I strongly urged him to fill the vacant post of important two ministers in an inclusive way.

Of course, you know, I regret that they have not been able to fill these vacancies, but I continue to encourage all Iraqi political actors to put their differences aside and work together in the interest of Iraq to have these important positions filled as soon as possible and in an inclusive way. This is all the more important when it comes to critical posts related to security in view of the threat the country is now facing, particularly by ISIL.

So I continue to discuss this matter with the Iraqi Government and Mr. [Nickolay] Mladenov. He is walking very closely with all the actors of Iraqi Government. Thank you.

Q: Thank you. Secretary-General, on Gaza, it’s been three weeks since the ceasefire has been signed. Do you believe now that a Security Council resolution is necessary and do you envision the possibility of any sort of UN protection force for Gaza?

SG: I understand that the Security Council is very actively concerting among the Member States to have a resolution adopted. I know that this is going on smoothly with all this ceasefire agreed. But we should also understand that this ceasefire is not perfect and not a sustainable one. It’s fragile still. Therefore, it would be important that international community, particularly led by the Security Council, to urge the parties to make this ceasefire a more sustainable and more durable one so that we can talk about… you know, so that it can be led into a Middle East peace process.

At the same time there is a very serious and urgent issue of reconstruction of Gaza, which has been devastated during a 50-day long war. Therefore, I’m in close consultation with the Security Council members, particularly the Presidency of the Security Council, on the issue of this Council’s resolution.

Yesterday I was briefed by Robert Serry and I understand that he had also briefed the Security Council on the need and importance of the Security Council taking action on this. And I’m in always very close consultation with the leaders in the region.

Q: Sure. Thanks a lot. Matthew Lee, Inner City Press on behalf of the Free UN Coalition for Access. And thanks for taking questions and I hope in the next two weeks we have as much access as possible.

I want to ask about the Golan Heights. There is a lot of controversy about what has taken place there, with apparently an order to surrender and Al-Nusra is now running around with UN trucks and vehicles. And it was said at the stakeout this morning that the equipment was given over and basically that the mission is no longer completing what its mission is, which is to monitor both sides of the ceasefire line.

So I wonder what are you going to do in terms of getting to the bottom of if a surrender was ordered, who ordered the surrender and what can you say to the troop contributing countries who say that this is kind of a disarray and people need to know what the role of peacekeepers is, stand and fight or surrender and run?

SG: For that issue I understand that Mr. [Hervé] Ladsous, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, has explained to you in detail what had happened. And, as you know, the security situation was very, very urgent and dangerous at that time. Therefore, you should also appreciate the peacekeepers were and still are working on the very difficult and dangerous situation. That is why, as was briefed by the spokesperson yesterday, we had to relocate this UNDOF [United Nations Disengagement Observer Force] peacekeepers to a safer and more secure place. This is a part of and continuing efforts to make sure that our peacekeepers and UN staff’s security and safety are ensured.

Q: Thank you, Stéphane. Mr. Secretary, millions of people around the world only hear about the UN during General Assembly Week. Can you explain to them what has gone wrong, years of appearances at this roster, many General Assembly appearances by all of these leaders, yet the world seems to be in such chaos on a variety of fronts? Speaking from your heart, why have things cascaded the way they have? There doesn’t seem to be — this is not an opinion. Something is off. What happened?

SG: I think there may be many aspects of how you view the General Assembly and United Nations as a whole. We operate and respond to the expectations of international community, all respond to the crises of which the people are experiencing and confronting here and there, all around the crisis. I am always asking that Member States should show their unity. We are living in an era of unprecedented level of crises and troubles.

On top of all this, regional conflicts, which are mostly, I think, all man-made crises, and we have a lot of natural calamities and then diseases like Ebola, which we are experiencing. Therefore, this is really a time when General Assembly and all intergovernmental bodies and the Security Council and they should be united.

Often Member States bring some national perspectives to the Security Council or General Assembly; but the good points of and points of this organization is that when they bring their national perspectives and experience and visions after deliberations, whether this process has been difficult or smooth, they all should come out with a global vision for international peace and security.

So I took note of what you said. But basically we should really always work for unity and the common good of international community. That is what the Charter of the United Nations provides us and demands us. That is what people are demanding us to do.

Q: Question on Ebola, Secretary-General. Today the President of Doctors Without Borders said the world’s response had fallen dangerously behind. Has the global response been too slow? And given this is an epidemic not respecting national borders, should the UN now take the lead?

SG: The United Nations is taking the lead now. This has gone beyond health issues. It has gone to the areas of affecting social and economic situations, even it may affect the political instability, if for this, it’s not properly contained and properly treated.

So the United Nations is, first of all, contained for the spread of this and treat, you know, infected people. And provide the necessary logistics and support, humanitarian support to this and make sure that it does not go to other countries.

In that regard, I have been concerting and very actively discussing with all world leaders, starting from President Obama and the Prime Minister of U.K., President of France and President of European Union, President of Cuba and the Prime Minister of Italy, and Germany and whoever may have a means and ways, and also I really wanted to raise a political will and commitment. And, of course, in the course of this have been very closely working with Dr. Margaret Chan and World Bank President, Dr. [Jim Yong] Kim, and I have been convening UN-system wide consultations several times already.

Now, what we are doing is that, as you know, I have already appointed Dr. [David] Nabarro and Tony Banbury and we are really working closely with key countries who can provide a means.

I have spoken even this weekend to the three leaders of the affected countries. First of all, they should take urgent domestic measures not to allow further spread of this virus to family members. So I have been strongly urging them to establish the community care centers, so that whenever somebody is infected, then he or she should be immediately separated from families to prevent the other family members from being infected; then provide this as a professional and medical support.

Now that the key countries like United States, you know, is going to provide the massive scaled-up support, and even though I have not yet heard that statement, this is what I understand, I really appreciate the countries like who are really taking such great efforts. The United Nations is mobilizing full support and I have been asking all the leaders of the United Nations System, this is not an issue which we require normal time-consuming consultations and forging consensus. It’s a matter of quick action and matter of instruction, so whenever we decide, then this must be implemented. So we are very firm and very much committed to address this issue, just to contain and treat and contain the further spread to other countries.

And I’m asking the international airlines and shipping companies not to suspend their services. The patient can be separated, isolated for professional cure. But the country should not be isolated. It’s kind of some sanction, where and when. This country needs more support and it really hampers and prevents the United Nations and International health workers to visit and to provide humanitarian and medical assistance. So I’m just appealing that they should resume their services.

Q: Thank you. I am going to ask my question in French as I know that the Secretary-General does speak quite good French – if it’s okay. Monsieur le Secrétaire général, dans votre élan d’éradiquer la maladie, vous allez mobiliser les leaders, vous venez de le dire. Est-ce que vous avez déjà un plan d’action ? Et quel rôle est-ce que les États africains, ouest africains notamment aujourd’hui affectés par la maladie, peuvent-ils jouer dans ce nouveau combat que vous engagez ? Enfin, pensez-vous aujourd’hui que les donateurs peuvent écouter vos doléances du moment où ils sont beaucoup plus préoccupés par d’autres crises comme la Syrie, l’Ukraine, la Palestine?

SG: Merci beaucoup d’avoir posé une question en français. Je vais essayer de répondre en Français autant que je peux. Je suis très préoccupé par la situation dans les pays touchés par Ebola, comme le Liberia, le Sierra Leone, et la Guinée. Je vais convoquer une réunion de haut niveau en marge de l’Assemblée générale, le 24 septembre, sur Ebola. Je vais demander aux dirigeants mondiaux leur soutien contre Ebola. Le monde ne peut pas abandonner les pays et les Gouvernements qui sont touchés par le virus. Nous devons faire plus.Plusieurs pays comme les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni, la France, Cuba, l’Union européenne et des organisations internationales comme Médecins sans Frontières et la Croix Rouge, ont fourni des moyens médicaux et financiers essentiels. Mais nous continuons à avoir besoin de plus – plus de personnels, plus de matériel et plus de fonds. Je continue d’appeler à la communauté internationale à financer la Feuille de route pour la riposte au virus Ebola de l’Organisation Mondiale de la Santé. Merci.

Q: Thank you, Stéphane. Secretary-General, Mr. Secretary-General, a few days ago you have underlined the strategic importance stressed by the United Nations and the international community for a Cyprus settlement. Since this is the first time a UN official uses these terms, strategic importance, what different are you planning in order to do to accomplish it? Thank you.

SG: As you know, this issue has been long, more than longer than 37 years. Now, we are asking the leaders to really agree on the mutually-agreeable solutions. During, even before two, three years ago, we were having very serious consultations. And I convened myself to at least three summit-level meetings, inviting the leaders from two communities. Already this month I appointed a new Special Advisor on Cyprus, Mr. Espen Barth Eide. And as soon as I met him, I asked him to immediately visit the region and he met the leaders of both Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot [communities]. A fresh momentum has been generated by a joint declaration adopted by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in February. I hope that the leaders show renewed dedication and courage to build on the principles outlined in the joint declaration.

I also hope that the important principles outlined in the joint declaration should be implemented as soon as possible. They have identified most of the key issues. They are all on the table. As a matter of choice now, there should be some give and take to be able to agree to a final solution. It has been too long of an issue. I sincerely hope the leaders will show their political leadership role. Thank you.

[The Spokesperson later added that the Secretary-General referred to the leaders’ preparations for the next phase in the talks. While there are no preconditions for tonight’s leaders’ dinner in Nicosia with the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor, the purpose is to discuss at leaders’ level how to move the process forward, based on their Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014. The “give and take” phase will be the final phase leading to a settlement.]

Q: Thank you, Secretary-General. I’m Sylviane and my question is on Lebanon. Lebanon is facing now facing challenges in different ways. You have the fear of the expansion of ISIS, the beheading of two Lebanese soldiers with 27 soldiers taken hostage now, and the Presidential vacancy. Is there a risk of fragmentation of Lebanon as a state with — burdened with 1.5 million Syrian refugees? What needs to be done to — by the international community to keep the neutrality of Lebanon? And what kind of message are you conveying to the Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, when you meet him next week at the United Nations?

SG: I really appreciate the very delicate, difficult, political and social situation where Lebanese Government is now facing. First of all, I really appreciate and am grateful for their generous support for Syrian refugees, who are more than one million people. You said 1.5, but according to UN statistics it’s definitely more than one million even though we do not have — I do not have a correct number at this time. That is a huge burden.

At the same time, it is regrettably that the leaders of Lebanon have not been able to overcome their party lines or their ethnic lines. They should overcome their differences of their party lines for the benefit and future of Lebanon.

It’s very regrettably that the Lebanese leaders have not been able to elect a new president after President Salam has left. This vacancy of a very important Head of State post will really hamper the smooth governance of Lebanese and Government on top of many political, social, economic difficulties. And it’s time for them to really unite and show their solidarity for the future of their people and also for peace and security in the region, yes.

Q: Thank you, Stéphane. And thank you, Mr. Secretary-General. How vital is the role of Iran to solve all the crises in the Middle East and Lebanon and Syria and Yemen and Iraq? Is Iran a troublemaker or a peacemaker in the region? Thank you.

SG: As I said many times in the past, Iran is an important actor and important country in the region when it comes to peace and security and harmony in the region. And it’s important that Iranian leaders to address this Iranian nuclear issue with P5 + 1 as soon as possible, and also engage constructively in addressing many, many regional conflict issues. And I’m looking forward to my own meeting with President [Hassan] Rouhani and the Foreign Minister [Javad] Zarif during their stay in New York. Again, I’m always ready to discuss and consult the Iranian leadership. I have also asked my special envoy on Syria, Mr. de Mistura, to have a closer consultation Iranian leadership and he may soon visit Iran, too.

Q: Thank you. Thank you, Secretary-General. I have a question on Ukraine. Next week President [Petro] Poroshenko is going to be here at the U.N. and also Foreign Minister [Sergey] Lavrov of Russia is going to be over here and obviously Barack Obama is going to be here also. Do you plan to convene to meet these leaders and maybe to try to talk to them into continuing dialogue for Ukraine? Thank you.

SG: I’m encouraged that this ceasefire based on the Minsk protocol is largely holding, even though from time to time we see all this violence taking place. I have been speaking to President Poroshenko and other leaders that they should continue to have a consultation and dialogue, a very sincere dialogue between Ukraine and Russia. And I think there is a lot of, now, support for the peace and stability and ceasefire from all the actors. But important thing is that the political will and support of the people of Ukraine so that this ceasefire can be more sustainable and a doable one.

The United Nations, from the beginning of this, first of all, we have been trying to provide the humanitarian assistance. We are still maintaining a human rights monitoring team and I have been doing my own good offices role, speaking to both Russia, European Union and the Ukrainian leaders. Even I think last week I have spoken to President Poroshenko.

And we should know that in all the crises, generally, there is no military solution. There should be a political dialogue for political solution. Only then any solution can be a sustainable one, based on firm political dialogue. I’m really urging the leaders in the region to continue such dialogue.

Q: Yes, Joseph Klein of Canada Free Press. And my question is on climate change, Mr. Secretary-General. As you galvanize global support for the binding climate change treaty that you have in mind, what steps have you and your team taken to address a critical report issued last year by the Joint Inspection Unit concerning the UN’s own governance structure in the environmental area, the critique of duplication, over-spending, lack of coordination? Could you just describe some of the steps and reform that you are contemplating? Thank you.

SG: It’s so strange that over the whole shadow of a whole of this big and serious crisis, nobody has asked any question about the climate change at the summit meeting. But you should know that everybody agrees that climate change is an issue and defining issue of our times. Climate change can affect the whole spectrum of our life.

To your question now, the United Nations has been working, you know, very closely among, first of all, among United Nations agency funds and programmes. Even yesterday, I have convened the whole United Nations system-wide meeting. There is no such lack of cooperation or consultation including the World Bank and all specialized agencies and funds and programmes. I have convened a meeting yesterday through a video, including special envoys Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg and Mary Robinson, and all participated in the meeting. That was my sort of a last check on the preparations and the outcome of our climate change meeting.

So I can assure you that the United Nations will work as one team, as one team. And I’m encouraged that there is a huge support and response from international community now. We do not have much time to prepare and to make everything ready for global — very meaningful global, legal climate change agreement, which should be adopted by at the end of next year in Paris.

Now, what do I expect from this summit? I’d like to just brief you. Then, first of all, in cutting emissions, I expect that Governments and the wide range of actors in key sectors of the global economy from energy, cities, industry and transport and forestry and agriculture, there should be a firm commitment that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions so that we will be able to contain the global temperature rise within two degrees centigrade.

And we will also try to mobilize financial support including for the capitalization of Green Climate Fund, the GCF. I expect that many countries’ leaders will announce that their bold and ambitious target with some financial support. We have already confirmed the financial support, but I’m also in the process of speaking and urging world leaders to come with a strong support on this financial support and technology support.

And there is an issue of a pricing carbon and through action by national governments, local governments and companies and investors. And there is a heightened awareness, even on the private companies, that there should be some pricing on carbon. But this is up to the Member States, which they will have to discuss.

As you know, this is not going to be a negotiation. But whatever agreement or understanding will be made here, will be reflected in the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) negotiation process. And we really need everybody’s — this is, again, unprecedented and the biggest one, Governments, initially. And we have a huge number of business communities and civil society. And there are a lot of side events through which they can recommit their commitment to address this climate change.

So I’m very much encouraged and I hope you will cover what the leaders of government and business communities and civil societies are going to discuss. And, again, I thank you very much for your questions.

UK’s HSBC Closes More Muslims’ Accounts

In a systematic anti-Muslim campaign, HSBC British Bank has closed the account of a renowned British Muslim activist,Azzam tamimi, who is the founder of the Arabic language Al Hiwar TV channel, and his wife, amid reports of an imminent closure of more accounts held by Muslims organizations.

Last month, HSBC closed several accounts held by key Islamic organizations across UK, sparking anger among UK Muslims and the organizations’ leaders who said they were being unfairly targeted in an “Islamophobic campaign”.

The Cordoba Foundation think-tank, Finsbury Park Mosque in north London and Bolton-based charity the Ummah Welfare Trust were among Muslims NGOs that faced accounts closure by HSBC that claimed they were “too risky”.

A similar action is expected to be faced by more UK Muslim NGOs, according to the Guardian.According to Muslim activists, the main reason behind the closure of Tamimi’s account is because of his support for Gaza and Syria.

Israel Speaks: “We Purposefully Attack Civilians”

In a video recording dated in 2012, Netanyahu can be seen speaking to what presumably are family members, women and children, completely unawares to the fact that his remarks are being recorded the entire time.

Netanyahu explains that, “The main thing, first of all, is to hit them [the Arabs]. Not just one blow, but blows that are so painful that the price will be too heavy to be borne,” a policy doctrine we are now seeing play out in Israel’s current assault on Gaza in which the “price” that is intended to be “too heavy to be borne,” is measured in the indiscriminate murder of innocent civilian lives, their homes, their playgrounds, their beaches, their schools, their mosques, their hospitals.

The Prime Minister further clarifies the “pain” he wished to inflict upon the Arabs, “A broad attack on the Palestinian Authority, to bring them to the point of being afraid that everything is collapsing.” A women can then be heard asking the question, “Wait a moment, but then the world will say ‘how come you’re conquering again?’”

Netanyahu’s reply?

“The world won’t say a thing. The world will say we’re defending.”

Israel has shown in Protective Edge that no one and no place in Gaza, not even children’s playgrounds and hospitals in which no militants whatsoever are present, is immune from the all-powerful roar of the highly-tuned, well-oiled and technologically sophisticated multi-billion dollar US-made killing machine that it has now descended upon the mostly defenseless, economically strangled, and poverty-induced population of Gaza (a WikiLeaks cable quoted an Israeli official in 2008 telling the US that they would “keep Gaza’s economy on the brink of collapse,” to ensure that the economy was “functioning at the lowest level possible consistent with avoiding a humanitarian crisis”).

M7 too hires lobbyists in Washington DC To Further his Ills!

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni has an interesting strategy to lift the recent sanctions imposed by the US over the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act. His plan involves using its own lawmakers and other political powerhouses in the US’s own backyard.According to federal disclosure filings, the government of Uganda has hired the services of DC consulting firm Mercury to aid in its public relations and lobby in US soil. The signing of the one-year, $600,000 contract came one month after the Obama administration announced its initial substantial sanctions against the African country for its harsh laws against the LGBT community there.

Even Western countries have hired lobbyists in Washington DC. That is how they get favourable policies passed to advance their economic interests. In DC, it is who you know that gets you through the door. It is big money business and the lobby firms usually staffed by both Democrats and Republicans to ensure access irrespective of which party in power gets things done. So there is nothing wrong with African leaders doing what Western countries routinely do. Actually it is long over due.

The Whitaker Group worked to engineer a turnaround in Uganda’s troubled image, assisted by, Rosa Whitaker, a former top official for African affairs from both the Bush and Clinton administrations. Rwanda, Tanzania and others have all paid for representation from K Street insiders.The Whitaker Group was credited with promoting investments in Uganda’s cotton industry and boosting trade by helping global giant Starbucks purchase Ugandan coffee. But in 2009, President Yoweri Museveni’s government continued its suppression of political opponents and gays. Museveni then maneuvered to change the constitution to allow him cling to power. The firm broke off its relationship.

The old guards are uncomfortable as the face of diplomacy has changed from the traditional to modern diplomacy. Studies in modern diplomacy indicate new diplomatic approaches.Somalia’s 2011 contract with Park Strategies was $240,000.
Somaliland and Puntland, autonomous regions in Somalia, hired their own lobbyists. Puntland hired the Moffett Group – a Washington firm run by former Connecticut Congressman Toby Moffett – to help get ConocoPhillips to reinvest in its oil exploration leases. Somaliland hired the Glover Park Group – run by former Clinton administration officials Carter Eskew, Joe Lockhart and Michael Feldman – and in March signed a new contract worth $22,500 per month.

Last summer, Nigeria agreed to pay the Glover Park Group $30,000 a month, plus expenses. Documents show Nigeria was particularly concerned with U.S. policies related to security cooperation between the two countries.

Madagascar hired the U.S. Fed Group to arrange a series of meetings for its transitional president President H.E. Rajoelina in key American states – and an invitation to the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) conference in June 2012. Records show U.S. Fed paid Quintairos, Preito, Wood and Boyer in Chicago $75,000 to score the invitation and an appearance with Bill Clinton and meetings with the mayor of Chicago, governor of Illinois and other officials.

Mauritius paid the Washington firm Ryberg & Smith LLP $600,000 from 2003 to 2011. This year, federal records show, it is paying Mercury LLC a $20,000-a-month to advance issues related to its “sovereignty.” (Mauritius claims sovereignty over the Chagos islands, where the key American military base on Diego Garcia is located).

Kenya paid Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter and Associates $2.4 million in 2008, followed by roughly another $2 million in 2009, to lobby policymakers and burnish the country’s reputation among business leaders in Washington, New York and other cities. In 2010, the Kenyan government entered an agreement with both Chlopak and the Moffett Group for advocacy and communication services.

South Sudan hired the firm Independent Diplomat when it seceded from the north in 2011, to help the new country secure diplomatic recognition as an independent state.

Traditionally, only diplomats accredited by their nations discussed and lobbied on behalf of their governments. In modern diplomacy however, there are many diplomats outside the docket of embassies; here we find INGO, cultural groups, friends, fraternities (sports, religious, businesses, media houses, etc) etc all doing different roles traditionally done by accredited staff. That does not mean embassies have lost value or power, what this means is that they have to change approach.

The traditional approach is no longer attainable as it has been overtaken by events. Imagine with the advent of modern media, nationals everywhere do see events happening thousands of miles away at the comfort of their sitting/living rooms; and powerful lobbyists can get what they want done there in a short time.

To get something, diplomats have to use several approaches including hosting parties in their embassies, in the homes where the spouses play a big role to help the main person.So when our leaders send their political appointees to embassies, you know the level of representation your country has. The spouses should be well educated persons who could as well be appointed to diplomatic positions because they are part of the diplomatic team but when you appoint a person who never studied diplomacy, there are more chances that the fellows have no idea of what they are supposed to do.

In other countries (especially developed countries) diplomacy is a career where one advances accordingly and for others not directly working under foreign affairs, the guys may have studied international relations and/or have done similar assignments which qualify them to do the same even if they were politicians.
Uganda has well trained and real diplomats who could do our country much pride. I am surprised to read political appointees complaining of being undermined and the ministry of foreign affairs stating that the problem concerns money.It is just because such people are used to free money otherwise, huge money can be got in those countries if only the officers are well educated in diplomacy.

I challenge government of Uganda to fill those positions with career diplomats and the country’s image will be for the better, there is no need spending too much money buying white wash. As a diplomat, I will not fear to advise my government on the way forward, that is my work as a career person.

Peter Simon.

I’m so disappointed with the US ban!

The Ugandans banned from USA due to the anti-gay bill include:

– MP David Bahati, who tabled the bill before parliament
– Hon Rebecca Kadaga who presided over the enactment of bill
– Ofwono Opondo, Gov’t spokesperson
– Stephen Tashobya, his committee prepared a report on anti-gay bill in May
– Simon Peter Lokodo supports the law
– Pastor Martin Ssempa, strong anti-gay activist
– Pastor Solomon Male is a strong ally of Pastor Ssempa.
– Pastor Michael Kyazze is also an anti-gay activist.

The above mentioned people have been banned from entering USA.

I respect the right of the US or any other country, for that matter, to ban any foreigner it so wishes from its oil.

However, in this case, I think the US is being unfair in singling out a few individuals, some of whom had no role in enacting the controversial anti-gay laws.

This law arose from a Private Member’s Motion (David Bahati), and so, it was not a government-sponsored bill. That should send a glaring distinction between the two versions of laws passed in Parliament.

The MP (Bahati) successfully canvassed for enough votes to bring his Bill to the Floor for debate, where it received a thunderous support and was overwhelmingly passed.

So, to fault Ugandans who are not MPs, and who, therefore, had little influence in the passage of this Bill, is a bureaucratic overreach. Instead, the US should have limited its anger to;

1. President Museveni – for accenting to the Bill, thus making it the law of the land,
2. All MPs who voted in its support

Speaker Kadaga could not, despite her office, throw out the Motion or its Mover; her role is to moderate debates in Parliament. Ofwono Opondo is a government spokesman; his role is to communicate government positions as directed by his appointing authority.

A government spokesman is like a well-trained robot: he’s not supposed to think independent of what he is supposed to relay to the public. US has richer history of government spokespeople – remember Larry Speakes of the Reagan days – who have served like such robots.



We should all salute President Museveni for the stance he has taken against homosexuality. It takes guts to do what he has done following threats from the most powerful politicians in the world.

I wish the presidents of Gambia and Zimbabwe had handled the issue of homosexuality in the same way Museveni has done so(i.e. telling the world the reasons for their stand instead of calling gay people every name under the sun). A debate has been pumped up internationally on the validity of the scientific research “wrongly” concluding that there is a correlation between homosexuality and genes.

He has also started up a debate among Ugandans on oral sex and it’s impact on our health. In the west, this debate briefly appeared on our TVs after Actor Michael Douglas claimed that his throat cancer was caused by “too much oral sex”. But obviously people addicted to certain things never listen but I think we are getting there. Let us CAUTIOUSLY use our tongues for purposes they aren’t meant for!

In other words, the president is indirectly promoting people’s health and I must say that I’m a bit impressed. I don’t care how much political capital he is getting out of this thing, for now!

Of course, there are going to be consequences for this. Uganda is going to be endlessly in the news because I’m sure gay activists aren’t gonna give up. There will be freezing of aid as a start but I’m sure Museveni must have been prepared for this. But for now, lets raise our glasses to cultural and religious preservation in Africa.

Abbey K.Semuwemba.


It seems the topic of homosexuals was provoked by the arrogant and careless Western groups that are fond of coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality and lesbianism, just as they carelessly handle other issues concerning Africa. Initially, I did not pay much attention to it because I was busy with the immediate issues of defence, security, electricity, the roads, the railways, factories, modernization of agriculture, etc.

When, eventually, I concentrated my mind on it, I distilled three problems:

1. those who were promoting homo-sexuality and recruiting normal people into it;

2. as a consequence of No. 1 above, many of those recruited were doing so for mercenary reasons – to get money – in effect homosexual prostitutes; these mercenary homosexual prostitutes had to be punished;

3. homosexuals exhibiting themselves; Africans are flabbergasted by exhibitionism of sexual acts – whether heterosexual or otherwise and for good reason. Why do you exhibit your sexual conduct? Are you short of opportunity for privacy – where you can kiss, fondle (kukirigiita, kwagaaga) etc.? Are we interested in seeing your sexual acts – we the Public? I am not able to understand the logic of the Western Culture. However, we Africans always keep our opinions to ourselves and never seek to impose our point of view on the others. If only they could let us alone.

It was my view that the above three should be punished harshly in order to defend our society from disorientation. Therefore, on these three I was in total accord with the MPs and other Ugandans. I had, however, a problem with Category 4 or what I thought was category 4 – those “born” homosexual. I thought there were such people – those who are either genetic or congenital homosexuals. The reason I thought so was because I could not understand why a man could fail to be attracted to the beauties of a woman and, instead, be attracted to a fellow man. It meant, according to me, that there was something wrong with that man – he was born a homosexual – abnormal.

I, therefore, thought that it would be wrong to punish somebody because of how he was created, disgusting though it may be to us. That is why I refused to sign the Bill. In order to get to the truth, we involved Uganda Scientists as well as consulting Scientists from outside Uganda. My question to them was: “Are there people that are homosexual right from birth?”. After exhaustive studies, it has been found that homosexuality is in two categories: there are those who engage in homosexuality for mercenary reasons on account of the under – developed sectors of our economy that cause people to remain in poverty, the great opportunities that abound not withstanding; and then there are those that become homosexual by both nature (genetic) and nurture (up-bringing). The studies that were done on identical twins in Sweden showed that 34% – 39% were homosexual on account of nature and 66% were homosexual on account of nurture. Therefore, even in those studies, nurture was more significant than nature. Can somebody be homosexual purely by nature without nurture? The answer is: “No”. No study has shown that. Since nurture is the main cause of homosexuality, then society can do something about it to discourage the trends. That is why I have agreed to sign the Bill.

Since Western societies do not appreciate politeness, let me take this opportunity to warn our people publicly about the wrong practices indulged in and promoted by some of the outsiders. One of them is “oral sex”. Our youth should reject this because God designed the human being most appropriately for pleasurable, sustainable and healthy sex. Some of the traditional styles are very pleasurable and healthy. The mouth is not engineered for that purpose except kissing. Besides, it is very unhealthy. People can even contract gonorrhea of the mouth and throat on account of so-called “oral sex”, not to mention worms, hepatitis E, etc. The Ministry of Gender and Youth should de-campaign this buyayism imported from outside and sensitize the youth about the healthy life style that is abundant in our cultures. We reject the notion that somebody can be homosexual by choice; that a man can choose to love a fellow man; that sexual orientation is a matter of choice.

Since my original thesis that there may be people who are born homosexual has been disproved by science, then the homosexuals have lost the argument in Uganda. They should rehabilitate themselves and society should assist them to do so.

Yoweri K. Museveni Gen. (Rtd)


24th February, 2014.


YKM had said he would not sign the bill. I still think he won’t but is using the threat to get back at the USA for asking him to remove his army from South Sudan. It is a negotiating strategy.At the end of the day, USA will even support YKM to remain in South Sudan and YKM will not sign the bill. In negotiation it is called BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.

Ms. Kennedy is actually pro-gay. She provided YKM with evidence that being gays is genetic.

YKM should actually blame his NRM MPs for putting him into this bind.Now honestly and seriously, there are real problems in Uganda such as the 57% teenage pregnancy rate in Iganga –hello Dr Spe Naigaga Wandira Kazibwe where are you-and Kitgum and certainly elsewhere. That is a problem calling out for attention. And guess what YKM and his cabal of NRM MPs can actually do something about.

For starters and this is why I am baffled by the women MPs, YKM can make UPE and USE mandatory up to the age of 18. That would be default make 18 the age of consent. But I know the religious moralist who are shouting silly while cheating with married women ok, having sexual relationships with several women would have none of it.

I understand YKM will not sign the DRB because it sets the age of consent at 18, something the religious leaders are opposed. And why are they opposed? They want to see women in subservient positions as “mothers of the nation” producing members of their churches and mosques.

They are opposed to making UPE and USE mandatory because faulty a sit is it offers the best shot in the future to liberate women. The day Ugandan women will stand up to their religious leaders and tell them in their face: sir or madam we shall come to your church or mosque but you have no business telling us what to do or put into our bodies body. That is the day the religious leaders and all those conservative men and women will shake and start to take women issues seriously.

YKM’s letter in the Monitor is clear: the bill has not been signed into law.

YKM is trying to show that it is not him, who is unreasonable, but rather the MPs and NRM MPs who put their signature on paper.

And now to Hon Kadaga: she should direct her energies towards fighting teenage pregnancy in her backyard. Granted she is not the women MP for Iganga but Iganga and Kitgum have been reported in the Monitor to have the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the country, at a whopping 57%. We are talking about girls between the ages of 14 and 16 here.

Actually most MPs and perhaps even majority of Ugandans suffer from the same false sense of consciousness. But why is that the case in a country where MPs and other folks are taken to Kyankwanzi for indoctrination. Oh, but is that not the answer! They are indoctrinated so they refuse to see the real problems facing the country and are forced to blame miniskirts, gays etc.

Folks, think about it. How can you mitigate poverty when girls are becoming mothers at 12, 13 14, 16? So Hon Kadaga and yes the women MPs-hello UWOPOA-enough said about non issues that harm nobody. Turn your energy and attention to the real devil in the country; teenage pregnancy.

Yes even YKM. I mean which is more corrupting of Ugandan children he is trying to defend here? And yes which is doing more damage to the fiber of Ugandan society/ Come on YKM and you maziwa lala MPs. And where is Matembe moral outrage on teenage pregnancy?

I wish the Daily monitor could name the rate in all districts of Uganda. So how come the male monsters are not in jail for statutory rape. And yes having sexual intercourse with a 14, 15, 16 or even 17 year old is statutory rape. There is no excuse under the law. The men ought to know otherwise if the law was to be enforced these dudes should be in jail for statutory rape. What is the time for that in that wretched country where judges selectively enforce the law I swear if the law to be enforced Ugandan jails would be full of sexual monsters.

Folks, now it is becoming clear. Ugandan is a country of fornicators. Yep. I mean if 57% of kids who are supposed to be in school under UPE and USE are pregnant where is the NRM? Where are the women MPs? Where are the religious leaders preaching morality to push for the gay bill.

So as we debate the antigay bill and the mini skirt law bear in mind this 57 teenage pregnancy rate. It is real. It harms society in far worse ways than anything else. It is a real problem calling for attention.

And if I may again ask the women MPs, what have they done about age of consent? And what is it anyway given that 57% of girls between 14 and 16 in Iganga and Kitgum have had unprotected sexual intercourse with men.

What is the RDC’s mandate

What is the RDC’s mandate, say in the education sytem? I ask in light of the report in The New Vision about the high rate of teenage pregnancy. Are RDCs empowered to intervene? How come girls, not women, as young as 13, 14 , 16 are getting pregnant after having sexual relations with, a) teachers, b) boda body, c) petty bourgeoisie aka shopkeepers and butcher men, d) taxi drivers/conductors aka manamba, e) air time dealers and other sexual monsters.

What is the government policy on teenage pregnancy? I believe as an RDC you have a role to play one way or the other so what is it RDC can to?

Anybody with Nantaba’s contacts?

Do you have Hon Nantaba’s contacts? She is one of the very few women MPs working for her people. The other credible women MPs seem to be the woman MP from Tororo who told off the men urging her to get married. So is Hon Betty Anywar-maama Mabira-but now should tackle the teenage pregnancy rate in her home district of Kitgum. Hon Brenda Nabukenya-the one who slayed NRM -of Luwero looked promising. The same with Hon Nabillah in Kampala. The rest went AWOL not be heard of until the next election.


Museveni’s response to Obama on homosexuality is class!- Abbey Semuwemba

Museveni’s response to Obama on homosexuality was/is class! Opposition guys, particularly Gen.Sejusa, shouldn’t fight him on this. I think he is handling this issue in the best way expected!Yes, there is definitely some political capital for him but his statement to Obama is class! I like it. I even can’t believe that I’m cheering for him now.

Abbey Semuwemba.

My response to H.E. Barack Obama’s statement on Homosexuality.

I have seen the statement H.E President Obama of the USA made in reaction to my statement that I was going to sign the anti-homosexual Bill, which I made at Kyankwanzi. Before I react to H.E. Obama’s statement, let me, again, put on record my views on the issue of homo-sexuals (ebitiingwa, bisiyaga in some of our dialects). Right f…rom the beginning of this debate, my views were as follows:

1. I agreed with the MPs and almost all Ugandans that promotion of homosexuality in Uganda must be criminalized or rather should continue to be criminalized because the British had already done that;

2. those who agreed to become homosexuals for mercenary reasons (prostitutes) should be harshly punished as should those who paid them to be homosexual prostitutes; and

3. exhibitionism of homosexual behavior must be punished because, in this part of the World, it is forbidden to publicly exhibit any sexual conduct (kissing, etc) even for heterosexuals; if I kissed my wife of 41 years in public, I would lose elections in Uganda.

The only point I disagreed on with some of the Members of Parliament (MPs) and other Ugandans was on the persons I thought were born homosexual. According to the casual observations, there are rare deviations in nature from the normal. You witness cases like albinos (nyamagoye), barren women or men (enguumba), epa (breastless women) etc. I, therefore, thought that similarly there were people that were born with the disorientation of being attracted to the same sex.

That is why I thought that that it was wrong to punish somebody on account of being born abnormal. That is why I refused to sign the Bill and, instead, referred it to our Party (the NRM) to debate it again.

In the meantime, I sought for scientific opinions on this matter. I am grateful to Ms. Kerry Kennedy of the USA who sent me opinions by scientists from the USA saying that there could be some indications that homosexuality could be congenital.

In our conference, I put these opinions to our scientists from the Department of Genetics, the School of Medicine and the Ministry of Health. Their unanimous conclusion was that homosexuality, contrary to my earlier thinking, was behavioural and not genetic. It was learnt and could be unlearnt. I told them to put their signatures to that conclusion which they did.

That is why I declared my intention to sign the Bill, which I will do. I have now received their signed document, which says there is no single gene that has been traced to cause homosexuality. What I want them to clarify is whether a combination of genes can cause anybody to be homosexual. Then my task will be finished and I will sign the Bill.

After my statement to that effect which was quoted widely around the World, I got reactions from some friends from outside Africa. Statements like: “it is a matter of choice” or “whom they love” which President Obama repeated in his statement would be most furiously rejected by almost the entirety of our people.

It cannot be a matter of choice for a man to behave like a woman or vice-versa. The argument I had pushed was that there could be people who are born like that or “who they are”, according to President Obama’s statement.

I, therefore, encourage the US government to help us by working with our Scientists to study whether, indeed, there are people who are born homosexual. When that is proved, we can review this legislation. I would be among those who will spearhead that effort. That is why I had refused to sign the Bill until my premise was knocked down by the position of our Scientists.

I would like to discourage the USA government from taking the line that passing this law will “complicate our valued relationship” with the USA as President Obama said. Countries and Societies should relate with each other on the basis of mutual respect and independence in decision making. “Valued relationship” cannot be sustainably maintained by one Society being subservient to another society.

There are a myriad acts the societies in the West do that we frown on or even detest. We, however, never comment on those acts or make them preconditions for working with the West. Africans do not seek to impose their views on anybody.

We do not want anybody to impose their views on us. This very debate was provoked by Western groups who come to our schools and try to recruit children into homosexuality.

It is better to limit the damage rather than exacerbate it.

I thank everybody.


Obama Gay marriage Irk US, World MuslimsI agree that the Ugandan law concerning homosexuality is harsh on its face, but this is typical of African criminal law across the continent. Poor countries with limited criminal justice systems tend to rely on the harshness of the letter of the law to be a deterrent to criminals. In practice, the sentencing is usually pretty lenient. Kenya, for example, has the death penalty for burglary, but burglars are definitely not being executed there.

As for Obama’s veiled threat to Uganda, I’d like to remind him of the actual international law (as opposed to the imagined law).
“(1) U.N. General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, (A/RES/25/2625) containing the Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, provides as follows:
The principle concerning the duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter

No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law.

No State may use or encourage the use of economic political or any other type of measures to coerce another State in order to obtain from it the subordination of the exercise of its sovereign rights and to secure from it advantages of any kind
Every State has an inalienable right to choose its political, economic, social and cultural systems, without interference in any form by another State.”

By Joseph Amooti



On the surface one would think that H.E YKM is not taking Obama’s threat seriously. But according to current events in the region, that is far from the truth. Anybody wise must know which side of his bread is buttered.

1. Why else should H.E YKM write a rebuttal (press release). This has not been his practice except when the issue is very serious. None serious issues never attract his attention. Some people might be wrong in thinking that H.E. YKM is not taking Obama’s threat seriously. As usual H.E YKM outsmarts many of us. Things you think are minor he takes them seriously and things you think are serious he ignores. In the end H.E YKM emerges the winner all the time. He is a wise man is all can say.

2. It was out of the ordinary for H.E YKM to consult a panel of scientists and also literature from the USA after the Bill had been passed. One is tempted to ask what is so special about this bill that required all this consultation. Is this the most important bill that has ever been passed by the Ugandan Parliament?

3. The press release did not contain any spitting fire from H.E The President, at least from my own eyes. What I read was a pleading statement. The statement already insinuates that once put in a tight corner, one will have defence to say that “look guys I tried my best but my people would take none of this; you see here is even the supporting document from our scientists”. Very smart!

4. “Obama needs Museveni as much as Museveni needs Obama” for as long as our H.E YKM tows the line of the super power. To the one who is more powerful it is a matter of political expediency. This happened to many leaders in the past such as General Noriega, General Saddam Hussein e.t.c. I think H.E YKM is playing his cards very well; again a very wise man we must all acknowledge.

5. Obama or any other super power would not be interested in Rebecca Kadaga for one reason; she has not been part of the politics of the great lakes region for such a long time. But the super power would be much more interested in our H.E YKM for having been part and parcel of the people who have shaped the politics of the great lakes region for the last 40 or so years. Their interest in H.E YKM remains would certainly be their business and your guess is as good as mine.

6. And finally, to me all this anti-homosexuality bill consultation and press release amounts to a PR thing; a damage control before it happens. And the damage control is not for this anti-homosexuality bill. It is a damage control for the coming unpopular bills (at least to the opposition in Parliament if not to you as well) that are going to be passed in the next 22 months before 2016 elections. If something won’t be right in those bills as long as they meet the objectives of incumbent, they will be quickly signed into law. The PR will be “H.E YKM consults widely”. Again H.E YKM wins. Paying much attention to the anti-homosexuality bill is just missing the point and the big picture that this is PR exercise for the next bills. We shall see more of that in the coming months.

I can’t help but continue smiling how H.E YKM outsmarted two guys Amama Mbabazi and Mike Mukula who had nursed intentions of competing with. Disowning the commitment they signed in Kyankwanzi would be like committing political suicide for both gentlemen. The one remaining to beat now is Prof GBB. He survived by not attending the Kyankwanzi retreat. Politics at this stage is very exciting not to join but to follow. For sure we shall have more laughter along the way.

Ibrah Sendagire

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