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Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda

The Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon is seriously concerned about the signing into law of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda.

The Secretary-General reiterates that everyone is entitled to enjoy the same basic rights and live a life of worth and dignity without discrimination. This concept is embedded in the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Ugandan Constitution.

The Secretary-General shares the assessment of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights that imposing sentences of life imprisonment for homosexuality, same-sex marriage and so-called "aggravated homosexuality" could fuel prejudice as well as encourage harassment and violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons. As noted by UNAIDS, it may also obstruct effective responses to HIV/AIDS.

The Secretary-General urges the Government to protect all persons from violence and discrimination, and hopes that the law can be revised or repealed at the earliest opportunity. He offers the support of the United Nations for constructive dialogue to achieve change on this matter.

The Secretary-General conveyed these concerns yesterday to H.E. Dr. Richard Nduhuura, Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations Headquarters.