Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has rejected calls from the UN to implement gay rights in his country. Speaking on 28 September at the United Nations General Assembly meeting, he said that upholding human rights is the obligation of all member states, but vehemently rejected the imposition of what he called "new rights" for gay marriage that have been advocated elsewhere in the world.
"We equally reject attempts to prescribe new rights that are contrary to our norms, values, traditions and beliefs. We are not gays. Cooperation and respect for each other will advance the cause of human rights worldwide. Confrontation, vilification and double standards will not," he told members of the General Assembly. Mugabe has previously called homosexuals "worse than pigs and dogs." A spokesman for his ruling party, Zanu-PF, has said same-sex marriage had no place in Africa.
Currently chairman of the African Union, Mugabe urged nations to invest in economic development on the African continent, saying a stronger Africa would be beneficial to the world.
"Africa is not looking for handouts. Rather it is looking for partners in massive infrastructure development. In creating and exploiting the value chains from the God given natural resources and in improving the quality of life of the continents citizens. The entire world stands to benefit from an economically empowered African continent than from one emasculated by deprivation and with an over dependence on others," Mugabe said.
Mugabe also called for UN reform and has long criticized that there is no African country with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
"While the world has drastically changed since 1945, the United Nations and indeed the global governance architecture remains mired in a long bygone era. This archaic hierarchy among nations threatens to erode the confidence and support that the United Nations commands among the majority, but disadvantaged of its membership. We are disappointed that we have lost the opportunity of this anniversary to address this burning issue of the reform of the United Nations Security Council in a manner that satisfies the just demands and expectations among us. I wish to reiterate our strong attachment to Africa's common position of the reform of the Security Council."