By Hilary White

NEW YORK, September 28, 2009 ( – In an interview prior to his first address, the UN General Assembly’s new president said that homosexuality is “not really acceptable.”

Ali Abdussalam Treki, a veteran diplomat from Libya, was responding to a journalist’s question about his position on the UN’s “Declaration for the Universal Decriminalisation of Homosexuality” at a press conference prior to the opening of the 64th session of the General Assembly.

“It is a very thorny argument,” he said. “As a Muslim, I do not agree with it. My opinion is not in favor of this matter at all.

“I believe it is not acceptable for most of the world, and it is totally unacceptable for our tradition and religion. And there are some countries that allow that, thinking it is a kind of democracy … I think it is not,” he added.

The response of the international homosexualist movement was swift, with one group saying that Treki’s comment was contrary to the principles of the founding Charter of the United Nations. The International Lesbian & Gay Association (ILGA), one of the leading international homosexualist lobby groups, this week issued a statement demanding an explanation from Treki for his “failure to consider the protection of the life and safety of lesbians, gay men, trans, intersex and bisexual people all over the world.”

ILGA continued: “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.”

The UN declaration was opposed by a group of Arab countries and was signed only by a total of 66 of the UN’s 192 member states, including all 27 European Union members as well as Japan, Australia, Mexico and three dozen other countries. Until the election of Barack Obama as president, the US was the only western country that had refused to sign.

Late last year, the Vatican’s representative at the UN, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, told a French news agency that those opposed to the declaration were concerned that it would place even more pressure on countries to adopt or expand same-sex “marriage” or civil unions and would generally fuel the movement to normalize homosexuality.

“States which do not recognize same-sex unions as ‘matrimony’ will be pilloried and made an object of pressure,” he said.

Read related coverage:

Obama Administration to Sign UN Declaration to “Decriminalize Homosexuality”