Gambia’s President has used his address to the United Nations General Assembly to attack gay people, calling homosexuality one of the three “biggest threats to human existence”.

President Yahya Jammeh said homosexuality, greed and obsession with world domination “are more deadly than all natural disasters put together.”

The comments came hours after 11 countries at the UN issued a joint statement urging for the repeal of laws criminalising same-sex relationships.

In 2008, President Jammeh was strongly criticised by EU officials after he vowed to introduce laws stricter than those in Iran, where gay acts between men are punishable by death.

He retracted a threat to decapitate gay people in Gambia, but said they would be driven out of their homes.

President Jammeh has almost made outlandish remarks about HIV, announcing that he had found a natural remedy to “cure” the virus in 2007.

He repeated the claim in October 2012, saying he had “cured” 68 patients.

Same-sex sexual activity in the country is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.