UHURU KENYATTA, President of Kenya, said that the world must take the Secretary-General seriously when he says that humanity faces a stark and urgent choice between breakdown and breakthrough. Immediate action must be taken to put equitable access to vaccines at the heart of pandemic recovery. Tangible climate financial support must be extended to developing countries and conflict resolution tools must be realigned to address a strategic shift in regional and international peace and security.
Elaborating on those points, he said that Kenya’s pandemic death toll of nearly 5,000, though distressing, pales in comparison to other parts of the world. However, the economic pain was pronounced. Rebuilding successfully will require confidence and investment to bring production and consumption back to pre-pandemic levels. A fast-developing Africa will offer the entire world the benefit of its youthful population and vast investment opportunities, making the continent an engine of sustainable global growth and an exporter of peace, stability and transformative prosperity.
Kenya has mounted a strong response to climate change that includes a blueprint to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 32 per cent by 2030 and a Green Economy Strategy and Implement Plan for the period 2016-2030, he continued. It has identified several ocean-based adaption priorities and it looks forward to co-hosting, with Portugal, the second United Nations Ocean Conference in June 2022. Domestically, Kenya — one of Africa’s most vibrant mixed economies — is focusing on the immediate needs of its people, he added, emphasizing that by 2022 it will have reduced malnutrition among children under the age of five by 27 per cent.
The inaugural Africa-Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit, recently hosted by Kenya, was a historic moment that underscored the critical need for peoples of African descent to strengthen their economic and political links, he said. However, a common theme at such events is a collective conviction that the global system is not working well for all peoples and all regions. As Security Council president for October, Kenya will turn a spotlight on diversity as a means to promote State-building and the pursuit of peace, the impact of small arms and light weapons on peacekeeping operations, and ways to better support and promote women peacekeepers and peacebuilders, he said.
The international community must improve their capabilities to confront militant and terrorist groups, he continued. The most important task is to increase the competence of States to manage political and social diversity in a way that strengthens trust between citizens, their leaders and public institutions. Kenya’s own tough experiences, and its determination to rise above its challenges, provide a good case study for others. He concluded by saying that Kenyans must appreciate how their country is held in high regard in the community of nations. They must not forget the hand of friendship extended to them by other States, Kenya’s contribution to the international community, and those countries which continue to struggle against occupation and illegal sanctions, he said.
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