Kenya issues call at UN to strengthen environmental bodies

22 September 2011

Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki called for the streamlining of international environmental organizations to better respond to global ecological challenges, telling the General Assembly that climate change had wrought havoc in the Horn of Africa where recurring droughts have greatly undermined people’s livelihoods.

“The scale of climate change and environmental degradation calls for sustained action. In this regard, Kenya hopes that the [climate change] meeting in Durban [South Africa] will deliver on African expectations in [the] form of support of adaptation measures,” Mr. Kibaki told the Assembly’s annual general debate in New York.

He called for the transformation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) into specialized UN agency, as recommended by the African Union, to boost its capacity to respond to environmental challenges.

“It is my hope that the Rio Summit [UN Conference on Sustainable Development] scheduled for next year in Brazil will endorse this position and upgrade UNEP accordingly,” said Mr. Kibaki.

On Somalia, Mr. Kibaki called for enhancing the mandate of the African Union’s peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) and providing the necessary resources to extend its coverage across the country, where it is deployed to support efforts by the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) to restore peace and stability.

“In addition, we must support the TFG in the implementation of the Kampala Accord that spells out a range of political process necessary for the attainment of sustainable peace and development in Somalia,” he said.

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