Global perspective Human stories

At UN General Debate, Kenyan President flags key role of peaceful resolution in conflicts

President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya addresses General Assembly.
UN Photo/Jennifer S. Altman
President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya addresses General Assembly.

At UN General Debate, Kenyan President flags key role of peaceful resolution in conflicts

While highlighting his country’s progress on various fronts over the past ten years in the General Assembly today, the President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki, today said that its achievements were built on the a “bedrock” of peaceful resolution of disputes and situations both internally and in the wider East Africa region.

“We know from our own history and that of our neighbours, that where conflicts and disagreements are not resolved peacefully, the suffering and bloodshed that follows and the collapse of economic and social development leads to tragic consequences,” President Kibaki told the second day of the Assembly’s General Debate, taking place at UN Headquarters in New York.

“It is for this reason, that we are convinced that Kenya’s own wellbeing and prosperity is hinged on sustained peace, security, stability and inclusive democracy in our region,” he added.

Kenya will remain supportive of efforts to peacefully settle disputes by regional bodies such as the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the International Conference on the Great Lakes and the East African Community, the Kenyan leader said, noting that such regional efforts are central to the future of multilateral peace-building.

“They must be the building blocks of international efforts to maintain peace and security in our region and the world,” he said. “Kenya therefore welcomes the UN Secretary-General's initiative to convene a series of High-Level Meetings during this week to discuss the political and security situations in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and the Sudan.”

Kenya has been involved in efforts to bring stability and peace to its Somalia, its northern neighbour, with Kenyan troops serving in the UN-backed African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which along with Government and allied forces, has been liberating large parts of Somalia from the control of Al-Shabaab militants, as well as progress on its political front.

“This development enabled the transitional government to focus on the implementation of the Kampala Roadmap with a view to forming a unified Government anchored on the pillars of good governance and the rule of law,” President Kibaki said, adding that Kenya was encouraged by recent political developments in Somalia, particularly the selection of a new President, Prime Minister and Parliament and adoption of a new Constitution.

Kenya also plays host to Somalis displaced by the violence and drought in their home country, with more than 650,000 of them in one refugee camp in northern Kenya. President Kibaki said Kenya looks forward to working with the relevant UN humanitarian agencies and the international community in facilitating the return of the refugees to their home country.

In his statement, the Kenyan leader also spoke about sustainable development, the environment, the causes of conflict, the situation between Sudan and South Sudan, and Palestine – which he said Kenya hoped would soon become a full member of the United Nations.

President Kibaki is one of scores of heads of State and government and other high-level officials who are presenting their views and comments on issues of individual national and international relevance at the Assembly’s General Debate, which ends on 1 October.