ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN KENYA, 1 - 3 APRIL
On his arrival in Nairobi on 1 April, the Secretary-General was met by Professor George Saitoti, the Kenyan Vice-President. In his remarks to the press, the Secretary-General said he was happy to be in Kenya, underscoring the importance of Nairobi as a host city to major United Nations agencies.
The Secretary-General was in Nairobi to chair the twice-yearly meeting of the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) -- the board of chief executives of United Nations agencies, funds and programmes. More than 80 United Nations officials attended the meeting, representing 25 organizations, 20 of them at the highest level.
A large part of the ACC discussions centred on the follow-up to the goals adopted by the world’s leaders during last year’s Millennium Summit and how to achieve sustainable development, particularly in Africa.
The discussions, which took place during four sessions, were held at the United Nations Nairobi offices, and at a retreat a few miles outside of the city.
After the morning ACC session on 2 April, the Secretary-General spoke with staff members of the United Nations family in Nairobi.
Before moving on to the afternoon session, the Secretary-General held a press conference. In his introductory remarks, the Secretary-General underlined the importance of holding this ACC meeting in Nairobi. “This city is the United Nations’ only major duty station in Africa and, for that matter, in the developing world”, he said, “and the work we are doing at this year's ACC has particularly strong relevance for the people of Africa.”
Before resuming his ACC meeting on the morning of 3 April, the Secretary-General met with Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi at the State House in Nairobi.
Immediately following the 45-minute meeting, the two addressed the press who had assembled in the garden of the State House. In his opening remarks, President Moi pledged his support to the Secretary-General's candidacy for a second term and added that African leaders should do more to help the Secretary-General in his work. "I think this time we, in Africa", the President said, "should assist our brother to reduce the burden he has over global problems."
In his comments, the Secretary-General told journalists that he and President Moi had talked about a wide range of regional topics, including the
situation in southern Sudan and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as HIV/AIDS. The Secretary-General stressed "the need for all of us to join the fight against this epidemic [AIDS] from top to bottom, requiring complete social mobilization in all countries".
In response to a question concerning the two United Nations staff members still detained in Somalia, the Secretary-General said that: "these lawless and reckless people who prey on young men and women from distant land[s] who've come to help, whose only reason for being in Somalia is to help the needy, ought to understand that their behaviour is something that the international community cannot accept and cannot condone". He added: "Aid workers deserve better treatment and deserve our appreciation and thanks, rather than this kind of treatment."
The Secretary-General then headed to the United Nations Office in Nairobi to attend the morning session of the ACC. During that session, the 25 participants met for over four hours. The discussions centred on the issue of sustainable development and Africa.
At the start of the meeting, the Secretary-General announced to participants that the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, had agreed to stay on in her job for one more year. He later issued a statement to the press making public her decision to accept a one-year extension, pending approval by the General Assembly.
The closing session of this ACC meeting took place in a retreat a few miles outside of Nairobi.
While in Nairobi, the Secretary-General was in contact with a number of the parties involved in the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Following telephone conversations with President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda, he issued a statement, through his spokesman, saying that both men had reaffirmed their determination to effectively pursue the Democratic Republic of the Congo peace process, provided that the Government of Major-General Joseph Kabila also lived up to its undertakings. The statement went on to say that they also "pledged their mutual cooperation in the quest to restore peace and stability in the entire Great Lakes region, and stated that any bilateral differences would be resolved through peaceful negotiations".
The Secretary-General left Nairobi the following morning en route to Amsterdam.
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