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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at joint press conference with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya

Nairobi, Kenya, 29 October 2014

It is always a great pleasure for me to be here in Nairobi, which is also home to UNON and so many of our dedicated United Nations staff. As the President just said, I have become a regular and frequent visitor and I am very happy to visit Nairobi as often as possible.

This time I am visiting Kenya and three other Horn of Africa countries staring from Addis Ababa, Mogadishu and Djibouti. Together with the President of the World Bank, Mr. Jim Yong Kim, and other senior leadership of African Union, African Development Bank, Islamic Development and European Union. I thank them for their strong commitment and cooperation in helping the Horn of Africa countries enjoy peace and stability and economic prosperity.

President Uhuru Kenyatta and I have just had a very good meeting. Thank you for your hospitality at this late hour and more importantly for your country’s strong support for the United Nations.

At the end of our Horn of Africa tour, I specially pay credit to Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank, alongside the senior representatives of the many international and regional organizations [which] I have mentioned for their strong support for working together with the United Nations for peace and stability in Africa and elsewhere. We came here with a common message: there can be no lasting peace and security without development and there can no development without peace and security. Therefore, peace and development should go hand in hand. That’s why we have been travelling hand in hand. We have come here directly from Somalia, where steady progress is being made to help secure the country and re-build the economy.

We also covered a range of pressing issues, from the Horn of Africa Initiative to the fight against terrorism to the situations in the Central African Republic, Mali, Sudan, South Sudan, and the Great Lakes region. Kenya is also showing real courage and determination against terrorism, following last year’s appalling Westgate Mall attack and other incidents

Earlier today, this afternoon, I visited Dadaab refugee camp, and was deeply humbled by what I saw. Your Excellency, Mr. President, I commend Kenya for the invaluable support it gives in offering refuge to so many people.

We discussed the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and the determination of the United Nations system to do all in its power to beat the virus. This is why regional partnerships are so important and why we have to pool resources, know-how and information.  Ebola is a global problem that demands a massive and immediate global response.

I am grateful for the many pledges by African nations to send medical personnel. I also make a special plea: returning health workers who have managed to avoid infection are exceptional people who are giving for humanity. We depend on them to fight this battle. Please do not quarantine them because they have volunteered to serve in the affected countries.

The entire United Nations system is mobilized to do all it can, including through UNMEER, the Ebola Emergency Response mission based in Ghana. This week we have agreed that UNMEER and the World Bank will work in support of the African Union’s efforts placing medical personnel at the disposal of Ebola affected nations. We must intensify our efforts in achieving a substantial increase in materials and financial contributions. 

I know that Kenya has been working hard to end the terrible practice of female genital mutilation. Tomorrow, I shall meet Kenyan media and campaigners at the launch of The Guardian’s Global Media Campaign to put an end to it. I am delighted at the interest and support being given to this issue by significant sections of the Kenyan media.

The United Nations will continue to work closely with you in our shared efforts towards lives of dignity, safety, freedom and opportunity for every Kenyan and every African. 

Mr. President, if you allow, let me just say a few words on the news of the sudden passing of His Excellency, Michael Sata, President of Zambia. I heard this news while travelling and I would like to express my deepest condolences to the people and Government of Zambia and particularly the bereaved family of President Sata. I convey this message on behalf of the United Nations system. President Sata was a much respected and admired figure. For me as Secretary-general, I had been working very closely with him to establish peace and security and development and human rights. I hope he will rest in peace and in eternity.

Thank you.


Off-the-Cuff on 29 October 2014