Hon. Daniel T. arap Moi, C.G.H., M.P.,
President and Commander-in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Kenya.
Occasion: THE 56Th SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Venue: UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK NY
Date: 12TH NOVEMBER, 2001.
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Mr. Secretary-General, Excellencies,
Ladies & Gentlemen,
I congratulate you on your unanimous election as President of the 56th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I would like to particularly extend my sincere congratulations to Mr. Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General for his re-election to a second term in office, and for the richly deserved Nobel peace prize awarded to him and the United Nations organization. This is an acknowledgement of his tireless efforts in the service of mankind, and as the Secretary-General has said, a chalienge to do better and I hope faster. I would like to assure the Secretary General of my government's cooperation and firm commitment in that regard.
The achievements of the United Nations Organization are many and varied,
while its increasing relevance in an ever more complex international environment
is clear to us.
Its objectives are still as valid and noble today as they were fifty-six years ago and 1 believe can only be achieved by our continued commitment, careful vigilance and firm action.
I would now like to turn my attention to an issue that is uppermost on my mind and which has changed the way we live and do business, maybe forever.
I am referring to the terrorist attacks on the united states of America, an important, worthy, well fked and admired member of the united nations organization, a long standing and trusted friend of Kenya.
Terrorism poses a real threat to intemational peace and security and must be condemned by people of good will throughout the world. Terrorism cannot be justified in any form whatsoever. No philosophy, religion or creed can allow the taking away of innocent lives and the destruction of valuable property. The people of Kenya experienced first hand the devastating effects of terrorism in august 1998. The attack on Kenya, a country faced with challenges of poverty and under-development was especially severe and continues to affect us. Kenya understands well the pain of those affected by the recent attacks in the joint States of America, and fully supports the efforts being led by the President of the United States of America Mr. George W. Bush and his administration to fight terrorism in all its forms.
In order to carry out one of its fundamental objectives, that of the maintenance of international peace and security, the United Nations and in particular its membership must intensify efforts to resolve all outstanding and persistent conflicts raging in many parts of the world. We the members of the United Nations must work very closely to ensure that we completely disable the terrorist machinery. We must practically support the coalition against terrorism.
As an organization we must address the issue of conflicts seriously. Conflict situations impede development, provide an atmosphere for the ¡Ilegal exploitation of resources, the abuse of children, influx of refugees, the spread of dangerous weapons and enhance poverty, to mention just a few. Conflicts steal the dreams, hopes, aspirations and opportunities of too many people, especially of children. We must intensify our efforts in the search for peaceful and speedy resolutions to conflicts.
The conflicts in Africa continue to destabilize our continent. The United Nations and its membership must intensify efforts to find solutions to the conflicts.
The peaceful resolution of conflicts is a fundamental tenet of Kenya's foreign policy. It is a matter of record, that 1 have spared no effort throughout my political career, in search of peaceful solutions to conflicts in our region and elsewhere. Currently, Kenya is involved in peace negotiations in southern Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. We would like more international involvement in peace efforts in Africa.
The biggest challenge facing the African continent today is the increasing
level of poverty. Poverty has become an obstacle, a roadblock to every
effort we are making at improving the overall welfare of our people.
Poverty is a fertile breeding ground for conflict and instability and even terrorism. It is therefore regrettable that very little progress, if any has been made since the world summit on social development in Copenhagen in 1995. I remind you that the main outcome of that summit was the resolve to eradicate poverty as an obstacle to human development.
Mr. president, we cannot succeed in improving the lives of our people without the wholehearted engagement of the international community. The global target of reducing poverty in half by the year 2015 cannot be achieved without tangible availability of resources.
Our efforts at attacking poverty are further undermined by the scourge of HIV/AIDS and other treatable diseases like malaria and tuberculosis, which have the potential of reversing all the socio-economic gains we have worked so hard to achieve.
I applaud the Secretary-General for organizing a special session on HIV/AIDS earlier this year. The establishment of the global aids fund is a very welcome development. I look forward to its contribution and active participation in our daily struggle against HIV/AIDS. Kenya calls on the international community to lend its full support to the fund.
The effect of marginalization to developing countries posed by the accelerated process of globalization must be addressed as a matter of priority. It is my hope that the fourth world trade ministerial conference in Doha, Qatar, will address the issue of the imbalance in international trade more effectively. The issue of meaningful market access, particularly for agricultural products, must be resolved quickly. Protectionist policies are in no country's interest and definitely contradict the principles of free trade and the process of liberalization. In addition, resources must be made available to the world trade organization by our partners to enable it provide technical assistance and capacity building to developing countries.
Solutions in the form of better terms of trade and market access must go hand-in-hand with the flow of foreign direct investment to developing countries. Many African countries have taken bold initiatives to provide a conducive environment for investors. These efforts need to be supported by clear policies by developed countries to encourage private sector investment in Africa.
We urgently need to be freed from the burdens that are diverting vital
resources from our economic development. Debt relief is necessary. It is
in our common interest that our economies are restored to health in a meaningful
My concluding remarks Mr. president, relate to the desire for equity, fair play and justice for all. This is one of the cardinal objectives of the United Nations. In this regard, I welcome the efforts that the organization has made in the pursuit of these objectives.
We welcome these efforts yet it is a matter of concern that commitments
in the programmes of action agreed upon have been honoured more in their
breach than in compliance. This situation must be reversed. My challenge
to the organization is that these commitments be honoured so that humanity
can feel that the United Nations is truly an organization of hope for many
nations and peoples throughout the world. We cannot continue doing what
has so far failed. We need to work on new ways of addressing our common
problems. My government stands ready to do its part and 1 challenge other
governments to do theirs.
Together we shall succeed in meeting our commitments to have poverty reduced by half by 2015.