STATEMENT BY HON. STEPHEN KALONZO MUSYOKA
MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA
AT THE 58TH REGULAR SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
WEDNESDAY, IST OCTOBER 2003 - NEW YORK
Check Against Delivery
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to take this opportunity to address this august Assembly.
In the past year both, Kenya and the United Nations have been struck by
terrorism. On behalf of my delegation, I wish to convey to the Secretary-General
through you, Mr. President, our profound condolences following the heartless
and senseless attack on the UN premises in Baghdad last August. Several
UN personnel including Mr. Sergio Vieira. De Mello, the Secretary-General'
. Special Representative in Iraq, lost their lives during this attack.
Mr. De Mello was not just an elegant and highly intelligent man, but a
calm voice of reason in a sea of troubles. As an Assembly of nations,
we may have lost his voice but we should not lose sight of his vision
Terrorism has become a disturbing trend to all of us. We who live in Kenya
know this all too well as we do not have the option of ignoring the threat
of terror. The people of Kenya have been targeted by terrorists on two
recent separate occasions - in 1998 and in 2002. After the 2002 attacks
in Mombasa, Kenya's economy was almost brought to its knees through the
various unhelpful measures from without that discouraged travel to our
country. As a result we have been doubly victimized. Against this backdrop,
Kenya is totally committed to the fight against terrorism as we have been
subjected to loss of innocent lives, untold human suffering, loss of property
and social and economic hardship. We empathise with others including the
residents of this city who bore the brunt of unprecedented terror in the
September, 2001, attack.
We are convinced that this fight can only be won by collective action
by the community of nations. We should all address terrorism under the
rubric of the United Nations and develop measured, long-term strategies
to eliminate terrorism once and for all. Self interest and unilateral
action does not provide a firm basis for the global alliance against terrorism.
Only principled international solidarity will defeat terrorism.
With regard to United Nations reforms, Kenya associates herself with the
achievements made in the General Assembly. To this end, we welcome the
early election of the President as well as the Vice-Presidents which has
resulted in the smooth transition from one session to another. We encourage
further rationalization in the agenda of the General Assembly as well
as prioritization of economic development issues in its programme of work.
In the same vein, the reform of the Security Council is long overdue;
we hold the view that the composition of the Council as well as its democratization
should reflect the obtaining international reality and the principle of
equitable geographical representation.
My delegation wishes to commend the Secretary-General for the efforts
made in enhancing the utilization of the United Nations Office at Nairobi
(UNON). I note with satisfaction that the construction of additional administration
and social facilities at the United Nations Complex at Gigiri has commenced.
Further, following the elevation of UN-HABITAT to a fully-fledged United
Nations Programme in accordance with the General Assembly Resolution 56/206,
it is the desire of the Kenya Government to see maximum utilization of
these facilities through hosting of additional meetings and conferences
in Nairobi. This will be a clear demonstration of our support for the
relevant General Assembly resolutions on this issue.
The proliferation of small arms and light weapons has contributed to conflicts
raging in many parts of Africa. Kenya has been actively involved in efforts
to address this issue and hosts the Nairobi Secretariat on Small Arms
and Light Weapons, a regional initiative involving ten countries of the
Great Lakes region and Horn of Africa. In addition, at the Biennial. Conference
on small arms and light weapons held in New York in July 2003, Kenya presented
a report on the activities of the Nairobi Secretariat as well as the measures
undertaken by the Government of Kenya at the national level to curb the
menace. In this regard, we call upon the international community to provide
requisite resources in our joint effort to fight the proliferation of
Wars and conflicts continue to hamper peace, stability and socio-economic
development particularly in Africa. Kenya therefore continues to give
priority to the prevention, management, and peaceful resolution of conflicts.
We have spearheaded the Inter-Governmental Authority on. Development (IGAD)
peace processes on the conflicts in Southern Sudan and Somalia. Negotiations
on a peaceful solution are ongoing in Naivasha and Nairobi respectively.
It is with profound satisfaction that we recall the historic event that
occurred on 22nd September 2003 when the warring parties in The Sudan
signed a truly landmark agreement in Naivasha, Kenya. The agreement, which
addresses transitional security arrangements, will no doubt provide the
basis for a bright and prosperous future for the people of The Sudan.
The parties will recon iene in the next two weeks to discuss power sharing,
wealth sharing and the status of the three disputed regions of The Sudan.
Indeed, the peace process in The Sudan is irreversible.
I therefore wish to pay tribute to the Government of The Sudan, the SPLM/SPLA,
IGAD and the International Partnership Forum for their concerted efforts
and dedication to the peace process. This historic event is a concrete
example of multilateralism at work. It is indeed a beacon of hope, and
a manifestation that, with goodwill and political will, peace is achievable.
I am happy to say that all news emanating from Africa is not all about
doom and gloom.
However, in order to consolidate and guarantee a long-lasting peace, it
is vital for the international community to play a greater role in the
process. In this , connection, I would like to urge the United Nations
to play a leadership role in post-conflict reconstruction of The Sudan
and to request Member States to support the reconstruction.
On the Somali Peace Process, I am happy to note that there is encouraging
progress in the negotiations and we are hopeful that a fruitful conclus;on
will materialize. Just two weeks ago, the delegates adopted the charter
and elections will soon be held. Kenya therefore encourages the parties
concerned to consolidate and take advantage of the gains so far made.
We emphasize that the peace process should be all-inclusive and call upon
the President of the Transitional National Government, Mr. Abdikassim
to return to the nggotiating table in Nairobi and the other faction leaders
to accept his participation. By the same token, we call upon our partners
and the international community to continue supporting the two peace processes.
Kenya commends the achievements made by United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.
Missions in Sierra Leone, Ethiopia/Eritrea, and other parts of the world
have succeeded in restoring peace and stability. The African Union and
the United Nations have also played a positive role in tackling the crisis
in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
We commend efforts made by ECOWAS in restoring normalcy in Liberia. While
appreciating the important role the United Nations plays in consolidating
peace and stability in the world, Kenya advocates for greater UN participation
in African initiatives such as the peace processes led by IGAD and ECOWAS.
We are concerned at the continuing deterioration of the situation in the
Middle East. Kenya notes with regret that a lasting solution to the question
of Palestine remains elusive despite various initiatives and efforts,
which have been made to address the problem. We should not loose sight
of the objective of establishing a viable Palestinian State as envisaged
in United Nations resolutions. Similarly, it should be recalled that in
order to ensure a durable solution to the conflict, it is important to
take full account of the right of Israel to exist within safe and secure
borders. We therefore reiterate our call to parties to the conflict, as
well as other players involved, to exercise restraint and give priority
Another area of concern in the Middle East is Iraq. The people of this
country are yet to find peace and stability without which any hope of
national reconstruction will be in vain. It is however encouraging to
observe that the international community now shares the common view that
the United Nations should play a greater role in rebuilding this country.
It is our hope that this consensus will be translated into action soon.
For peace and stability to flourish good governance is a necessity. This
challenge is one that Kenya has been able to meet. In December, 2002,
Kenya saw an historic moment, when we held General Elections, which were
universally recognized as free, fair, and democratic. Every citizen of
Kenya was provided an opportunity to have a voice in determining his or
her government - successful and strong evidence that Africans can and
will embrace democracy and that we, ' the proud descendents of the oldest
civilizations in history, are ready to determine our destiny. I would
like to recall the words of a great son of Africa, the late Patrice Lumumba
"......History will one day have its say...': Africa will write its
own History and it will be to the North and South of the Sahara, a history
of glory and dignity". We are prepared as a country
under the leadership of President Mwai Kibaki to play our part in pronoting
development and democracy.
NEPAD commands the support of all of us and if implemented in a holistic
manner, it will guarantee sustainable development for the African continent.
NEPAD is a symbol of renewed commitment by the region's states, and should
thus be accorded the necessary support by the international community.
We appreciate the warm reception accorded to NEPAD by both the United
Nations and our development partners. We are committed to the successful
implementation of this arrangement. On its part, Kenya, which is a member
of the Steering Committee has established a National NEPAD Secretariat
and will host the regional summit on NEPAD for East Africa, Great Lakes
and Horn of Africa next month to take stock of its implementation.
The United Nations conferences and summits of.the 1990s particularly the
Rio Summit, the Millennium Summit, the UN General Assembly Special Session
on HIV/AIDS, the Monterrey Conference and ultimately the Johannesburg
Summit, have equipped us with numerous ideas and commitments to tackle
the problems facing the world today. Despite this wealth of ideas and
commitments we have continued to slip backwards in the fight against poverty,
disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and hunger.
My message to all of us is that we must recommit ourselves; let us implement
what we have agreed on to make the world a better place for all. We welcome
the adoption by this Assembly of resolution 57/270B on the integrated
and coordinated follow-up to the implementation of United Nations conferences
and summits in the economic and social fields. We urge all stakeholders
identified in this resolution to play their part to ensure its full and
The majority of African countries are among the poorest in the world.
The situation has been compounded by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, which has
ravaged the continent and reversed the socio-economic gains made since
independence. To counter the ravages of the pandemic, the Kenya Government
has put in place various measures to curb further spread of HIV/AIDS.
As a result of these efforts, prevalence rates have significantly reduced
in the last four years. However, much still needs to be done in this area.
Last month, Kenya hosted the 13th International Conference on AIDS and
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (ICASA). This Forum brought together over
6,000 delegates from all over the world to discuss urgent measures that
we all , must take to combat the pandemic. We call upon the international
community to intensify its efforts in fighting the scourge by among others;
provision of adequate financial resources as well as enhanced access to
anti-retroviral drugs for the infected.
We welcome the recent agreement arrived at in the World Trade Organization
(WTO) enabling developing countries to import HIV/AIDS generic drugs.
We urge developed countries and drug manufacturers to respect the decision
of the WTO and to cooperate with developing countries to facilitate accessibility
of antiretroviral drugs to all HIV/AIDS sufferers.
Kenya, regrets the collapse of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun
last month. However, we in the developing world are ready to continue
with negotiations as long as our partners are prepared to work with us
as equal players. It is our conviction that developing countries can only
exploit their full potential if there is a level playing field in international
trade. Therefore, the removal of subsidies in the developed countries
is the only solution to the unfair trade practices by our partners and
guarantee market access for our products.
In conclusion, I wish to extend to you on behalf of my delegation, congratulations
on your unanimous election as President of the Fifty-Eighth Regular Session
of the United Nations General Assembly.
The challenges that I have addressed today have no respect for boundaries
or sovereignty or historical realities. They represent a collective problem
for this assembly and one that we must face together as an international
organization. It is my hope that the 58th Session of the United Nations
General Assembly addresses with courage the issues before the international
community. Mr. President, I wish to assure you of the full support of