United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in Nairobi from Somalia on Tuesday evening, 7 March.
On Wednesday morning, the Secretary-General met with President Uhuru Kenyatta and Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed at the Kenya International Convention Centre.
Speaking to the press afterwards, the Secretary-General expressed his solidarity with Kenya in relation to the drought that has hit the country. He called on the international community to help in Kenya, as Kenya had shown so much solidarity in the past, noticeably in support of refugees.
He added that he had deep gratitude for Kenya’s commitment to multilateralism and also the Government’s commitment to peacekeeping and peace-enforcing, especially in its role in Somalia through the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
Noting that the day was also International Women’s Day, the Secretary-General recalled that, as High Commissioner for Refugees, he had met women who suffered the worst possible abuse. While the protection of women in these circumstances was absolutely essential, he said that the only way to make that protection effective was to give full priority to the empowerment of women.
The Secretary-General then joined the First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Wanjiru Kenyatta, at the official Government commemoration of International Women’s Day. He told the hundreds of assembled women leaders that every effort had to be made to finally defeat the male dominated culture if we were ever able to achieve gender equality (see Press Release SG/SM/18459).
The Secretary-General also had the opportunity to visit a number of field projects in the Mathare slums, including a women’s empowerment programme run by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) as part of its slum upgrading initiative and a United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women) project designed to encourage the political participation of women. He was accompanied by Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, and representatives of UN-Women and a youth centre.
He listened to a group of women who had decided to run for office, often against great odds.
The Secretary-General departed Nairobi for New York later on Wednesday evening. During a technical stopover in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, the Secretary-General had the opportunity to speak in person with Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga.