Annan pegs hope on Geneva talks

March 31, 2009 12:00 am

, GENEVA, March 31 – "Today the Kofi Annan Foundation is hosting 250 participants at a special meeting in Geneva. 

Our objective is to review the mediation process in Kenya in 2008, and to discuss the lessons learnt – both for Kenya itself, and for other societies which may face similar problems.

The meeting brings together many Kenyans and friends from outside its borders, many of whom participated in, observed, or have since studied last year’s mediation efforts.  All of the participants have a stake in Kenya’s future.

Just a year ago, Kenya’s politicians pulled their country back from the brink by agreeing to share power and work together on a fundamental reform programme.

Although there is understandably widespread frustration at the pace of implementation of the National Accord, the decisions made and concessions given were brave and continue to provide a basis for a stable future for the country and its citizens.

What is needed now is the same courage and commitment to see through the reform process.

I am convinced that this meeting will have a wider relevance.

The post-election unrest, the steps taken to calm the situation and what has happened over the last 12 months are not just of interest to Kenya, but to all of Africa and to the international community.

What happened in Kenya last year showed what can be achieved with common sense and political determination.  A very important lesson to us all.

So our goal is to reflect back on the process we went through together a year ago, to examine where we are now and to see how the successes and disappointments can help guide Kenya and other countries overcome problems now and in the future.

If we can achieve this, our discussions will be worthwhile".


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