, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 1 – Kenya is concerned about the fluid and unpredictable situation in Somalia, President Mwai Kibaki has said.
The President noted that the instability in the Horn of Africa country WAS not only a major threat to regional peace and security but also a big impediment to maritime trade.
Kenya is now hosting over 500,000 Somali refugees in various camps and the number is rising due to renewed fighting in the last one month.
"The internal instability in Somalia has resulted in the twin problems of terrorism and piracy," President Kibaki said while appealing for urgent United Nations and international assistance to avert a major humanitarian catastrophe due to population movements in that country.
The Head of State was speaking during a dinner he hosted in honour of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and members of the United Nations Chief Executive Board at a Nairobi hotel.
"I look forward to the UN Security Council playing its rightful role in ending the protracted internal strife in Somalia for the sake of millions of innocent people, including women and children who continue to bear the brunt of lawlessness in that country," President Kibaki said.
On relations between Kenya and the UN, President Kibaki expressed satisfaction that Kenya and the United Nations have forged an excellent framework of cooperation geared towards improving the lives of Kenyans.
The President assured that his Government will continue to work closely with all UN agencies to accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.
"I wish to acknowledge with appreciation the important role of the United Nations in our endeavour to achieve the MDG targets," President Kibaki said.
The President added that Kenya had put in place the framework needed to support critical sectors of the economy to achieve economic and human development.
Noting that since its inception the United Nations has endeavoured to positively transform the world, President Kibaki reassured of Kenya\’s commitment to the principles of the United Nations.
The Head of State also reaffirmed Kenya\’s resolve to partner with the UN in addressing the challenges facing the international community in the 21st Century, adding that Kenya was happy to be hosting two UN agencies that are dealing with critical issues of the time.
On environmental conservation, President Kibaki said as the host to the United Nations Environment Programme, Kenya is fully committed to the achievement of sustainable environment as one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals.
Said President Kibaki: "We are, therefore, investing massive resources to achieve our goal of a green economy."
The President, at the same time, said being the proud host of UN-HABITAT that is at the forefront of dealing with the challenges of housing and urbanization in the world, the Government is fully committed to ensuring that Nairobi offers world-class facilities and infrastructure in Kenya.
"We see this as a critical world challenge as nearly half of the world\’s population now lives in urban centers," President Kibaki said.
President Kibaki added that the Government was determined to ensure that United Nations staff and all other people in Kenya live and work in a safe and secure environment.
On the regional front, the President emphasized that regional peace and security are matters that are at the heart of the Kenyan people.
President Kibaki thanked the United Nations for supporting Kenya and IGAD in the search for lasting peace in Sudan.
Said the President: "It is clear that our concerted efforts, as demonstrated by the positive developments in the Sudan, are not in vain."
Speaking during the occasion, the UN Secretary-General said Kenya is very important to the UN because its various agencies use it to serve the whole region.
Mr Ban also commended Kenya for its contribution to the UN, saying Kenya is playing a crucial role in the promotion of peace not only in the region but also in other parts of the worlds.
He also praised Kenyans for the way they managed to resolve the post-election violence and embrace peace.
"Faced with the challenges of the post-election violence, Kenya chose peace and now the country has a new Constitution which heralds a better future for Kenyans," the UN Secretary-General said.
The occasion was also attended by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, several ministers including Internal Security Minister and Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs Prof. George Saitoti, several Assistant Ministers and members of the diplomatic corps among other invited guests.
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