NEW YORK, US, Sep 19 – Kenya believes it is on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the successor to the Millennium Development Goals, a year after adoption at the UN General Assembly.
The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Sicily Kariuki says even though achievement of the goals is ambitious, significant progress is being made.
“We will be discussing how the globe has faired in combating extreme poverty, fighting inequality and hunger, providing quality education, achieving gender equality and reducing inequalities across the board. We will also be auditing how we have addressed access to clean water and sanitation and climate change,” CS Kariuki said on arrival in New York for the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly, which got underway Monday.
CS Kariuki who is part of the Kenyan delegation that is led by Deputy President William Ruto, said despite failure to pass the two thirds gender rule in Parliament, Kenyans are now more aware of the need to have balanced representation not only in government but in the private sector as well.
“We have made progress on matters around women and youth empowerment; no other government has allocated as many resources to the youth and women. So, we may not be there yet, but we are on the right path.”
CS Kariuki will be attending a session co-hosted by UN Women, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Government of Australia to launch the UN Women’s Making Every Woman and Girl Count”.
“At this important session we will be discussing an initiative on gender statistics. Data on girls and women is incomplete and is a challenge to sound decision making,” she commented. “I will also attend the Secretary General’s High-Level Panel for Women’s Economic Empowerment.”
She will also be present at the High-Level Event to Celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of the Open Government Partnership to be co-hosted by Francois Hollande of France and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma.
“The Open Government Partnership is a simple initiative that commits to make governments more accessible to the citizens; and that is exactly what we have done with the Huduma Centres in Kenya,” CS Kariuki added. “In June 2016, the UN celebrated the UN Public Service Day, a day we also commemorated in Kenya, with the theme – Leaving no one behind through innovative public service delivery.”
In 2015 Kenya’s Huduma Centres won the UN Public Service Award for public service excellency, emerging top from among 800 submissions.
“The UN Public Service Award is the highest most prestigious award and recognition you can get for excellence in public service. This award talks to the difference the Huduma Centres, an initiative of President Kenyatta’s government, has made to the lives of the citizens. It is a big deal and we are encouraged to do even better.”