NAIROBI, September 21 – President Mwai Kibaki left for New York on Sunday to attend a five-day summit at the UN General Assembly.
The President is slated to give a detailed account of the country’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in the presence of 188 other heads of state and government who will do the same.
A statement by the Presidential Press Service read: “The President and his entourage left Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 11am.”
The New York summit is aimed at assessing member states’ commitment towards the MDGs target that was set by world leaders eight years ago. The convergence is under the theme ‘The impact of the global food crises on poverty and hunger in the world’ and will serve as a medium term review on the attainment of the eight MDGs that respond to the globe’s main development challenges.
Expected to top President Kibaki’s progress report to the assembly is the Free Education Programme, which is seen as a key success of the Kibaki administration.
Since 2003, Kenyan children of school-going age have been accorded the basic right to education, thanks to the Government’s free primary education initiative.
At the start of the new millennium, world leaders gathered at the UN headquarters to make a promise that they would do everything within their power to halve extreme poverty by 2015. Eight years later, reducing global poverty remains the single biggest challenge facing the international community.
A recent UN Taskforce assessing progress towards the MDGs highlighted that it would take sustained and committed efforts by governments as well as the private sector, faith groups and civil societies from across the world, to meet this monumental challenge.
The goals set a range of vitally important, clear and measurable targets such as increasing the number of children in school, improving health care, cutting maternal and child deaths, combating major diseases and stopping environmental degradation.
The UN estimates that there are now 41 million more children in school, 3 million more children are surviving every year, and 2 million more people are receiving treatment for AIDS.