Oil a threat to peace says Kibaki

September 24, 2008 12:00 am

, NEW YORK, September 24 – President Mwai Kibaki has sent a passionate appeal to oil producing countries to consider the plight of non oil-producers particularly in the developing world.

President Kibaki noted that the sharp increase in oil prices was fast eroding gains made by economies of developing countries and hence threatening international peace.

The President noted that as a global community, no individual country was completely insulated from instability caused by inflationary pressures that result from the high oil prices.

President Kibaki said: "Indeed, the rapid increase in oil prices is hurting developing countries the most, and does not augur well for international peace and stability.  We should all be conscious of the fact that we are one global community, and none of us is completely insulated from instability caused by inflationary pressures that result from the high oil prices."

The President who spoke at the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York said that there was need to address the problem of speculative trading in the oil futures market that had led to the doubling of prices in the last one year.

With regard to the high world food prices, President Kibaki expressed concern that the worst affected were the poorest people living in developing countries adding that the situation could have serious implications to individual countries’ national security.

He advocated that the international community finds immediate mechanisms to deliver sufficient quantities of affordable food to poor people in Africa and other parts of the developing world as a short term measure to mitigate the situation.

However, President Kibaki called for improved agricultural productivity particularly by making available better yielding seed varieties, modern farming techniques, and cheaper fertilizer to smallholder farmers in Africa.

 "This will require more effective global partnerships between developed nations, international institutions, and developing nations.  In particular, these partnerships should place food security, agricultural technology development and transfer, trade and agricultural credit at the centre of the development agenda."

The Head of State noted that the most sustainable way of lifting Africa’s people out of poverty and underdevelopment was through widespread commercialization of agriculture. 

The President said: "We must focus on manufacture and trade in value-added agricultural products, supported by efficient financial services and markets."

He further called on the international community to hasten consensus on contentious agricultural issues to allow conclusion of the Doha Round of World Trade Organization negotiations.

On issues of governance in Africa, President Kibaki noted that the achievement of democratic and inclusive governments were core realistic challenges at the heart of conflict and insecurity in the continent.

"As Africa grapples with the challenges of competitive elections in fragile democracies divided by regional, racial, religious and ethnic differences, time has come for us to reflect on the role of competitive electoral processes in the building of our nascent democratic institutions," President Kibaki said.

He noted that Kenya had overcome the December general elections challenges and that the Grand Coalition Government had included all major political parties and interests in the country following the signing of the National Accord.

"The government is making use of this historic window of opportunity to build consensus that will enable us address the major challenges facing our country," noted President Kibaki.

The President said that the government was in the process of implementing far reaching legal, constitutional and policy reforms aimed at securing national cohesion and achieve the political, social and economic aspirations of the people of Kenya.

Thanking the panel of Eminent African Personalities led by former United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan for their lead role during the political negotiation, President Kibaki expressed his confidence that Kenya had reclaimed its glory and had retained its position as a peaceful and safe tourist and investment destination.

During the occasion, President Kibaki called for a greater responsibility of the international community in the Somalia situation to make the country a stable and democratic nation.

The Head of State thanked the governments of Uganda and Burundi for sending Peace Keeping troops in Somalia as part of the African Mission in Somalia and called for deployment of the remaining troops to strengthen the mission.

He further urged the parties to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan to intensify their efforts in overcoming all outstanding issues in the implementation of the Accord.



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