, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 28 – President Mwai Kibaki jetted back into the country early on Tuesday after wrapping up his visit in New York, where he attended the 65th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The plane carrying President Kibaki and his delegation touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly after 6am and was received by senior Government officials led by the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, the Chief of General Staff, Gen. Jeremiah Kianga and Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Amb. Francis Muthaura.
During the visit, President Kibaki attended and addressed the General Assembly as well as the high level plenary session on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In his address to the General Assembly, President Kibaki affirmed that Kenya’s feat of overcoming political difficulties and implementing far-reaching reforms that led to the enactment of a new Constitution was a great source of hope for Kenyans who looked forward to a prosperous and stable nation.
President Kibaki said that top on the country’s reform agenda was the enactment of a new Constitution which was promulgated last month following a successful national referendum.
During the official opening of the Session, President Kibaki affirmed that it was possible to attain change through popular participation and national consultation.
The Head of State noted that Kenya’s experience was difficult but expressed optimism that the results of enacting the new Constitution and implementation of far-reaching reforms would have deep and lasting impact in the country.
While attending a high level meeting on Sudan at the sidelines of the 65th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Kibaki called on the international community to extend genuine support to the people of Sudan within the IGAD framework during this time they are preparing for the referendum and even thereafter.
The Head of State thanked United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, for convening the meeting because Sudan was staring at a defining moment with regard to the lifespan of implementing the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).
The Head of State affirmed that the IGAD region has faith that the unprecedented political settlement holds the key to peace and stability not only in Sudan but also to her neighbours and the entire region at large.
The President noted that Kenya’s sustainable peace was significantly linked to stability in the Sudan.
President Kibaki told world leaders including US President Barrack Obama, who attended the Sudan talks that he would be calling a special meeting on Sudan in Nairobi in November this year.
The Head of State applauded the parties to the CPA for achieving significant progress in its implementation and for demonstrating remarkable courage under difficult circumstances to remain on course.
The President stated that he was particularly encouraged by the personal assurances he had received from both President Omar al Bashir and First Vice President Salva Kiir to work together to resolve the outstanding issues.
At his hotel in New York, President Kibaki separately met and held discussions with the First Vice-President of Sudan and President of the Southern Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit and Second Vice-President Ali Osman Taha.
During the meetings President Kibaki urged the two parties to remain faithful to the contents and spirit of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement to ensure its successful implementation.
He urged them to remain on course with regard to the forthcoming referendum scheduled for January next year and to ensure it is conducted peacefully as well as to accept the verdict of the process.
They both affirmed to remain faithful in the implementation of the CPA.
President Kibaki also held talks with the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon. The UN Secretary General assured the President that the UN offices in Nairobi will be upgraded with the appointment of Director General to head the office.
During his stay, the President also met Kenyans living and working in the United States of America where he expressed confidence that Kenya had managed to overcome its most difficult phase as a mature nation by enacting a new Constitution.
Addressing hundreds of enthusiastic Kenyans at a New York Hotel, President Kibaki noted that the newly enacted set of laws had disentangled the country from a myriad of challenges that threatened the core foundation of the nation.
“Kenya has overcome one of the most challenging periods in its history. By passing the new Constitution that is all history now. Challenges always confront people and it is possible to overcome. We must now focus on building a modern and prosperous nation,” said the Head of State.
The President expressed joy that many Kenyans appreciated the tremendous progress made in various spheres of lives and the sustained efforts geared towards unity, national development and prosperity.
He said that diverse projects implemented by the government had opened up various parts of the country thus unlocking immense potentiality even in parts previously deemed of insignificant potential.