, UNITED NATIONS, Sep 23 – US President Barak Obama has praised Kenya at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, saying it is a beacon of democracy after the passage of the new Constitution.
Mr Obama mentioned Kenya in the same context as Asian countries that he is set to visit later this year, which peacefully threw off colonialism and established a thriving democracy of over a billion people.
“Each of these countries gives life to democratic principles in their own way. And even as some governments roll back reform, we also celebrate the courage of a President in Colombia who willingly steps aside, or the promise of a new Constitution in Kenya. The common thread of progress is the principle that government is accountable to its citizens,” he said.
He was addressing fellow Heads of State and Government at the opening session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
“The diversity in this room makes clear – no one country has all the answers, but all of us must answer to our own people. In all parts of the world, we see the promise of innovation to make government more open and accountable.”
He said the US will continue to support open societies which support open governments.
“Now, we must build on that progress. And when we gather back here next year, we should bring specific commitments to promote transparency; to fight corruption; to energise civic engagement; and to leverage new technologies so that we strengthen the foundation of freedom in our own countries, while living up to ideals that can light the world.”
President Mwai Kibaki is among world leaders who have gathered for the annual meeting in New York.