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Kibaki heads to NY for United Nations meet

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – President Mwai Kibaki is due to depart for New York to attend the 66th Session of United Nations General Assembly on Friday night.

During the meeting, President Kibaki will brief fellow Heads of State on the outcome of last week’s summit on the Horn of Africa crises.

The President will be seeking international support for implementation of the “Nairobi strategy” adopted for enhanced partnership to eradicate drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa. The summit came up with short term and long term solutions to address the perennial challenges of drought and famine in the region.

The President will call for international assistance to find a permanent solution to the crisis in Somalia that has led to an unprecedented influx of refugees into Kenya that is hosting over 500,000 Somalia refugees. The UN has convened a special high-level summit on Somalia next week.

The theme for this year’s assembly is “The role of mediation in the settlement of disputes by peaceful means” which is a pertinent issue for Kenya due to the role the country has played in brokering peace in the region.

The 66th Session of the UN assembly will among other issues seek to address the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases worldwide, with a particular focus on developmental challenges, social and economic impacts for developing countries.

The UN summit will also discuss ways of tackling cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – and the common risk factors of tobacco use, alcohol abuse, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and environmental carcinogens.

Other key issues to be examined during the session include desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development apart from commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration.

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The United Nations General Assembly is one of the five principal organs of the United Nations and the only one in which all member nations have equal representation.

Its powers are to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions.

The plane carrying President Kibaki and his entourage is expected to depart Jomo Kenyatta International Airport shortly before midnight on Friday.

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