NEW YORK, US, Sept 27 – President Mwai Kibaki on Wednesday asked the international community to invest in the peaceful settlement of international disputes by taking preventive measures and addressing the root causes.,
President Kibaki stressed that it was important to first invest in prevention of disputes and secondly in addressing the root causes of conflicts such as poverty, inequity, disregard for international law, disrespect for each other’s socio-cultural and religious belief among others.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, President Kibaki said many modern disputes and conflicts revolve around concerns of water, available land and agriculture, forests, rivers and lakes adding that environment and the effects of climate change are an important part of the resolutions of disputes and conflicts around the world.
“Strengthening global institutions that deal with the environment, our biodiversity as well as climate change must therefore be a core part of our strategy to avoid conflict and disputes among the peoples of the world”, said President Kibaki.
He said Kenya appreciated the historic decision to strengthen and upgrade United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and reiterated Kenya’s commitment to continue hosting and facilitating the work of a revamped UNEP.
“We look forward to the eventual transformation of UNEP into a fully-fledged organization for the global environment”, said the President.
President Kibaki said Kenyans were saddened by the great suffering and bloodshed endured by populations around the world especially in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Africa.
“It is our belief that when Nations rush to arms, and abandon the option of peaceful settlement of disputes, suffering and bloodshed will ensue. We call upon all warring parties in the world to lay down their arms and pursue the path of peace, dialogue and inclusive resolution of disputes”, said the President.
Regarding Sudan and South Sudan the President said Kenya appreciated the positive developments relating to the long-standing dispute over oil resources adding that Kenya hoped that the agreement marked a first step towards reducing tensions between the two sister-countries.
President Kibaki pl edged that Kenya would continue to support efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to disputes between Sudan and South Sudan and called on the international community to re-double its efforts to fast-track support for social and economic development in South Sudan.
Saying that Kenya’s wellbeing and prosperity was hinged on sustained peace, security, stability and inclusive democracy in the East, Central and Horn of Africa region, President Kibaki said Kenya remained supportive of efforts spearheaded by the African Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the International Conference on the Great Lakes and the East African Community for the peaceful and inclusive settlement of disputes.
He welcomed the UN Secretary-General’s initiative to convene a series of High-Level Meetings during this week to discuss the political and security situations in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan and the Sudan.
On Somalia, the President said Kenya joined the African Union Mission in Somalia and jointly with AMISOM and the Transitional Federal Government forces they liberated large areas of Somalia from Al-Shabaab occupation.
”We are encouraged by recent developments in Somalia and in particular, the election of a new President, Prime Minister and Parliament and adoption of a new Constitution”, said President Kibaki.
The President reiterated Kenya’s position on Palestine noting that she remained concerned that no progress has been achieved on the issue.
“As I stated last year here at the General Assembly, Kenya believes in the Two-State solution where the territorial integrity of Palestine within the 1967 borders is upheld and the peace and security of Israel are both assured and guaranteed. In this regard, it is our hope that Palestine will soon be welcomed into the Community of Nations with full membership in the United Nations”, he said.
The President is accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Professor Sam Ongeri, Kenya’s ambassador to the USA Ambassador Elkana Odembo, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Macharia Kamau, Kenya’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and the Permanent Representative to the African Union, Dr. Monica Juma and Wajir West MP Adan Keynan.