, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 26 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday reiterated his government’s commitment to the ideals of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 42 years after it was headquartered in Kenya under his father Jomo Kenyatta’s administration.
“Let me reaffirm that Kenya remains fully committed to the ideals which the United Nations Environment Programme was established to pursue. My government will therefore work closely with you so that we can implement your mandate unhindered,” he assured.
He added that the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), whose high level segment he was opening, was also a sign that the global community recognised the importance of the Environmental pillar in the context of sustainable development.
“To enjoy the economic growth that we need so urgently in a peaceful and just world we need a better balance between the economic, social and environmental approaches to development. The proceedings here today are proof the environment is no longer the poor cousin of the trio,” he said.
And it was in recognition of which, he said, the environment would be given due consideration as Kenya strives to achieve its Vision 2030 goals.
“Our approach to this prosperous future has an important rider, all this development must be environmentally viable,” he said.
President Kenyatta went on to call on the delegates to give the illegal trade in wildlife the attention it deserved and to pledge to work with Kenya in eradicating the demand for ivory.
“Let me state that no country can defeat the trade in illegal wildlife products alone. Global demand is strong enough and the poachers ruthless enough to require a joint effort if our heritage is to be preserved,” he impressed upon the delegates.
A report released by the UNEP on Tuesday showed that USD 213 billion is generated annually from environmental crimes that includes poaching.
The proceeds of which finance criminal enterprises including terror attacks and militia in conflict zones.
President Kenyatta opened UNEA’s high level segment alongside His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco and the President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly John Ash.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon was absent but is on Friday expected to close the inaugural UNEA, which opened on Monday at the United Nations Offices in Nairobi (UNON).