, NEW YORK, United States, Sep 25 – Friday marks a significant milestone for Kenya, when nations across the world adopt the Social Development Goals (SDGs) which the country helped formulate.
Kenya’s ambassador to the United Nations Macharia Kamau, co-chaired the Open Working Group with Csaba Korosi (Hungary’s Permanent Representative to the UN) which developed the SDGs which are the post-2015 global development framework beyond the Millennium Development Goals.
“We are proud as a mission and country in providing leadership for the world and the next generation.
This is a far sighted agenda and not navel gazing,” Kamau told journalists late Thursday in New York.
The 17 new Sustainable Development Goals aim to end poverty, hunger and inequality, take action on climate change and the environment, improve access to health and education, build strong institutions and partnerships.
Kenya also co-facilitated the 2030 agenda which was finalised in July, and will be adopted by Heads of State at the UN General Assembly taking place in New York. “This is not just for Africa, but the world.”
He explained that this is the first global agenda negotiated collectively by both developing and developed nations across the globe, and the adoption will be historical.
“There is a paradigm shift from the lessons learnt from the last 15 to 20 years. Many nations that have transformed themselves have done so because of domestic decisions. We cannot wait for people to come and invest in resolving our problems.”
He went on to explain that Kenya is expected to host and participate in high level meetings on the sidelines of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.
President Uhuru Kenyatta was expected in New York early Friday, and will take part in major events at the UN meeting, in addition to holding bilateral talks in the sidelines.
“The Head of State will co-chair sessions with President Xi Jinping, the President of Croatia and the President of Malawi. There are also six to seven events that Kenya is hosting at presidential level… this is unique since some countries are hosting none,” Macharia said.
President Kenyatta is also expected at two events hosted by President Obama on peacekeeping and violent extremism. He will also be at an event hosted by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). Kenya is due to host the next TICAD.
He is also to hold bilateral meetings with UK Prime Minister David Cameron, the leaders of Latvia, Guyana, South Africa, Tanzania and Mozambique among other nations.
Issues specific to Africa that Kenya has interest in include peace and security specifically in South Sudan, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
There are also meetings lined up with investors and the private sector.
In an interview earlier, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed pointed out that the issue of the International Criminal Court was not a Kenyan concern alone.
She sought to downplay the sticking point of the application of Rule 68 in the Kenyan cases saying: “It’s not just about Kenya but the relation of the ICC with Africa. There will be a meeting on the 27th to discuss these concerns; and it is not just a coincidence.”
On the ICC, ambassador Kamau said: “We are concerned that the understanding in 2013 (during the Assembly of States Parties) is not being respected. The use of recanted evidence in a manner that is prejudicial is a concern.”
He also spoke on the need for oversight for the ICC, explaining that any institution needs a mechanism to keep, it in check. “Here in the US, it’s not uncommon to hear prosecutors being charged over misconduct. Why shouldn’t we expect oversight for the ICC?”