, NEW YORK, United States Sep 26 —President Uhuru Kenyatta has thanked world governments for trusting Kenya with the role of spearheading the process that led to the adoption of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.
Speaking when he addressed a special UN Summit held to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals, President Kenyatta also thanked UN member states and other stakeholders for patiently engaging in negotiations culminating in a blueprint to galvanise global action towards ending poverty in all its forms.
Kenya co-chaired the inter-governmental process that led to the formulation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals are 17 objectives aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality and will replace the Millennium Development Goals that were adopted by UN member states 15 years ago.
President Kenyatta said inequality was still rife in the world and much more resources as well as policy dedication was required to mend the rifts.
“We must acknowledge that progress has been uneven across the world and across the Goals. There remains huge disparities between and within countries” said the President. “Within countries, rural poverty remains unacceptably high while urban poverty is extensive, growing, and underreported by traditional indicators” said the President.
He said in some parts of Africa, child and maternal mortality were rising instead of decreasing.
The President said Kenya has made tremendous progress over the last decade in addressing factors that have contributed to inequalities.
He cited the 116 per cent rise in the gross enrolment rate in primary schools since the introduction of universal free primary education in 2003.
“Even more significantly we have now achieved gender parity in the primary school cycle while the transition from primary to secondary and tertiary have greatly improved,” he said.
The Head of State also cited the numerous measures introduced in recent years to promote gender mainstreaming including policies in procurement and rules on employment.
Earlier in the afternoon, President Kenyatta chaired the first of the six sideline events of the summit of the Post 2015 Agenda. The theme of the interactive dialogue was “tackling inequalities, empowering women and girls and leaving no one behind”.
He said the objective of the new Agenda of attaining a world free of poverty and hunger within the next 15 years is a good starting point of addressing inequalities.
The President said it is possible to eradicate inequalities if all nations are committed to eliminate discrimination, spend more on healthcare and making it affordable, create decent work and strive towards creating full employment.
The fourth point suggested by the President to address inequalities is improvement of infrastructure for water and sanitation , transportation, energy and information.
“Measures to reduce and redistribute unpaid care work; legal and policy reform to ensure full and equal access to financial and productive resources and assets, especially for women; and universal social protection floors should be a priority,” said the President.
President Kenyatta said inequality can be eradicated and added he was happy to note that the new development agenda voices the needs and rights of those who are furthest behind.
“Inequality can be tackled, it is up to the policy makers to build comprehensive strategies for inclusive growth and better wealth distribution,” said the President.
The session was co-chaired by the President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic.