President Uhuru Kenyatta today affirmed Kenya ’s support of a historic UN Political Declaration, declaring 2019-2028, the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace.
The President called on other world leaders to emulate the values that defined Nelson Mandela, the first democratically elected South African President and global civil rights icon so as to enhance peaceful co-existence among people.
Speaking during the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit on the sidelines of the ongoing 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Kenyatta affirmed Kenya’s commitment to the values of Nelson Mandela and pursuance of the ideals that defined his legacy including the promotion of peace, reconciliation, non-discrimination as well as protection and promotion of human rights.
“I welcome, in particular, the recognition of the period 2019 to 2028 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Peace as constant reminder to all Member States to redouble efforts in the pursuance of peace, development and human rights,” said President Kenyatta.
The President described the late Nelson Mandela as a beacon of hope, whose ideals continue to inspire Kenya to nurture and consolidate social cohesion and peaceful coexistence between people of different tribes and races.
“Madiba inspires us to seek regional peace and political stability,” said the President.
He said that Kenya has over the years supported peace and political stabilization of Somalia through hosting and facilitation of negotiations, contributing troops to AMISOM and providing technical capacity support.
The Head of State added that through regional and international support, remarkable progress has been made in achieving peace and security in Somalia.
On the ongoing South Sudan peace process, President Kenyatta underlined the progress so far made while committing that Kenya, alongside other IGAD member countries, is seeking a sustainable solution to the political challenges facing the young nation.
The President said the recent steps of signing the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan have brought a glimmer of hope not only to the citizens of South Sudan but to the horn of Africa as a whole.
“We earnestly hope that in the spirit of this Peace Summit, parties to the Revitalized Agreement will set their differences aside and work together in its implementation for the good of South Sudanese who have borne the brunt of the unnecessary civil war,” said President Kenyatta.
The Kenyan Head of State said the greatest honour world leaders can bestow on Madiba and other African heroes is to emulate them and determinedly work towards a united, peaceful and prosperous continent.
“We should rededicate ourselves to African solidarity with shared values of freedom and human dignity,” said the President.
“We should seek home-grown solutions to our challenges and pursue amicable negotiated settlement to disputes for sustainable peace and political stability which are prerequisites for meaningful socio-economic development, ” President Kenyatta added.
Speaking when he opened the day-long peace event, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called on world leaders to build on Nelson Mandela’s legacy, saying his fight against apartheid marked a landmark in human rights and freedom.
“Today, we remember a man of great wisdom, quiet dignity and towering achievement, who worked tirelessly for peace and human dignity for people everywhere,” Guterres said.
To commemorate the peace summit, United Nations Secretary General unveiled a statue of Mandela at UN headquarters in New York.
Before the peace summit, President Kenyatta joined other world leaders in committing themselves to taking specific measures aimed at combating the drug menace.
Speaking at the event, US President Donald Trump said the scourge of drug addiction can be firmly dealt with if leaders join hands to come up with specific measures to dismantle drug cartels and save lives.
“All of us must work together to dismantle drug production and defeat drug addiction,” said President Trump.
Earlier, President Kenyatta held bilateral talks with the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen during which the Austrian leader invited President Kenyatta to the Africa-European Union summit to be held in Austria in December.
During the December meeting, Kenya will play a pivotal role as a role model for Africa in innovation and technology at the conference.
On his part, President Kenyatta invited the Austrian leader, who was accompanied by his Federal Chancellor Sébastien Kurz to the blue economy conference to be held in Nairobi on 27th November.
President Kenyatta further sought Austria’s support in Kenya’s bid for a non permanent member of the UN Security Council in the period 2021 to 2022.
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