Kibaki arrives in New York for UN General Assembly


President Mwai Kibaki arrived in New York, in the United States of America to attend the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The plane carrying the President and his entourage touched down at the JF Kennedy International Airport in New York shortly before 8:00 pm Kenyan time on Saturday evening.

On arrival, the Head of State was received by senior officials from the Governments of the United States and Kenya.

At hand to receive the President were staff at Kenya’s Mission in New York led by the Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amb. Macharia Kamau and his Washington counterpart Amb. Elkana Odembo among others.

During the Assembly, President Kibaki will brief fellow heads of state on the outcome of last week’s summit on the Horn of Africa crises.

The Head of State will be seeking international support for implementation of the "Nairobi Strategy" adopted for enhanced partnership to eradicate drought emergencies in the Horn of Africa.

He will also be calling for international support to find a permanent solution to the crises in Somalia that has led to an unprecedented influx of refugees into Kenya that is hosting over 500,000 Somalia refugees. The U.N has convened a special high-level summit on Somalia next week.

The theme of this year’s assembly is "The role of mediation in the settlement of disputes by peaceful means." This is a pertinent issue to Kenya due to the role the country has played in brokering peace in the region.

The UNGA assembly will hold sessions on peaceful settlement of disputes, a need that has become more relevant and urgent than ever at the international scene.

The General Assembly will also deliberate on mechanisms of tackling looming crises from conflicts to climate change, and reaffirm its commitment to the service of peace.

The forum is expected to examine the primacy and progress towards the attainment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for the sake of sustainable development and global prosperity.

Other key issues in the assembly’s agenda include desertification, land degradation and drought in the context of sustainable development apart from commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration.

The Head of State is accompanied by Cabinet Ministers Moses Wetangula, Beth Mugo, Chirau Mwakwere, Dr Noah Wekesa, Wycliffe Oparanya and other senior government officials.


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