UN to help Kenya fight terrorism, says Ban Ki-Moon
United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Saturday said the UN is determined to work with the Kenya government in combating terrorism.
He said the UN will support Kenya’s efforts to fight the global vice by boosting the capacity of the country’s security agencies.
“I have had a very fruitful discussion on major political and security issues concerning counter-terrorism, Somalia, South Sudan and the Great Lakes region,” the UN Secretary General said.
“We have exchanged views at length about how the UN and Kenya can work together in countering the heinous attacks against the people and the country,” he added.
Mr Ban made the remarks when he addressed the press after holding talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
He commended President Kenyatta for playing a leading role in the war against terrorism and also in environmental conservation.
“It is my hope that under President Kenyatta’s leadership Kenya will enjoy prosperity, peace, harmony and security. I thank you very much Mr President for your leadership,” Mr Ban said.
Noting that millions of tourists visit Kenya every year to marvel at its natural heritage, the UN Secretary General regretted that the country’s wildlife is under threat from poaching, illegal wildlife trafficking, and human-wildlife conflicts.
He cautioned that wildlife crime is not a simple threat to animals but also a major security impediment as it has links to organised crime and also insurgent groups.
“The same routes used to smuggle wildlife products and timber across countries are often used to traffic weapons, drugs and people,” he said.
On renewable energy, Mr Ban said Kenya is moving faster than other countries and deserves to be emulated if the world is to achieve its target of reducing global temperatures by two degrees.
“Kenya is emerging as a leader in renewable energy policies. It is also a long standing giant in the world of environmental conservation,” he said.
President Kenyatta said the presence of the UN Secretary General in Nairobi was of great significance as it sent a strong message that the environment is now taking its rightful place on the global agenda.
The President expressed satisfaction that the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted a landmark decision on stopping illegal trade in wildlife.
“For the last six months, my government has worked hard to bring this debate to the Environmental Assembly (UNEA). The hard work paid off with its adoption as one of the themes that the ministers would debate,” the President said.
He said the Kenyan government has taken decisive steps to halt poaching and trafficking in wildlife and will implement UNEA’s decision to strengthen the overall effort against the illegal wildlife trade.
President Kenyatta pledged the government’s continued commitment to nurturing the United Nations activities in Kenya.
“It is a priority for my government and for our people. Our commitment, plus the presence of a globally competitive pool of Kenyan professionals and the geographical centrality of Kenya to a region that is the subject of so much United Nations action, means that we offer real value to the UN organisations operating here,” the President said.
He added that he was pleased that the presence of the UN in Kenya continues to grow and deepen with UNAids establishing its global IT hub in Nairobi and the World Health Organisation locating its global security unit in the same city.