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Kenyan MPs trip to NY for UN Conference cancelled due to Coronavirus

Kenyan MPs trip to NY for UN Conference cancelled due to Coronavirus

Kenyan MPs trip to NY for UN Conference cancelled due to CoronavirusMembers of Parliament who were scheduled to travel to the UN Status of Women Conference have been asked to refund their per diems.

This comes after organizers of the conference restricted attendance to missions due to concerns related to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The 64th session of the Commission on the Status of Women begins on March 9.

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House Speaker Justin Muturi said they received communication from the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), through the Ministry of Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs, indicating that the planned meeting has now been scaled down from the initial two weeks to one day.

“Member States will be represented at this meeting by their Permanent Missions based at the UN Headquarters in New York. Following the outbreak, general debate and all planned side events have been cancelled,” Muturi said.

He added, “Countries have been advised against sending any delegations to the 64th CSW taking place in New York”.

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Muturi said the scheduled travel by the representatives of the National Assembly, therefore, stands cancelled with immediate effect.

“This will be so unless contrary information is received from the UN. The House should note that the ongoing pandemic may affect other future travels,” Muturi said.

“I, therefore, request Members to be patient and bear with us on this matter of international magnitude. The House is thus accordingly guided,” the speaker said.

The meeting, which has been traditionally a preserve of women lawmakers, elicited interests “from the unusual quarters”.

Suna East MP Junet Mohammed had rallied Parliament for the inclusion of men in the list of attendees.

Parliament intended to send a delegation of 15 MPs to the week-long meeting, a list Junet wanted to be scrutinised.

He said they were briefed at an earlier UN forum – May 2019 – that the conference is not just about the woman but both genders.

“Any delegation that is sent to the conference must consist of both genders – male and female. We want to have a 50:50 representation,” he said.

The MP, in seeking Speaker Justin Muturi’s intervention, said they had been ignorant of the provision for men to attend.

“I am saying this because we did not know it was that way until we attended the UN meeting. We (men) have a lot to contribute to the advancement of women affairs. There is a lot to add to the welfare, well-being and advancement of women agenda,” the MP said.

Women lawmakers attend the UN forum under the Kenya Women Parliamentary Association.

BY MOSES ODHIAMBO

Source-the-star.co.ke

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