Ongeri Confirms Excellent Kenya, Australia Relations
May 22, 2012
Foreign Minister Sam Ongeri has today held discussions with Australian High Commissioner to Kenya, Geoff Tooth on bilateral relations.
During the meeting, Ongeri confirmed the excellent state of Kenya, Australia relations as attested to by the various areas of cooperation between the two countries. The minister thanked the Australian Government for the continued humanitarian support extended to Kenya and in particular towards the recent drought and famine in the Horn of Africa region. Following the UN appeal for countries to respond to the drought crisis, Australia increased its assistance to the crisis to $ 30 million. Among other programmes sponsored by the Australian government in Kenya include food security, agricultural research, reforestation, water and sanitation, health and scholarships.
The two also discussed a number of other issues including the security situation in Somalia, the Sudan/South Sudan conflict and piracy off the Coast of Somalia.
At the meeting, the Minister also drew attention to the upcoming Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, whose outcome is expected to have significant implications on environmental governance. Prof Ongeri expressed Kenya’s aspirations at the conference- to realize the strengthening and elevation of UNEP into a body with universal membership based in Nairobi. That way, he said, UNEP will be well-equipped to guide environmental policy and programmes to bring about sustainable development.
His Excellency Tooth in his remarks signalled Australia’s Government intention to move towards supporting areas that involves transfer of skills and expertise including mining and agriculture. The focus he said was on poverty reduction and sustainable development.