PS MACHARIA KAMAU, HOSTS SPECIAL BLUE ECONOMY EVENT ON THE MARGINS OF KENYA’S OCTOBER PRESIDENCY OF UN SECURITY COUNCIL

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb. Macharia Kamau hosted a high-level Blue Economy side event on the sidelines of Kenya’s Presidency of the United Nations Security Council for the month of October in New York, USA on October 15, 2021.

Speaking at the event, Amb. Kamau stated that the special event was aimed at advancing some of the commitments made during the SBEC 2018 and focus increased attention towards the 2022 UN Oceans Conference to be co-hosted by Kenya and Portugal in Lisbon from 27 June to 1 July 2022.

He added that, Kenya is committed to continue championing the global oceans agenda in order to galvanize the global community to commit to adopting innovative strategies that will hasten the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)14. 

“We believe this conference will make systemic changes to the way the world approaches the conservation and sustainable use of oceans. Kenya’s aspiration is that the Conference will go beyond the re-statement of political commitments and deliver the actions that are necessary and urgent in achieving healthy productive oceans,” PS Kamau said. Representatives of Canada, Japan and Portugal echoed Amb. Kamau’s assurance on joint efforts towards achievement of SDG 14.

Amb. Kamau  also highlighted two forthcoming events that provide opportunity for building momentum to the 2022 Oceans Conference. The events being UNEP@50 Commemorations from 3 to 4 March 2022 at UNON in Nairobi, and Stockholm+50 co-hosted by Kenya and Sweden on 2 and 3  June, 2022

During the Special Blue Economy event co-hosted by Kenya, Canada, Japan and Portugal the book – Science,  Research and Innovation for Harnessing  the Blue Economy, was officially launched.  The book is the outcome of the Science and Research Symposium segment of the 2018 Sustainable Blue Economy Conference (SBEC) that was held in Nairobi , Kenya.

The publication is a collaborative initiative between the Government of Kenya and the Stockholm Environment Institute, and it represents the critical developments that have taken place since the 2018 conference.

 The 156 page book highlights a broad range of red-letter topics canvassed by the knowledge community, including the place of science and research in the blue economy; the sustainable use of minerals and energy resources, including deep sea mining; climate change and the blue economy; sustainable shipping and, maritime transport, management of coastal zones as well as the governance and security of the blue economy. It also highlights a barrage of new initiatives triggered by SBEC 2018 and intended to advance the promise of the blue economy globally

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Peter Thomson, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy  for the Ocean congratulated the Government of Kenya for ensuring the publication of the book, noting that it was “a timely contribution to the repertoire of knowledge, scientific information and innovations that have the potential to inform on the ground actions across the world, that are necessary to inform SDG 14, and all other SGDs that have a water and ocean dimension.” Amb. Thompson said.

He added that it remains impossible, “to have a healthy planet without a healthy ocean and that a sustainable blue economy is humanity’s only hope for a future that can be bequeathed to the next generation”.

The event brought together Permanent Representatives of Canada and Portugal to the United Nations, Deputy Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, representatives from several member states’ Permanent  Missions in New York, UN organizations including UNESCO-IOC,  UN Global Compact. Also in attendance were  the African Union Commission, various multilateral organizations, private sector, NGOs and philanthropic organizations, as well as leading global research and knowledge communities.

KENYA’S PRESIDENCY OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL ADVANCES PAN AFRICANIST IDEALS WITH MEETING ON HAITI

As part of Kenya’s continuing Presidency of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), an Arria Formula meeting on the situation in Haiti was held on Friday, October 15th, 2021. An “Arria formula meeting” refers to an informal meeting of the members of the Security Council, which must be convened by a member of the Council in order for the meeting to take place.

In this instance, the A3+1 grouping, namely, Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – all current members of the Security Counciltogether with a number of co-sponsors, convened the Arria Formula Meeting titled, “Beyond the inconvenient truths about underdevelopment in Haiti: seeking pan-African solutions/pathways and supporting national dialogue and reconciliation”. The meeting, which was convened to engage in a genuine dialogue on how Haiti could transform from its current state to one of stability and focused on the county’s socio-economic development agenda, was attended by a number of dignitaries. H.E. Dr. Ralph E. GONSALVES, the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Amb. Macharia KAMAU, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were the main briefers in the Arria Formula Meeting, while H.E. Ariel HENRY, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Haiti, was the first responder after the initial briefings. H.E. Prof. Peter Anyang’ NYONG’O, Governor of Kisumu County, in Kenya, H.E. Dr. Carla Natalia BARNETT, the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and H.E. Louise MUSHIKIWABO, Secretary- General of La Francophonie, were some of the dignitaries and high-profile participants who graced and addressed the meeting.

It is worth recalling that Haiti was the first country to abolish the reprehensible practice of slavery and one whose triumphant revolution inspired liberation crusades across continents. Unfortunately, Haiti’s glorious march to freedom and independence has suffered tremendous setbacks. As a beacon of freedom and hope for many colonial countries fighting for independence during the 19th and 20th Centuries, Haiti has endured many challenges due to a continuing legacy of slavery, colonization and environmental degradation.

Indeed, speakers at the Arria Formula Meeting on Haiti were all in agreement that the country was in deep crisis, lacked an effectively functioning governmental administration and was saddled with weak public institutions. It was further noted that this had been compounded by a breakdown in national security, law and order, a situation that had culminated in the regrettable assassination of Haiti’s President, H.E. Jovenel MOÏSE.

It was also observed that against this background, there were emerging frustrations within the international community over Haiti’s history of protracted conflicts and related volatile natural disasters, which had persisted institutional failures. Similarly, repeated policies from external interests had failed to address the problems in Haiti, leading to growing reluctance of additional external intervention efforts.

A key outcome of the meeting was that Haiti was in urgent need of very substantial assistance and that in light of Haiti’s history, origins, ethnic make-up, geological location and contribution to the historic Black Liberation struggle, the nations of the Caribbean and Africa – CARICOM and the AU – could provide acceptable and exercise alternate fraternal responsibilities over Haiti.

This significant conclusion of the Arria Formula meeting is consistent with His Excellency President Hon. Uhuru KENYATTA’s sentiments and recommendations, on Haiti, which were conveyed by Principal Secretary Amb. Macharia KAMAU in his remarks.

In this regard, Amb. Kamau noted that President Kenyatta’s pan Africanist ideals were rooted in the firm belief that the familial bonds of blood and heritage that existed between the peoples of Africa and their kith and kin in the Caribbean could never be broken. This belief was further reinforced by the recently convened first ever Africa-CARICOM Summit – under the Chairmanship of President Kenyatta – on September 7th, 2021, as well as by President Kenyatta’s just concluded fruitful visit to the Americas.

As part of President Kenyatta’s engagement world leaders, particularly with the leadership of the Caribbean while in Barbados, the President was persuaded that it was only through demonstrable leadership by members of the CARICOM and Africa – and other partners – that credible solutions to the challenges of Haiti could be proffered.

It is for this reason, and consistent with President Kenyatta’s pan-Africanist worldview, that Kenya promised 2,000 placements in Kenyan training institutions to Haiti. This would be for purposes of capacitating the Haitian government’s governance competencies in their security personnel, health workers, teachers and in any other fields that Haitian authorities would deem vital in turning around their country’s fortunes.

While expressing profound gratitude and welcoming Kenya’s offer for help, the Prime Minister of Haiti appealed to other partners for similar tangible support that would be instrumental in assisting his country break the vicious cycle of crises, which had incessantly hindered Haiti’s progress.

PRESIDENT KENYATTA HEADLINES KENYA’S PRESIDENCY AT THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL BY PRESIDING OVER A HIGH-LEVEL OPEN DEBATE

New York, USA, 12 October 202, (MFA Press) …  His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, on October 12, 2021 headlined Kenya’s Presidency of the United Nations Security Council by presiding over the High-Level Open Debate at the Security Council under the theme – ‘Diversity, State Building and the Search for Peace.”

Speaking at the high-level signature event, President Kenyatta highlighted that rampant mismanagement of diversity was a grave threat to international peace and security.

The President stressed that exclusion of people and societies, based on their identities, was often institutionalized in governance and economic relations at national and global level resulting to inequality.   He underscored that this often leads to bitterness and frustration, which is vulnerable to exploitations leading to deteriorating trust in institutions and weakening of state legitimacy.

The President regretted the global mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic saying vaccine nationalism, travel bans and red listing of countries were a clear indicator of the international communities’ inability to manage diversity.

For effective management of diversity, President Kenyatta, invited the international community to accept the need to change national and global economic and governance systems and called for safety rails in domestic polity of members states, buttressed by reformed international institutions that were not only fit for purpose, but also transparent and inclusive.

The High-Level Open Debate was briefed by the UN Secretary-General, H.E. António Guterres, H.E. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, H.E. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa and Honourable Fawzia Koofi, former Deputy – and only female – Speaker of the Afghan Parliament.

In the ensuing deliberations Council members, as well as the briefers noted that failure to properly manage diversity was the core root cause of a majority of civil wars and violent conflicts. This was also exacerbated by power imbalances in many of the conflicting societies.

The open debate concluded that peacebuilding was an ongoing process in the constant search for peace through dialogue and building consensus. In the same manner, peace building was described as not merely a technical enterprise, but rather a deeply political and human activity that had to factor all attendant emotional connections and recollections.

KENYA SIGNS THREE AGREEMENTS WITH BARBADOS

Kenya has signed three bilateral agreements with Barbados that are meant to promote and enhance bilateral and trade relations between Kenya and the Island nation.  The agreements on Trade and Investment, Bilateral Air Service and the International Section of the National Botanical Garden were signed following a Joint Business forum and a Joint Commission for Cooperation JCC.

Kenya Foreign Cabinet Secretary Amb Raychelle Omamo signed on behalf of the Kenyan government while Lisa Cummins and Andrian Forde, Barbados ministers for Tourism and International Transport and Environment and Natural Beautification respectively, represented their country. The signing ceremony in Bridgetown was witnessed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mia Mottley, Prime minister of Barbados.

The Agreement on Trade and Investment provides the framework for the establishment of a Joint Committee on Trade and Investment as a well as engagement between the respective Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

President Kenyatta said the African continent can bring back to the African continent the Caribbean region on matters education, culture and Sports. “This is an area where we are hoping to find great success that will make it easy for the business men and women, those seeking to reengage with the African continent, to be able to do so without having to wait for visas through third parties” President Kenyatta said.

H.E Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados said relations, trade and investment can thrive between the two countries if the middle men are removed in our business engagement.

“nothing should separate us, Kenya and Barbados must be resilient to the times whether the times are affected by the pandemic or other causes” she said with reference to Covid 19 pandemic and the hurricane storm that hit the country in recent past.

On environmental conservation, Kenya made a commitment to provide support for the development of the International section of the National Botanical Garden (NBG) in Barbados as a permanent reminder of the Bajans African Heritage and Connection with the African people but also the need to protect and preserve bio diversity.

Through the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, Kenya can take advantage of direct flights to New York through code sharing with airlines flying Barbados. This will improve trade relations through export of Kenyan horticultural products.

Other areas the two countries are seeking to collaborate included Agriculture, Health, Education, Tourism, arts and culture, and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT).

KENYA’S SIGNATURE EVENT AT THE HELM OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL –THREAT POSED BY ILLICIT FLOWS OF SMALL ARMS AND LIGHT WEAPONS.

Kenya as the President of the Security Council in the month of October 2021, held the first signature event on Illicit Small Arms and Light Weapons on October 6, 2021 at the Security Council Chambers in New York.  The focus of the meeting was to address the threat posed by illicit flows of small arms and light weapons, in the context of peacekeeping operations.

Addressing the Security Council, Amb. Dr. Martin Kimani, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN, highlighted that the issue of the destabilizing accumulation, transfer and destructive impact of illicit small arms and light weapons and their proliferation constituted a major threat to international peace and security.

“They may be small and light. But that is exactly what makes them more dangerous especially when placed in the wrong hands. By their very nature, small arms are easy to acquire, easy to use, easy to transport and easy to conceal,” Amb. Kimani stressed.

To address this challenge, the Permanent Representative called for a comprehensive architecture built by collaboration and coordination among the relevant UN organs and agencies, regional and sub-regional organizations, as well as civil society.

He urged support in strengthening of regional initiatives, like the African Union’s initiative to silence the guns, as well as those of several regional, sub-regional and national institutions. This was with a particular emphasis on relevant aspects such as securing storage of weapons and ammunition, as well as sensitization and collection, and destruction of illicit small arms and light weapons.

 

It is critical also to strengthen the capacity of United Nations missions and governments in weapons and ammunition management for purposes of prevention of diversion and illicit trade of small arms and light weapons.

The UNSC President re-emphasized Kenya’s support for continued discussion on the subject with a view to seeking effective ways of supporting peace operations.

The session was addressed by three briefers; Ms. Izumi NAKAMITSU, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Gen. Badreldin Elamin ABDELGADIR, THE Executive Secretary of the Regional Centre on Small Arms in the Great Lakes Region, the Horn of Africa and Bordering States (RECSA) and Mr. David LOCHHEAD, a senior researcher on matters of small arms.

A3+1 CALLS FOR INTENSIFIED HUMANITARIAN SUPPORT FOR DRC

As part of Kenya’s ongoing Presidency of the United Nations Security Council, the Council convened on October 5, 2021 to discuss the United Nations Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO).

The briefing on MONUSCO was chaired by Amb. Dr. Martin KIMANI, Kenya’s Permanent Representative and President of the Security Council for the month of October, 2021 who read a statement on behalf of the A3+1 (Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines).

Speaking at the briefing, the Permanent Representative underscored that, “the A3+1 condemns all forms of human rights abuses and violence against civilians and demand that all armed groups cease the despicable atrocities.”

The A3+1 commended the international community for supporting the dire humanitarian situation in eastern DRC and urged the need to scale up assistance. They took note of the joint transition plan for MONUSCO and called for a clear transition, efficient transfer of important tasks and enhanced peace building efforts that promote post-conflict reconstruction.

Acknowledging the progress made by the Government of DRC in diminishing armed group activities, the Permanent Representative commended the positive regional dynamics led by H.E. President Felix TSHISEKEDI and the leadership of neighbouring countries. This is with a view of further consolidation of their bilateral ties and mutual cooperation, which would reinforce peace and stability.

“We commend the efforts made by the government, with support of MONUSCO to improve and strengthen its weapons and ammunition’s management systems. We encourage continued regional approaches such as the Nairobi Protocol for Prevention, Control and Reduction of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the Great Lake Region,” Amb. Kimani emphasized.

The Permanent Representative, reiterated the A3+1 steadfast support for MONUSCO in the efforts to provide security for the civilian population and support the strengthening of key state institutions in the DRC.

“We stand in solidarity with the government and the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their quest for sustainable peace and socio-economic prosperity,” Amb. Kimani said.

The meeting was briefed by Ms. Bintou Keita, Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO); Abdou Abarry, Permanent Representative of Niger to the United Nations; In addition, two members of the civil society – Ms. Nelly Godelive MBANGU, president of Dynamique des femmes’ jurists and Ms. Nelly MBANGU, coordinator of Sauti y’a Mama Mukongomani (Voice of Congolese Women) – also addressed the Council.

KENYA CALLS FOR SUSTAINABLE SOLUTION IN SYRIA

Kenya as the President of the United Nations Security Council for the month of October 2021, chaired the briefing and consultations on the Middle East, specifically on the Syrian Arab Republic’s Chemical Weapons File on October 4, 2021.

Speaking at the briefing, Amb. Martin Kimani, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and President of the Council, underscored Kenya’s position on the use of chemical weapons saying that, “the use of chemical weapons constitutes a grave violation of international law and cannot be justified under any circumstance.”

“Kenya as a State Party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, reiterates its support for the mandate of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as the technically competent International authority in its area of work,” the PR said.

He encouraged cooperation and engagement between the Syrian Arab Republic and the OPCW regarding the unresolved issues and underscored Kenya’s support on an inclusive Syrian-led and Syrian owned political process as the only avenue to a sustainable solution.

The Council was briefed by Ms. Izumi NAKAMITSU, the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, with the representatives of both the Syrian Arab Republic and of Turkey participating under rule 37 of the Provisional Rules of Procedure.

A3+1 COUNTRIES CALL FOR UNITY IN HAITI

Amb. Martin Kimani, Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN and President to the United Nations Security Council for the month of October 2021, chaired the briefing on the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) on October 4, 2021.

A statement read on behalf of the A3+1 (Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) expressed deep concern about the multifaceted crisis facing Haiti and called for intensified attention of the international community to stabilize the current situation.

The statements read by H.E. Inga Rhonda King, the Permanent Representative of the Saint Vincent and Grenadines, stressed that the Caribbean nation required urgent, specific and sustained support, deepened solidarity, enhanced partnership and strengthened cooperation within Haiti from the international community.

“The only solution to the existing political impasse is through a genuine, inclusive, broad based Haitian-owned and Haitian-led national dialogue process,” read the statement.

The A3+1 called for All Haitian stakeholders, contending political forces to set aside their differences, build trust and unite in the common interest of the Haitian people.

They reiterated the call for international support to strengthen the states security an assist in preventing Haiti from further descending into an abyss.

“Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines stands in solidarity with Haiti”

The briefing session was addressed by two briefers; Amb. Helen La LIME, the Special Representative and Head of the UN Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), and Ms. Emmanuela DOUYON, a Haitian civil society member. H.E. Claude JOSEPH, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Worship of Haiti, also addressed the Council.

The Council members and the briefers noted the challenges, coupled with rising insecurity in the country had conspired to perpetuate economic, socio-political, environmental and humanitarian crises in the country.  They observed the need to engage and assist Haiti as it risked being forgotten in the crisis.

KENYA ASSUMES THE PRESIDENCY OF THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL (UNSC)

On Friday, October 1st, 2021, Kenya assumed the rotational Presidency of the United Nations Security Council, a water shed moment in the country’s two-year tenure at the Security Council. The significance of Kenya presiding over Council’s affairs stems from the fact that the UN Security Council is the principal organ for the maintenance and furtherance of international peace and security.

Kenya is also a member of the AU Peace and Security Council, the standing decision-making organ of the African Union for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in the Continent. It is, too, a critical component of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). These concurrent memberships implies that Kenya’s Presidency of the UN Security Council constitutes a powerful representation of Africa in guiding the work of the Council on global peace and security concerns.

Kenya’s membership of the UN Security Council is in keeping with the country’s desire to shape the global security environment in order to make Kenya – and Kenyans – safer. Accordingly, the October 2021 Presidency of the Council will provide a strategic platform to imprint on the Council Kenyan – as well as African – ethos in addressing global security challenges. Indeed, as an anchor of stability within the region, Kenya has remained as a strong voice for Africa, as well as the Caribbean and the Pacific in addressing the intractable challenges that face the world. Against this background, a number of High-Level Signature events have been considered that will not only anchor the country’s Presidency of the Council, but will also be vital in advancing His Excellency President Uhuru KENYATTA’s Pan Africanist vision. President Kenyatta is scheduled to chair two High Level Debates at the Heads of State and Government level, while Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle OMAMO will chair two Ministerial High-Level Debates.

Similarly, two Arria Formula meetings of the Security Council will be convened during Kenya’s Presidency. These meetings will be in an effort to proffer practical and innovative solutions to challenges that particularly affect Africa and its Diaspora. The first one will be on Haiti, a country where slavery was first abolished and one whose triumphant Revolution inspired liberation crusades across continents. Unfortunately, Haiti’s glorious march to freedom and independence has suffered tremendous setbacks. As a beacon of freedom and hope for many colonial countries fighting for independence during the 19th and 20th Centuries, Haiti has endured many challenges due to a continuing legacy of slavery, colonization and environmental degradation. The convening of the Arria Formula meeting by the A-3+1 (Kenya, Niger, Tunisia and St Vincent and the Grenadines) therefore, will not only be consistent with His Excellency President Kenyatta’s Pan Africanist vision, but will also, hopefully, go a long way in addressing the security, political, economic, humanitarian and human rights crises that Haiti faces today.

The second Arria Formula meeting during Kenya’s Presidency will be on the role of social media in advancing hate speech. The organizing capabilities of social media has an acute implication in the context of peace and security matters. Kenya remains aware of how the convening and mobilizing powers of social media platforms have been demonstrated in electioneering periods. And while remaining keen on the positive impact of these platforms, it will be borne in mind that mobilized negatively in the context of hate speech, social media platforms can be a destabilizing factor in societies that are in transition.

The Kenyan Presidency of the Council will, therefore, offer a platform where hate speech and social media platforms – particularly in electioneering periods – can be deliberated. This would be with a view of drawing out and addressing pitfalls associated with negative deployment of these platforms.

Kenya remains cognizant that a successful Presidency of the Council in the month of October 2021 will not only be vital in the advancement of its foreign policy objectives, but will also contribute to a safer, secure and prosperous Africa and the world.

 

 

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Monday, October 4, 2021