Nairobi is ‘safe enough’ to host UN of­fice

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics - PAUL ILADO IN NEW YORK @IladoPaul

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto has made a strong case for keep­ing the UN’s sub-Sa­ha­ran of­fice in Nairobi de­spite warn­ings of in­se­cu­rity.

Speak­ing to world lead­ers when he ad­dressed the 71st United Na­tions Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York on Wed­nes­day, Ruto said it is im­por­tant that the world agency main­tains its pres­ence across the world, es­pe­cially in Kenya.

“We urge con­tin­ued strength­en­ing of the United Na­tions foot­print across the world in gen­eral and par­tic­u­larly of the United Na­tions of­fice in Nairobi,” he said. It was the DP’s first ad­dress to the 198-mem­ber assem­bly. Ruto is lead­ing Kenya’s del­e­ga­tion to the Assem­bly on be­half of Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta.

There has been de­bate about the fu­ture of the only UN head­quar­ters in sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa. Some peo­ple say it should be moved out of Nairobi for se­cu­rity rea­sons.

But the Deputy Pres­i­dent said keep­ing the of­fice in Nairobi will grow the rel­e­vance and en­hance the le­git­i­macy of the United Na­tions world­wide, and es­pe­cially in Africa.

Ruto urged lead­ers to speed re­forms to the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil so that Africa can get a per­ma­nent seat. “Kenya is deeply con­cerned that progress to­wards ad­dress­ing the his- tor­i­cal in­jus­tice in the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the African con­ti­nent and its peo­ple on the coun­cil re­mains slow and un­promis­ing,” he said.

Ruto urged the assem­bly to strive to achieve greater gen­uine progress in ad­dress­ing in­jus­tices. The African Union has been push­ing for a per- ma­nent seat on the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil which has five per­ma­nent mem­bers.

They are the US, Bri­tain, France, Rus­sia and China. Ger­many, like Africa, is also fight­ing to join the Big Five and it is cit­ing its large econ­omy in Europe as the ba­sis for ad­mis­sion. Brazil and In­dia also want a seat on the coun­cil. Ruto said Kenya is grap­pling with un­em­ploy­ment, es­pe­cially for women and the youth.

“If we do not suc­ceed at main­stream­ing gen­der and in­te­grat­ing youth in our vi­sion, goals and agen­das, we will fall mis­er­ably short of our am­bi­tion. This is why Kenya con­tin­ues to re­main fo­cused on the pri­or­i­ties of the youth and women in­clud­ing build­ing and fi­nanc­ing spe­cial pro­grammes for their full in­te­gra­tion and main­stream­ing,” he said.

Ruto said Kenya is re­ly­ing on tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate jobs for the youth. “Tech­no­log­i­cal in­ven­tions, in­clud­ing M-Pesa are help­ing us leapfrog into the fu­ture. They prom­ise to bring greater pros­per­ity and in­te­gra­tion,” he said.

Ruto said Kenya is look­ing for last­ing peace solutions for South Su­dan and So­mali.

MAIN­TAIN­ING OF­FICE ‘WILL EN­HANCE UN LE­GIT­I­MACY’

/DPPS

Deputy Pres­i­dent Wil­liam Ruto ad­dresses the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly in New York on Wed­nes­day

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