Nairobi is ‘safe enough’ to host UN office
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’
Deputy President William Ruto addresses the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday