President William Ruto will lead the Kenyan delegation in enhancing the country’s participation in realization of SDGs and discussion on climate change.
This is part of President Ruto’s bid to promote Kenya’s Foreign Policy at the multilateral system as he leads the country’s elegation to the 77th United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA.
While there, President Ruto will attend the high-level segment of the annual United Nations meeting from September 20-23.
“Participation at the highest level in the UNGA is particularly important for Kenya as the country seeks to complete the second year of its non-permanent membership to the United Nations Security Council,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday.
The statement added that while in New York, President Ruto is scheduled to give his debut address to the UN and hold bilateral talks with several Heads of State and Government.
Additionally, in his capacity as Coordinator, President Ruto will also chair a meeting of the Conference of African Heads of State on Climate Crisis.
The 77th UNGA coincides with the worst drought in the Horn of Africa in 40 years, with many countries in the region, including Kenya, experiencing unprecedented effects in the last four decades.
And the situation, largely contributed to by climate change, is expected to worsen.
“The forecast for October to December, issued at the Greater Horn of Africa Seasonal Climate Outlook Forum, shows high chances of drier than average conditions across most parts of the region, which will further worsen the crisis for millions of people.
“It pains me to be the bearer of bad news. Sadly, our models show with a high degree of confidence that we are entering the fifth consecutive failed rainy season in the Horn of Africa,” Guleid Artan, IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre director – WMO’s climate centre for East Africa said in August.
“In Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, we are on the brink of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” continued Mr. Artan, noting that significantly less rainfall totals are expected until the end of the year. The severity of the situation was echoed by IGAD Executive Secretary Workneh Gebeyehu, who made a solemn call to national governments, donors, humanitarian, and development actors to “adopt a no-regret strategy and help us weather the worst of this crisis”.
In his inauguration speech, President Ruto said climate change will be key to his government’s agenda and made an ambitious pledge to ramp up clean energy and phase out fossil fuels for electricity by 2030.
“In our country, women and men, young people, farmers, workers, and local communities suffer the consequences of climate emergency.We must act urgently to keep global heating levels below 1.5 Celsius, help those in need and end addiction to fossil fuels,”Ruto said.
The President said Kenya is on a transition to clean energy that will support jobs, local economies, and the sustainable industrialization.
“We call on all African states to join us in this journey. Africa can lead the world. We have immense potential for renewable energy. Reducing costs of renewal energy technologies make this the most viable energy source,” he said.
At the bilateral level, Ruto will lead Kenya’s quest to harness relations with the US guided by the five pillars bilateral strategic dialogue partnership, Foreign Affairs said.
The President will also attend to a working session with senior representatives of the American businesses during which he will urge for increased trade and investment between the two countries.