We welcome a concerted effort against illegal wildlife trade says Uhuru


President Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed the decision by the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to scale up efforts against the illegal trade in wildlife.

The President said the illegal trade is a threat to Kenya’s heritage and impedes security.

“Your stern response to the menace assures us that our concerns have been heard,” President Kenyatta said.

In turn, the Head of State said, Kenya will firmly fight the illegal trade, saying he looked forward to the success of the new partnership in curbing the vice.

President Kenyatta made the remarks when he officially closed the United Nations Environment Assembly at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Nairobi. The meeting was attended by more than 160 ministers of environment and 1200 delegates.

He said the Government will also mainstream ecosystem-based adaptation in the national development agenda to protect the environment, create jobs, safeguard human health and promote equity.

The President thanked UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon for being a rock of support for the initiatives which were realised in the first sitting of UNEA.

Affirming the Government’s commitment to UNEP, the President assured the global environmental organization of Kenya’s support to its goals and ideals.

“In the battle to consolidate the legacy of Rio, and to protect the environment on which we all depend, you can be sure that Kenya will remain UNEP’s firm ally,” President Kenyatta said.

He noted that by establishing a high-level political forum on sustainable

development, UNEP has created the political space needed to coordinate and effect the practice of sustainable development.

“Of special interest to us all is the work you have done on sustainable development goals and the agenda for development in the years to come,” he said.

Speaking during the occasion, the UN Secretary General commended President Kenyatta for playing a leading role in promoting environmental initiatives.

“I thank the people and Government of Kenya for their support to the work of the United Nations in Kenya. We are proud to work with you,” said the UN Secretary General.

He noted that currently governments are in agreement that a healthy environment is necessary for eradicating poverty and supporting equitable economic growth and social progress.

“We are now poised for the crucial next phase of human development – a universal post-2015 sustainable development agenda. That agenda needs a strong voice for the environment – and now it has it, thanks to the wisdom of UN Member States meeting in 2012 at the Rio +20 UN Summit meeting on Sustainable Development,” he said.

Earlier, President Kenyatta held talks with the UN Secretary General on the sidelines of the conference before the closing ceremony.

Later, the President and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta hosted the delegates for dinner at the UN Complex grounds.