Top United Nations officials have lauded President Uhuru Kenyatta for his leadership role in efforts to achieve international sustainable development goals in Kenya, the region and on the global stage.
The leaders who spoke at State House, Nairobi when they paid the Kenyan Head of State a courtesy call congratulated Kenya for the hosting of the ongoing International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD 25).
The officials who were led by the UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed and included the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner expressed optimism that commitments made by various leaders at the ongoing Nairobi population conference will be fully implemented.
The top UN leaders recommended the infusion of Kenya’s sustainable development commitments, as spelt out today by President Kenyatta when he addressed the ICPD planery, into the various national development blueprints including the Vision 2030.
The officials said Kenya is fast becoming a role model and a reference point for the UN and other institutions on sustainable development.
The President said the ongoing ICPD25 conference has provided an engaging platform for nations and sustainable development actors to assess the progress being made since the programme was adopted in 1994.
“This conference has provided an opportunity for people to exchange views and listen to one another even where they may not agree on all things.
“We will see what can be absorbed and what may not. Generations are moving forward and it is our duty to ensure we prepare for them a better future,” the President told the UN delegation.
The President said Kenya will continue to work closely with UN on finding solutions to challenges facing humanity.
“It is always a pleasure to collaborate with the UN on various projects. Count on our support, we are always here to partner, to give our young people hope by creating opportunities,” the President said.
In a separate meeting, the President held talks with Melinda Gates of the philanthropic organization Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation who applauded the President for his commitment to improving Healthcare provision in the country.
Ms Gates said Kenya’s ongoing roll out of the universal health coverage programme, currently at pilot phase, will ensure a majority of citizens have access to quality healthcare services.
“We are looking forward to working with Kenya especially in the betterment of the lives of young people,” Ms Gates said.
Ms Gates thanked Kenya for hosting the ongoing ICPD25 in Nairobi saying the forum provides stakeholders a progressive platform to engage constructively with a view of fashioning solutions to challenges facing the society especially vulnerable women and girls.
On his part, the President said Kenya is ready and willing to partner with all people of goodwill in providing services that improve the wellbeing of her citizens.
“I believe that we need to bring all things to the table and agree to disagree. We don’t have to agree on all things. Those we agree on, we will do,” the President said adding that his administration is implementing the new competency based curriculum of education in order to develop learners abilities to apply appropriate skills needed to solve real life challenges.
In the health sector, the President said his administration is working with the county governments and other partners to fully roll out the UHC programme.
“Delivering healthcare services has been a journey for our nation. Sometimes we get it right, sometimes we don’t but we are working with the governors and we know 10 years from now Kenya will have succeeded in the Universal Healthcare Programme,” the President told Ms Gates.
Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma and Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the UN Amb Lazurus Amayo attended the President’s meeting with the UN delegation while Health CS Sicily Kariuki was present during the meeting with Ms Melinda Gates. State House Deputy Chief of Staff Ms Ruth Kagia attended both meetings.