President William Ruto met with the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in the ongoing 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at New York, USA.
The two leaders discussed key issues affecting the Horn of Africa including peace and Security as well as Kenya’s membership of the UN Security Council, climate change and the humanitarian crisis in the region.
The Secretary General emphasised on the importance of Kenya’s continued support and leadership in the promotion of peace in the region and called for honest discussions with development partners to complement humanitarian action.
Prior to President Ruto’s departure to New York, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that President Ruto would use his maiden trip to the UNGA to rally African peers to raise their voice on the danger of climate change. Africa is expected to be take the biggest hit from climate change.
The tentative programme Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that Dr Ruto would also meet African heads of state to discuss climate change and its effects, including the ongoing drought in the Horn of Africa and flooding in Sudan.
“In his capacity as Coordinator, President Dr Ruto will also chair a meeting of the Conference of African Heads of State on Climate Crisis (CAHOSCC),” said a dispatch from the Ministry.
It is highly likely that the climate subject was among the key issues that the Kenyan Head of State discussed with the UN boss, who made it obvious in his message to world leaders regarding the urgent humanitarian needs in the Horn of Africa today.
“Hunger us overwhelming in the Horn of Africa. Millions across Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya and Somali are confronting the worst drought in nearly half a century. Four rainy seasons have failed and now, a fifth is likely to fail too,” he said.
Should nothing be done, the current situation of starvation being faced in the region will only get worse even as famine looms, Dr Guterres said.
“It is difficult to overstate the magnitude of the unfolding disasater. But if we act now, we can prevent the worst,” he said.
To mitigate the situation, the UN honcho urged the Heads of States to fully fund all aspects f the emergency response from food, health care and nutrition to water and sanitation services.
Support local aid groups who can reach the most vulnerable populations and also urge all parties of conflict to respect international humanitarian law and ensure safe and unimpeded access to people in need.
“Looking ahead, we must dramatically scale up investments in climate adaptation and better support people in their transition to new livelihoods. Let us act now- with greater urgency, in greater solidarity,” he concluded.