Nairobi — President Mwai Kibaki left the country early on Saturday to attend the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
This year's assembly whose theme is "The adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means", will be characterized by three high level events on the rule of law at national and international levels, a mini-summit on Somalia and another mini-summit on the Great Lakes conflict.
The assembly theme is pertinent for Kenya due to the integral role the country continues to play in advocating for peace and security in the Horn of Africa, especially the Sudan, South Sudan, and Somalia.
The General Assembly will seek to increase compliance with international law, particularly strengthening compliance in the context of the UN mandate, ensuring national implementation, and strengthening treaty bodies and international dispute resolution.
The advancement of the rule of law at both the national and international levels is recognised as essential to the realisation of sustained economic growth, sustainable development, the eradication of poverty and hunger and the protection of human rights.
During the General Assembly, Kenya will lobby for the election of its candidate, George Morara Orina, to the powerful and independent United Nations Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions.
The committee to be picked in November for a three year period will oversee the administrative and budgetary matters of the UN.
Kenya will also be vying for a seat at the United Nations Human Rights Council at elections scheduled for November, 2012.
Kenya and Ethiopia are the only candidates for the two available slots at the Council for the Eastern Africa Sub-region and are likely to be elected on a clean slate.
President Kibaki is expected to give a key note address to the General Assembly and press for the strengthening of the institutional framework for sustainable development, including the upgrading of UNEP.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly, President Kibaki is scheduled to attend a mini-summit on Somalia to launch a high level dialogue between representatives of the international community and the new Somali leadership on the new government's medium to long term priorities.
The mini-summit will deliberate on four main areas; the political, the security, the humanitarian and recovery track, and the economic recovery and development track and is expected to define priorities for peace building and stabilisation in Somalia.
The summit will also seek to ensure a coherent approach for international assistance in support of a Somali-led plan of action, including timelines for a donor conference; to commit to supporting AMISOM beyond 2012; as well as to enhance efforts to rebuild the Somali security institutions.
The conference on Somalia whose theme is "From transition to transformation: the New Agenda for Somalia" comes four months after a similar meeting held in Istanbul, eight months after the London Conference and two years after the first Istanbul conference on Somalia in May 2010.
Kenya will seek to ensure that the refugees and IDP problem remains a priority in stabilization programmes aimed at providing basic social services, helping to alleviate poverty, protect IDPs and ease the return and resettlement of the refugees to Somalia.
The Kenyan delegation to The Assembly includes Foreign Affairs minister Prof Sam Ongeri, Attorney General Prof. Githu Muigai and MPs Adan Keynan, George Nyamweya and Yusuf Hassan Abdi.
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