Posted by: africanpressorganization | 21 September 2012

STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE RICHARD ONYONKA, ASSISTANT MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE HELD ON 21ST SEPTEMBER, 2012 AT UNON GROUNDS, GIGIRI


 

 

STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE RICHARD ONYONKA, ASSISTANT MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ON THE COMMEMORATION OF INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE HELD ON 21ST SEPTEMBER, 2012 AT UNON GROUNDS, GIGIRI

 

NAIROBI, Kenya, September 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ STATEMENT BY HONOURABLE RICHARD ONYONKA

 

 

Madam Sahle-Work Zewde, Director-General, UNON

Mr. Aeneas Chuma, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator,

Your Excellencies the Ambassadors

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

 

It gives me great pleasure to be here with you to commemorate this important day. The International Day of Peace is observed worldwide to strengthen the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Indeed, our presence here is a testimony of our devotion to upholding worldwide peace.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The theme of this year’s International Day of Peace, Sustainable Peace for a Sustainable Future, has particular significance for the Horn of Africa which has been afflicted by relentless instability and conflict fuelled by various militia groups. Indeed, sustainable peace is fundamental to effective governance, socio-economic development and prosperity. This year’s theme underlines the fact that we cannot have a sustainable future without sustainable peace.

 

Building a culture of peace demands that we nurture the values of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity and respect for diversity, dialogue and understanding. At the national level, Kenya is committed to ensuring the observance of these values. Kenya’s Constitution identifies them as fundamental to a sustainable future. Indeed, these values are entrenched in the Bill of Rights and Article 10 on Kenya’s National Values and Principles. To this end, the Government is focused on ensuring that these Constitutional provisions are fully implemented through legislative, policy and administrative mechanisms, as well as institutional reform programmes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 4th of March, 2013 and the build-up towards it represent a critical test of our collective national resolve to nurture and adhere to a culture of peace in Kenya. Kenya will be holding its first general election under the new constitution, as well as the first after the traumatic post-election violence that ensued after the 2007 general elections. Indeed, the build up to the elections has already started. In order to guarantee peace, the Government has taken far-reaching measures in several sectors, including:-

1.    A complete transformation of the Judiciary, its organs and officials, as well as reform of its operations to ensure it has the capacity to dispense justice effectively, including settling electoral disputes within the shortest time;

 

2.    As regards the electoral process, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has gone to great lengths to guarantee a free, fair and transparent process, and has succeeded in winning public trust and confidence due to the manner in which it has conducted its work thus far. The peaceful by-elections held at the beginning of this week are a case in point;

 

3.    Legislative and administrative action has been taken to regulate the conduct of political parties, their finances and candidates;

4.    A comprehensive mapping exercise has been undertaken to identify current and potential trouble spots, and measures put in place to prevent their occurrence. These include the recruitment, training and deployment of sufficient numbers of security agents which is underway.

We are convinced that with these measures, Kenyans will enjoy a peaceful environment during and in the build-up to the elections.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kenya is convinced that peace and stability at the regional level is essential for its own well-being. Kenya has therefore been an active proponent of peace within the region and beyond, and has embraced peace diplomacy as a key pillar of its foreign policy.

Kenya firmly believes that the success of peace initiatives, particularly in the Horn of Africa, is through sustained action such as peacekeeping and peace-enforcement programmes that support peace. The momentum built towards stabilizing Somalia and setting the country firmly on the road to peace, reconstruction and development are a testament to this fact.

The Government recognizes the unrelenting efforts and immense contributions of various actors in this process. We commend the international community for the significant progress achieved thus far in Somalia, and encourage sustained focus on and co-ordinated support for Somalia in a bid to ensure that the cycle of conflict is broken completely, and that a culture of peace takes root there.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The International Day of Peace gives us all an opportunity to reflect on past experiences and learn from them. In this regard, Kenya joins the international community in observing and paying tribute to all the great men and women who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace, and in honouring the memory of those who lost their lives in the cause of peace. Their work encourages others to participate in peace processes.

Kenya appreciates the significant contributions made by the United Nations, its agencies and affiliated organizations, as well as individual countries towards the cause of global peace. The role of the church, civil society and community leaders in building and cementing peace at the local level in different parts of the world has been tremendous and must also be commended.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Sustainable peace for a sustainable future begins with each and every individual. It requires each person to make a conscious decision to build and uphold a culture of peace, beginning at home and working up to the national and international level. Peace in the world is possible and is progressing everywhere. However, we must all continue to nurture and jealously guard the peace we enjoy, and to take action to ensure that any party directly or indirectly contributing to or fueling conflict is stopped.

Let each and every one of us commit to take seriously our responsibility to contribute to the progression and maintenance of peace. Only in this way can we guarantee sustainable peace and a sustainable future for all.

Thank you.

 

SOURCE 

UNITED NATIONS


Categories

%d bloggers like this: