Ladies and Gentlemen
The presence of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Nairobi is of
great signifcance. This is not only because of the importance of United Nations
Environment Programme !hose head"uarters #enya has hosted !ith pride
since $%&' but also for the strong message it sends about the importance of
the environment that is no! ta(ing its rightful place high on the global agenda.
This !ee( !e !ere honoured by many distinguished guests from around the
globe. )is Serene )ighness *lbert the Second the Prince of +onaco, the UN
General *ssembly President, as !ell as the -ice President of .ran. *longside
them !ere $$' ministers, $/0 government delegations, leaders of the foremost
environment and developmental agencies, and over $'00 participants.
They came to Nairobi the Environment 1apital of the 2orld to debate and
decide on critical issues of environmental health and sustainability. They made
decisions that !ill have a very real impact on the environment !e all live in.
3ust as important they made a strong collective call for the full integration of
the environmental dimension in the sustainable development agenda after
'0$4 !hen countries !ill have collectively decided on a ne! set of goals to
guide their actions to improve the lives of their citi5ens.
. note !ith great satisfaction that they also adopted a landmar( decision on
stopping the illegal trade in !ildlife. 6or the last si7 months my government
has !or(ed hard to bring this debate to the Environmental *ssembly. The hard
!or( paid o8 !ith its adoption as one of the themes that the ministers !ould
debate. Even better !as the strength of the decision !hich focused on the
need to do more to stop the illegal !ildlife trade at its source transit and
destination, and to stem the demand that is doing so much to provide the
negative incentives driving the crime.
+y Government has ta(en decisive steps across agencies to halt poaching and
tra9c(ing in !ildlife and !e !ill ta(e up the elements of this decision : and
indeed all others that !ere made this !ee( : and implement them to further
strengthen the overall e8ort.
Ladies and Gentlemen
.t is important to try and recognise a historical moment as it occurs because
too often !e only note them in hindsight. This is !hat the seating of the UN
Environment *ssembly here in Nairobi really !as. The !orld came here to ta(e
on the most pressing challenges to the future of man(ind. 2e as a country are
honoured to be the location for a conversation of such import.
That this happened in Nairobi is the result of the boldness of vision that allo!ed
#enya to see( to host UNEP ;< years ago. .t !as then the frst UN agency to be
head"uartered in *frica and today it is part of four UN )ead"uarters : the only
one in the Global South.
2e !ill continue to nurture the United Nations in #enya. .t is a priority for my
government and for our people. =ur commitment plus the presence of a
globally competitive pool of #enyan professionals and the geographical
centrality of #enya to a region that is the sub>ect of so much United Nations
action means that !e o8er real value to the UN organisations operating here.
Ladies and Gentlemen
2e are pleased to note that the presence of the United Nations in #enya
continues to gro! and deepen. UN*ids has >ust started its global .T hub here in
Nairobi and the 2orld )ealth =rganisation has located its global security unit
here. These are only recent e7amples of UN agencies ta(ing advantage of the
.T and human resource advantages Nairobi o8ers.
2e intend to build on this and !ill !or( !ith the UN and its agencies to o8er as
much support as necessary to aid their !or(.
2e are doubling the diplomatic police unit and !or(ing further !ith the UN on
its infrastructure improvement plans to ensure their e7perience and !or( in
#enya for the !orld remains top class.
Ladies and Gentlemen
2e have noted that one of the landmar( reforms the Secretary General has
e8ected is a broad drive to ma(e UN operations more cost e8ective and
e9cient by utilising technology. +y government supports this drive and is
ready to !or( !ith the Secretary General to ensure that these e8orts
are fully realised in #enya.
Ladies and Gentlemen
. !ant to end on a more personal and heartfelt note.
+r. ?an #i@moon you deserve a special than( you from all of us. *s UNE* has
come into its o!n your years of support for the cause of global environmental
sustainability and for UNEPAs place in it have been crucial. Bou have been an
important part of the movement to!ard and from Cio !here the !orld
proclaimed DThe 6uture 2e 2antE and ruled that our interaction !ith nature
should be harmonious for the sa(e of the living and the yet to be born. There
are fe! other !or(s that a Secretary General of the United Nations has ta(en
up that are of such importance. Than( you for recognising that and for being
so steadfast in your pursuit of it.
?e confdent that you have in me and my Government a partner going
Than( you all and God bless you