10 May 2016

Statement by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on the UN Environment Assembly

Statement by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on the UN Environment Assembly

Statement by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta on the Second Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) read at statehouse on 10 May 2016

Executive Director of UNEP, Achim Steiner,

Fellow Kenyans,

The United Nations Environment Assembly is the world’s highest level decision making body on matters dealing with the environment, and we are its proud host.

It gives me great pleasure to announce that second session of UNEA will be held in Nairobi from 23rd to 27th May, 2016.

The response by participants including delegations from member states and major groups and stakeholders has been extremely encouraging. The overwhelming response reflects the fact that the assembly has a truly universal character.

I believe the assembly will provide an ideal forum for delegations to deliberate and chart the environmental agenda, particularly the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development.

One of the issues I will address at the Assembly is the illegal trade in wildlife. As you are aware, it has had serious ramifications for Kenya. Late last month, I set ablaze 105 tonnes of ivory, representing more than 8,000 slaughtered elephants and 343 rhinos.

Our objective was to send a strong message to the world that for Kenya, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants. Our government will seek a total ban of trade in ivory at the 17th meeting of the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to be held in South Africa later this year.

I am convinced that such a ban, in our view, would effectively bring to an end the mindless slaughter of elephants and rhinos in Eastern and Central Africa, and indeed other parts of the world.

Thank you.

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