1 .The Kenya delegation associates itself with the statement made by Nigeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, on this Agenda Item [No. 95(a)].

2. During the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, Kenya endorsed and adopted Agenda 21 which provided the world with potential practical solutions to the ever-pressing problems of the environment and development. In this Agenda (21) we all recognized that both environmental protection and development were, and still are, crucial for sustainable development, and hence the need for their integration.

3. My delegation supports the views expressed in Document A/55/447, paragraph No.4 on the role of UNEP in the implementation of Agenda 21. We feel that UNEP should continue to be strengthened and supported in all ways as the principal body within the UN family in the field of environment. Indeed, it has played, and continues to playa crucial role in the further implementation of Agenda 21. This support is further elaborated by the Nairobi Declaration as outlined in paragraph No.12 of the same Document A/55/44 7.

4. Despite the harsh economic conditions prevailing in Kenya, my government has made tremendous efforts in implementing the obligations of Agenda 21. For example, following the adoption of Kenya's National Environment Action Plan (NEAP) in 1994 whose underlying objective is the integration of environmental concerns into the planning process, various sectoral action plans and strategies have been adopted. These include action plans on Biological Resources and Desertification.

5. Kenya has ratified most of the international agreements, treaties, conventions, and protocols that are considered to be in harmony with the country's plans for sustainable development. Sustainable development requires an integrated approach to policy and decision-making, in which environmental protection and long-term economic growth are compatible with sustainable development strategies.

6. To this end, there is considerable political will. This is attested by the Government's commitment in fulfilling the provisions of the UN Conventions, Treaties and Protocols. Further, Kenya recently enacted a framework law, namely, The Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act. This is a key cornerstone of Kenya's efforts to conserve and sustainably utilize its environmental resources. In addition, plans to review all sectoral laws that have a bearing on environment are underway. This is legally recognized as a prerequisite by the Act, Section 148, as the only pathway to sustainable development.

7. Kenya's vision is to see to it that there will be a healthy environment providing abundant resources and ensuring food security for our people. Our environmental resources will need to be sustainably utilized and conserved by communities through effective participatory management practices, and the application of both modem and indigenous technologies. Best practices in this regard are being integrated into the national development planning processes.

8. Developing countries have made significant efforts in implementing the obligations of Agenda 21 through integrating environmental policies into their national development plans and policies. To a greater extent, these efforts have been made under difficult conditions in order to fulfill most of the requirements under the Rio Framework. To date, however, significant environmental problems remain deeply embedded in the socio-economic fabric of many countries. In most developing countries, Kenya included, widespread poverty is contributing to accelerated degradation of natural resources. As a result, desertification continues to spread, and as it does so, it causes significant damage to all living things.

9. As repeatedly demonstrated in the priority issues highlighted in the African Common Position on Environment and Development, poverty is a wide-spread phenomena. The problem was also recognized during the 1992 Earth Summit. Nevertheless, the problem has not been given the attention it deserves. You will agree with me, Mr. Chainnan, that after the Earth Summit, the overall development aid largely declined. and no significant new or additional resources were provided for expanding environmental protection and improvement programmes in Africa. The diminishing commitment by the North, to honour their pledges resulting in the lack or inadequate financial resources as well as technology transfer therefore, continue to hamper the implementation processes of the Rio decisions. Through the years, Overseas Development Aid (ODA) has declined both in real terms and as a percentage of GNP, and the outlook for recovery remains poor.

10. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has benefited the least from the multilateral support, and it is not in the GEF portfolio of financing. Desertification has affected greatly the economies of the African Continent and it needs urgent addressing by the international family. Modalities should be initiated to see how the problems of desertification that affect many countries can be funded under the Global Environment Fund, without having to tie them with the traditional four thematic areas that are funded by GEF .

11 .Kenya associates itself with the Abuja Declaration of the African Ministers for the Environment (AMCEN) on this issue. We also appreciate the bilateral assistance extended to the country in this area in the past and at the present, but we feel that this issue should be given due consideration for funding by the major donor countries. We support and thank UNEP on the efforts they are initiating, especially in the Continent of Africa in this area.

12. In conclusion, unfulfilled UNCED commitments on increasing the ODA to the level considered useful to reduce poverty in Africa, and lower the debt burden should be the concern of this General Assembly.