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)].
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .
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.