NAIROBI, 30th January 2018, (PSCU)—President Uhuru Kenyatta jetted back into the country from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he attended the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly.
The plane carrying the President and the First Lady Margaret touched down at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airports shortly after 5:00 pm.
On arrival the President inspected a quarter guard mounted by a detachment of Kenya Airforce.
Deputy President William Ruto and Chief of Defence Forces, General Samson Mwathethe led senior government officials in receiving the President at the airport.
At the AU summit, African leaders focused on reforms and moves towards a free trade area.
The reform measures, crafted by a panel led by Rwandan President Paul Kagame, are around enhanced financial contributions as well as ensuring greater efficiency at the AU Commission in Ethiopia. Kenya is broadly supportive of the reforms.
“Kenya strongly supports the Reforms at the African Union, as that is the surest way to ensure the Union, its Commission, Organs and Agencies are fit for purpose and well equipped to deliver on the ambitious aspirations of the African People as spelt out in Agenda 2063,” said President Kenyatta at the summit.
Leaders also spoke against terrorism and signalled the urgency to combat the menace that has become a major threat to peace, security and development. They assured that peace and stability will continue to be given priority in the continent.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he was working on strengthening the partnership between AU and UN, especially in peace and security in Africa.
In South Sudan, Mr Guterres said the UN has aligned its position with the AU and IGAD, saying the partnership is important to building a safer world for all.
“UN fully supports Africa’s initiatives for peace and reconciliation across the continent. We support is rooted solutions that are Africa-owned, Africa-driven and Africa-led,” Mr Guterres said.
On the side-lines of the summit, President Kenyatta met UN Secretary-General António Guterres and discussed peace initiatives in South Sudan and Somalia.
President Kenyatta and Mr Guterres reviewed progress in efforts to bring sustainable peace to South Sudan and Somalia.
Mr Guterres acknowledged the South Sudan peace initiatives spearheaded by the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and encouraged member states including Kenya not to give up their efforts.
He particularly wanted President Kenyatta to return to the forefront of the continent’s efforts to secure a lasting solution in Kenya’s northern neighbour.
The President assured Mr Guterres that the African Union Summit provides an opportunity for IGAD leaders to meet and discussed ways of rejuvenating the peace process.
“In essence, it is about Kenya working with the region, and partners like the United Nations, to secure peace in South Sudan. It is a subject that concerns us, as much as it does the United Nations,” President Kenyatta said.
The President also outlined gains achieved by APRM in a report on Africa’s peer review efforts covering the last two years as the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly came to a close yesterday.
President Kenyatta expressed satisfaction that a continental instrument for monitoring performance has made great strides in fostering improved governance as a vehicle for accelerated development in the last two years.
He said the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), which he has chaired for the past two years, is now more rejuvenated than it was before.