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Ruto UNGA Address

President Ruto’s UNGA address

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On the 21st of September President William Ruto gave an address to the General Assembly of the United Nations (UNGA) on a number of environmental issues.

by Luther Osier

Firstly, he mentioned the reality that is climate change and all the bi-products of it. The global food crisis that has come about from climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing Russia and Ukraine war. He went into detail as to how the COVID-19 pandemic stripped the world of large disillusions around the safety or systems we have in place, as such, active actions need to be undertaken to actually make these exist.

Additionally, he shed light on how these tragedies exposed even further the dire straits of the vulnerable across the world whilst highlighting Kenya. “Ensuring the safety and dignity of the vulnerable is a priority” he spoke.

Working Together

Kenya is ready to work hand in hand with the world to bring about multilateralism and a more just and inclusive system. Industries back on their feet

His alliterative statement; ‘Building back better from the bottom upwards’ brought out just how much the marginalized communities around the world are needed to bring societies and industry back up.

Severe drought and disruption of value chains due to COVID-19 and Russia/Ukraine left the entire world food insecure.

Rivers, canals, water reservoirs drying up because of climate change and in turn foreshadowed the horror of what is to come in terms of food insecurity.
In Kenya specifically, President Ruto highlighted that Northern Arid and Semi rid areas of the country have suffered greatly – the worst in 40 years.

Over 3.1 million people in the nation are food insecure due to the drought that has caused loss of crop and livestock. Furthermore, the increased costs of food have worsened the situation.

President Ruto linked the issues within the country as sub points that fall underneath the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal number 2; Zero Hunger and Sustainable Development Goal number 6; Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

Following this, President Ruto emphasized the need for collective efforts across the board.

Climate Change Crisis

To show the severity of the situation, a call to action was made by President Ruto as through factual information, he believes it may soon be too late to reverse what has been done.

The agriculture sector has a major part to play in reducing the effect of climate change;

  • Investing in modern agricultural technology
  • Climate resilient agriculture

At the core of the 10-year strategy for agriculture growth, strength and transformation. There were a number of flagships;

  1. Registration of farmers to direct incentives
  2. Improve farmer practice through customized extension service
  3. Monitoring of emergency food reserve stocks using digital food balance sheets
  4. Early warning systems to monitor food supply and market prices.

The President made it abundantly clear that no country has maintained its growth and sustainability without modernizing its agriculture sector.

“We must in the immediate term find answers to the availability, flow and accessibility to fertilizer to farmers worldwide.” He shared.

President Ruto went on to quote Secretary General Gutierees who said; “Without action now the global fertilizer shortage now will turn into a global food shortage”

In addition, he shared that the March 2022 landmark resolution 5th UN environmental assembly  to end plastic pollution is a decisive indicator that Kenya is ready to act on this menace.

In another breath The President urged developed countries to invest in sustainable fishing and protect marine ecosystems and share ocean based climate solutions with developing countries.

 

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