Uhuru to discuss climate change, health at UN meet

President Uhuru Kenyatta delivers his keynote address during at the Singapore Summit 2019 Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore. [Picture: PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta will this week join world leaders’ gathering at the United Nation’s headquarters in New York for high-level debate and endorsement on various action plans.

Among key issues lined up for discussion, including a Climate Action Summit and the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), which is among the President’s legacy agenda.

The President, who leads the Kenyan delegation, will kick off his meeting-packed 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by co-convening the high-level discussions on climate change alongside UN Secretary-General (SG) Antonio Guterres tomorrow.

Mr Guterres has challenged all leaders coming to New York tomorrow to come with concrete, realistic plans to enhance their nationally determined contributions by 2020, in line with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45 per cent over the next decade, and to net zero emissions by 2050.

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According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs PS Macharia Kamau, Kenya is on the forefront to realise the UHC as stipulated in the Big four Agenda.

According to the programme, President Kenyatta alongside seven other world leaders will discuss “on work, live and move green”.

The Heads of State and government are also expected to endorse a political declaration of the high-level meeting on UHC, which will require members to increase domestic spending for health to at least five per cent of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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However since both meetings will take place tomorrow and therefore despite championing universal healthcare in Kenya, the president will miss the event.

“Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Karuiki will make a presentation at the discussions. She will speak on behalf of the president, as he will at the climate change summit,” the PS said.

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The meeting is set to adopt the action plan shared by member states as the spotlight shift to players in the industry on the advancement of UHC in line with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Uhuru is also expected to use the sidelines of the UN summit to lobby for Kenya’s candidature for the non-permanent seat at the organisation’s top decision making organ – the Security Council.

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Uhuru KenyattaNew YorkUN meetClimate change