Kenya proposal for Unep upgrade gets China’s backing


China has agreed to support Kenya’s proposal to upgrade United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep) in Nairobi to United Nations Environmental Office.

The proposal will be presented to the forthcoming Rio Plus 20 World Environmental Conference. China Vice-President Jinping Xi made the declaration after receiving President Kibaki’s letter that asked for support from Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka.

 “We understand and appreciate the importance that Kenya and the developing world attach to the presence of Unep in Nairobi. Therefore, we will stand with you and only hope that other stakeholders will take a similar position,’’ said the VP.

The conference on environment will take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later next month.

During the meeting held at Great Hall of the People, Mr Musyoka and his counterpart also discussed about strengthening economic and cultural ties.

China further said it will support Kenya’s effort to enhance security in the face of constant terrorism threats.

The VP earlier met with director of Confucius Institute, Ms Xu Lin College, and discussed possibilities of setting up a campus at Egerton University. The institute will focus on training and transfer of skills in agricultural development. It will also help train Kenyans in Chinese language to provide support services to tourism industry.

Musyoka also sought support for building capacity for police to handle security threats through the setting up of modern police communication and command centre.

Mr Jinping said Kenya was a central pillar of China’s policy of political and economic cooperation in Africa.

Present opportunity

“We are happy with the economic, cultural and education ties existing between our two nations and we are keen to ensure that this grows stronger each day,’’ said Jingpin.  He said trade between Kenya and China hit $2.5 billion and Chinese investment in Kenya stood at $250 million.

The VP announced he will visit Kenya and China Southern Airline will fly to Nairobi soon, a move that will present an opportunity for more Chinese to tour the country.

“In the aftermath of the world economic crisis, developing countries find themselves confronting even more difficult economic circumstances. China and Kenya should play a more active role in encouraging trade and economic activities that will help- improve the lives of our people,’’ said the Chinese VP.


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