Kenyan politician feted at UN meet in New York, becomes peace envoy

Mr Job Nyangenya at the ongoing 2023 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in New York. [Eric Abuga, Standardd]

Kenyan politician Job Nyangenya has been feted at the ongoing 2023 United Nations High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Nyangenya has been advocating for the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) in Africa quickly, preferably before 2030.

He was honoured by the UN also for his contributions to the promotion of peace in Kenya and East Africa.

“Despite the fact that I contested for a parliamentary seat in Kenya unsuccessfully and now working in the USA, I have shown commitment to peace and the values of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN," said Nyangenya, who was appointed Eminent Peace Ambassador.

Strong statements

He added: “By this appointment, I am expected to make strong statements on crises, not only in Kenya but in other parts of Eastern Africa, especially on the Sudan conflict, which has led to thousands of deaths and destruction of property. I am expected to proactively pursue and advocate for peace.”

The ongoing United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), through its outcome on "The Future We Want", established the United Nations High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in 2012.

The HLPF is the central UN platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the global level. It is the apex of the architecture for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda established by the 2030 Agenda.

The General Assembly decided that the Forum meets annually, under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council for eight days, including a three-day ministerial segment, and every four years at the level of Heads of State and Government under the auspices of the General Assembly.

Political declarations

The forum’s first meeting was held on September 24, 2013. It replaced the Commission on Sustainable Development, which had met annually since 1993. The Forum adopts intergovernmental negotiated political declarations.

Former president of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo gave a speech during the launch of Africa Facility to Support Inclusive Transitions (AFSIT), a UN/AU initiative designed to offer comprehensive programmatic support to African nations grappling with intricate political shifts.

It includes countries susceptible to or already undergoing unconstitutional changes of government (UCG) that have an overarching goal of promoting credible, inclusive, and legitimate transition blueprints, mechanisms, and institutions that facilitate a return to constitutional rule and democracy.

Kakamega Governor Fernandez Barasa, who is the chair of the Finance, Planning, and Economic Affairs committee of the Council of Governors, presented an abstract highlighting the actions taken by the Kenyan government to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through decentralization, specifically through devolution.

Participation and collaboration 

“The success of the SDGs depends heavily on the participation and collaboration of all levels of government. In order to achieve the 17 SDGs, it is crucial for the national government and devolved units to work together financially and at the policy level. As governors, we are dedicated to fostering this cooperation,” he said.

His Busia counterpart Paul Otuoma made a presentation at a side event organised by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where he showcased investment opportunities for partnership to support Busia County Economic Revitalization Blueprint 2023-2028 and the County Integrated Development Plan 2022-2027.

Other leaders attending the meeting from Kenya include Vihiga Governor Wilber Ottichilo, Patrick Narok Governor Patrick Ole Ntutu, Nominated Senator Beatrice Akinyi, Gilgil MP Martha Wangari and Likuyani MP Innocent Mugabe.

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