New York, USA, 12 October 202, (MFA Press) … His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, on October 12, 2021 headlined Kenya’s Presidency of the United Nations Security Council by presiding over the High-Level Open Debate at the Security Council under the theme – ‘Diversity, State Building and the Search for Peace.”
Speaking at the high-level signature event, President Kenyatta highlighted that rampant mismanagement of diversity was a grave threat to international peace and security.
The President stressed that exclusion of people and societies, based on their identities, was often institutionalized in governance and economic relations at national and global level resulting to inequality. He underscored that this often leads to bitterness and frustration, which is vulnerable to exploitations leading to deteriorating trust in institutions and weakening of state legitimacy.
The President regretted the global mismanagement of the Covid-19 pandemic saying vaccine nationalism, travel bans and red listing of countries were a clear indicator of the international communities’ inability to manage diversity.
For effective management of diversity, President Kenyatta, invited the international community to accept the need to change national and global economic and governance systems and called for safety rails in domestic polity of members states, buttressed by reformed international institutions that were not only fit for purpose, but also transparent and inclusive.
The High-Level Open Debate was briefed by the UN Secretary-General, H.E. António Guterres, H.E. President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, H.E. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa and Honourable Fawzia Koofi, former Deputy – and only female – Speaker of the Afghan Parliament.
In the ensuing deliberations Council members, as well as the briefers noted that failure to properly manage diversity was the core root cause of a majority of civil wars and violent conflicts. This was also exacerbated by power imbalances in many of the conflicting societies.
The open debate concluded that peacebuilding was an ongoing process in the constant search for peace through dialogue and building consensus. In the same manner, peace building was described as not merely a technical enterprise, but rather a deeply political and human activity that had to factor all attendant emotional connections and recollections.